Providing yet another sign that Apple's iPod is the audio and video platform, a policy think-tank on Tuesday said that thefts of the media player have skewed crime statistics. Microsoft wishes it had that publicity.
But some forward-thinking thieves are bucking the trend and stealing Zunes. Well, kind of.
This "iCrime Wave" thesis was floated by the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank at a panel discussion on Tuesday. According to the researchers, so many iPods have been stolen that crime statistics have risen.
The iPod's several-hundred-dollar expense and pop-culture buzz made potential thieves, especially young ones, crave the device for themselves or for a lucrative resale market. Suitable victims: People listening through the iconic white earphones are easy to pick out and often unaware of their surroundings. Easy to get away with: iPods lack a mechanism that would pinpoint a thief's location or a subscription that could be canceled by the rightful owner.
The iCrime wave is a semimonthly topic of New York papers — whenever I visit there, the papers seem to be filled with stories about it. In such a large metropolitan area, it appears that people have iPods picked out of their pockets every day.
However, through the miracle of search engine technology, I was able to find some evidence of Zunes being stolen. But sorry to say for Microsoft, not from actual users.
A police officer working off-duty was dispatched to a glass-break alarm at CD Trader, 5021 Sheridan St., at 3:33 a.m. Feb. 10. He said he found broken glass inside and outside the business, broken display cases and a tire iron on the floor. The burglars stole 10 iPods valued at $1,500 and a Microsoft MP3 Zune player.
Oops. The thieves decided to test the Zune but really were after the 10 iPods.
The unknown burglars triggered an alarm around 2 a.m., which alerted a Santa Fe Place security guard, after they broke down the doors at the store's south entrance, said Deputy Police Chief Benjie Montaño. The electronics department is next to the door, and the thieves smashed a nearby glass display case and took four i-Pods valued at a total of $1,000 and two Zune MP3 players valued at a total of $600, he said.
Oops again. More iPods were stolen.
But this is good news for Microsoft: the trendline is going up! Two Zunes were stolen in New Mexico. Go Team Zune!