New York Police Department statistics show more than 11,400 Apple products have been ripped off this year, up 40 per cent from last year.
The thefts make up most of the overall increase in burglaries, thefts and grand larcenies in the nation's biggest city.
NYPD officials portray the thefts as an aberration in an otherwise low-crime year: Murders are on track to reach record lows.
The NYPD set up booths outside Apple stores last weekend to help iPhone buyers activate tracking technology to recover lost or stolen phones.
Subway warnings tell passengers to remain alert and keep devices out of sight.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc. says the recently released iPhone 5 topped 2 million sales the first day.