Let’s take a familiar conceit from The French Connection and revise it for the 21st Century: What if Jimmy Doyle’s foil had a stolen iPhone? That is the premise of this New York Times Crime Scene article in which one Queens woman goes from unlucky to lucky thanks to Apple’s “Find My iPhone” app.
As Michael Wilson relates, a woman, like so many New Yorkers these days, found her phone unceremoniously snatched from her hands while walking in Queens. When she flagged down a cop and called up her phone’s location, the blue dot revealed a perp on 7 train crossing the borough above. Officers tried to spot the thief but finally had to ask Transit to halt the train. A well-timed phone call revealed the stolen phone, and victim and technology were soon reunited.
This tale at least has a happy ending, but most of these stories do not. Thefts of devices, especially from subway cars, has pushed crime totals up over the last few years, and most pick-pockets aren’t quite so foolish as to leave that phone turned on. So just think of this as a modern-day chase beneath the city’s looming elevated trains but without so much of the dramatic tension.