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NYPD commissioner blames rise in crime rate on Apple thefts

A 40 percent jump in theft of Apple products is the main reason why crime rates in New York City have not declined this year, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly writes in a speech set to be delivered later Tuesday.

"Overall crime is up 4 percent.  In the absence of the Apple thefts, we would be experiencing a decline," Kelly wrote. 

Kelly said there were 11,447 thefts of Apple products so far in 2012, an increase of 3,280 over the same period last year.

Related story: Thefts of iPhones, other Apple gadgets spike in New York

Automatic shut off technology when a phone is stolen making it unusable and tracking systems like the “find my iphone” application can help reduce this growing crime problem and aide police in finding thieves, Kelly said.

Additional undercover officers will be soon be assigned to patrol the subways where some of the robberies are taking place.

Related story: NYPD urges iPhone 5 owners to be smart, register devices

The NYPD is also set to announce a new crackdown on street gangs in an attempt to try to further reduce violence and robberies across the city.

Dubbed "Operation Crew Cut", the NYPD will double the size of its anti-gang unit to 300 officers to stop local street crews that are increasingly responsible for committing violent crimes.

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Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is expected to announce 150 additional detectives will join the gang unit. "We’ll focus those resources not on large, established gangs such as the Bloods and Crips, but on the looser associations of younger men who identify themselves by the block they live on, or on which side of a housing development they reside," Kelly wrote in a speech set to be delivered to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in San Diego.

NYPD Transit and Housing Bureau officers will also assist in increasing patrols to try to keep local street crews in check.  Detectives will also increase their monitoring of social media where crew members sometimes boast of the shootings or robberies they committed or plan to commit, Kelly said.

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