Police Peddle "Stolen" iPhones, Arrest Buyers: Don't Cops Have Better Things to Do?!

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If a shady character stops you on the streets of San Francisco and tries to sell you a stolen iPhone or iPad, he just might be a cop.

San Francisco Police Department officers are going undercover to peddle "stolen" Apple devices, and whoever takes the bait gets taken down (by five cops no less!). The Huffington Post's Gerry Smith reports that SFPD created a special task force three years ago to combat "Apple picking." Similar task forces can be found in New York City and Washington, D.C.

"If they steal the phone but can't sell it, there's no market," says San Francisco Police Capt. Joe Garrity. "We're cutting the head off the snake."

Capt. Joe might want to take it easy with the hyperbole, especially when Apple picking is a crime that he himself equates with purse snatching, and when San Francisco's finest could be spending more time on more serious crimes. 

Around the time the SFPD was cooking up its iPhone task force, The San Francisco Examiner revealed that the department had more than 1,000 unsolved murders and about 900 unsolved rapes on its hands. A year later, San Francisco Attorney General George Gascon, who was police chief at the time of the revelation, told a reporter he had "forgot" about his department's unfinished business. 

So there's no need for cops to create crimes because lots of people have already committed crimes, crimes much worse than Apple picking.

Just under 2 minutes.

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"Don't Cops Have Better Things to Do?" is written and directed by Ted Balaker (@tedbalaker). Producer is Matt Edwards. Opening motion graphics by Meredith Bragg. Camera by Paul Detrick, Alex Manning, and Sharif Matar. Music by audionautix.com and "The Contessa" is by Maurice and the Beejays (Magnatune Records).

To watch the last episode, "Sex First, Then Arrest Hooker?" click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA1XeOga9PQ