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iPods Lead To Mugging

Alright, I sensationalized the blatantly false and unsubstantiated title but in an article about the increased incidence of mugging in Britain [3], specifically London, Simon Pountain, a police officer, supposed that one of the reasons why personal theft crimes like muggings have increased is because personal items have significantly increased in value. In a third of all street robberies, the cell phone was the only thing taken.

The article goes on to explain how robbing houses and cars simply doesn’t get the same rate of return as holding someone up for their iPod. You can mug someone, snatch a $300 iPod, their $200 cell phone, and walk away with no bulge in your jacket and nearly no risk. Compared to breaking into a house, mugging seems easy.

When people go out, they’re usually aware of how much cash they have on them, how many credit cards, etc. You don’t want to be carrying too much… that’s why most people don’t carry $600 in their wallets or purses. But if you have a $300 iPod and a $200 cell phone, you’re walking around with five hundred dollars worth of stuff. Why do you think they’re concern over iPod muggings [4]?

The solution? Don’t display your prized electronics. Just as you wouldn’t leave stuff visible in your car if you park in a bad neighborhood, don’t fiddle with the electronics or display it prominently anywhere. The about.com article has some common sense tips like swapping out the headphones and not wearing the device on your hip (same goes for your cell phone) but in general, be smart about it.