'Apple-Picking' Crime Up in Clark County - 8 News NOW

'Apple-Picking' Crime Up in Clark County

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LAS VEGAS -- The theft of iPads, iPhones and other Apple devices is becoming commonplace, earning it the nickname, "Apple-picking," the police said.

Bonanza High School student Marcos Arenas died Thursday trying to hold on to his iPad as a thief ripped it from his hands.

Apple owners are often seen in public distracted by their handheld devices, making them easy targets.

Green Valley High School senior Jade Federico said his cell phone and iTouch are too valuable for him to give up so easy.

"It's a lot of my money and a lot of my life, to be honest," Federico said.

Fighting for your device is the last thing students with smart phones or any other device should do, Clark County School Police Sgt. Mitch Maciszak said.

"Should you be confronted in a manner where someone is trying to take your product, please give up the property and get yourself to safety as quickly as possible," Maciszak said.

Youth aren't the only ones at risk.

Dijana Jakimoska said she once saw a woman robbed right before her eyes. The woman's thief, she said, was a young boy.

"There was one little kid, two slide moves, one, twice, the phone and the wallet was gone, she didn't even notice," Jakimoska said.

Metro Police spokesman Bill Cassell said Apple-picking is escalating in Clark County.

"We have made numerous arrests," Cassell said. "We have numerous investigations into rings in two different parts of the valley that were committing these crimes."

The thefts happen everywhere, but in the last two months, Cassell said two areas of the valley have been hit the hardest: downtown and the northwest.

Cassell said there's a reason it's not making news headlines.

"The majority of these (thieves) actually are juveniles so because of their juvenile status, you don't see their picture on the television," Cassell said.

Anyone can become a victim, but the police said thieves would rather prey on people who appear careless and innocent.

"We are easy targets unfortunately," Federico said. "Students aren't as protective with their stuff. Some of them are, like me, but most of them don't even think it will happen."

Maciszak advices children and teens to conceal their devices the best way they can - and only use them in class or a private setting.

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