Technology addicts make easy targets

Freedom New Mexico

Folks who use iPods and higher-end mobile phones in public places may believe the devices enable them to be well connected to the world around them. But such technology seems to be giving off a different signal: Look at me, I’m a future crime victim.

As reported in the current issue of Foreign Policy magazine, the Urban Institute, a Washington-based think tank, researched crime statistics from 2005 — the year that sales of iPods exploded — and found that violent crime increased for the first time in a decade.

Case in point: On New York City’s subway system, there was an 18 percent increase in major felonies in the period researched; but when iPod and mobile phone thefts are excluded, crime actually fell 3 percent.

Shaun Whitehead, a crime expert at Loughborough University in Britain, told Foreign Policy writer Preeti Aroon: “It could easily have been predicted that the iPod would be a desirable crime target. The sheer high visibility of the white iPod earphone wires is bad.”

So how does one use their high-tech devices without becoming a crime statistic?