Who’s Surprised?

But the closing lines of the article point out the special (peculiar?) nature of this product: IPod Thieves Hit Subways. Is Anyone Listening?

It would be hard to conceive of a better criminal target than the iPod. Those white cords snaking down from listeners’ ears into the recesses of their jackets signify an instant status symbol, hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise and a mark who may be blissfully unaware of his or her surroundings.

[…] [A] recent spike in subway felonies, reported in The Daily News yesterday, has been driven by an increase in iPod thefts, the police said. As of Sunday, there had been 304 robberies in the transit system citywide this year, up 24 percent from the same period last year, the police said. Grand larcenies are up 10 percent, with 462 so far this year. Over all, transit crimes are up 16 percent.

It is impossible to say how many of those robberies were iPod thefts, but they were a major factor, the police said.

[…] Elliot Aronow, 24, an editor at The Fader, a music magazine, described the aggravation when his iPod was stolen after he left it on a table last weekend at a Duane Reade drugstore on 23rd Street. Mr. Aronow estimated that he had downloaded about 12,000 songs from friends and other sources in the past year. He last backed up his files on his own computer a few months ago, and when his iPod was stolen, he lost some songs that would be difficult to track down again.

“All the value was really in the music,” Mr. Aronow said. “The thing itself was just a stupid device.”