UNITED STATES - Thousands of people participated in the first national "Steal My Device" day this past Sunday, August 4. The event was sponsored by Verizon and encouraged users to try to have their mobile phones, tablets, and laptops stolen by doing things such as:
- Sitting near a subway door wearing headphones while playing a video game.
- Leaving their device plainly visible in their car while they shop.
- Holding their device over their head at a big city tourist attraction to take photos.
- Walking down the street while pretending to be important using multiple devices simultaneously.
By all accounts, the event was a smashing success. Police Departments across the country report that, in total, at least 1,500 phones, tablets, and laptops were stolen on Sunday. Said Officer Joe McDonald of the Cincinnati P.D.: "we were proud to do our part by doing nothing to prevent these thefts."
Users seemed just as happy about the event. Maureen Pixella, from Skaneateles, New York, said that she was sitting on a City bus when someone grabbed her iPhone out of her hand and ran for the door. She initially asked another passenger to call the police, but then realized that it was "Steal My Device" day. "I'm so honored that a small town girl like me got to participate," she said from home, recovering from a wrist sprain caused when she tried to hold on to her phone as it was being taken. "Next year I'll have an even more expensive phone!"
Verizon said it planned to offer discounts to both people whose devices were stolen and to those who stole them but want to reactivate them under a different name.