Protect Your iPhone and Other Electronics

CCNY offers a new way to keep your stuff safe. by Christal Somar

iPhone 5: $650.

iPad 2: $399.

Macbook Pro: $1,100.

Protecting these devices by registering them with CCNY’s Public safety: Priceless.

Recently, the Department of Public Safety has teamed up with the NYPD and has brought the Operation Identification Program to CCNY. Operation ID allows for a faster retrieval of lost or stolen personal devices through etchings. This program, available to students, faculty and staff, helps protect electronic devices, such as cell phones, tablets and laptops.

With a spike in robberies of Apple devices and a 40 percent Apple product crime rate in New York City, as noted by a recent ABC News story, the Public Safety Department initiated this program as a precaution. Lieutenant Anthony Laperuta, Assistant Director of Crime Prevention and Investigation, says, “This program is meant to be a crime prevention deterrent; it makes people think twice about stealing other people’s property.”

“We want to prevent theft and loss of property,” he continues.

Public Safety has been registering electronic devices with etchings, which are typically placed at the back of devices or in the battery compartment. They do not damage devices in any way and are barely visible. With the use of a “permanent ultraviolet invisible pen,” as Laperuta explains, the unique identifiers allow officers to recognize lost or stolen electronics much easier and helps prevent the reselling and buying of the devices.

Emily Quintanilla, an 18 year old CCNY freshman, took advantage of the program. “You never know what can happen around campus,” she says. “Now that I registered my iPhone, I feel confident that it would be returned to me if I were to ever lose it.”

Since this program began, approximately 350 members of the CCNY community have registered their electronics. Success stories have already proven the effectiveness of Operation ID. “There have been a number of cases where students leave their phones or iPads in the NAC library and honest students have returned them to us,” confirms Lapuerta. “Once we saw that the devices were registered with us, we were able to identify and quickly return the items to their rightful owners.” Owners are contacted from the information given on the form they are required to fill out when registering their items.

CCNY students, such as Garody Jean-Charles, a second year French major, think it’s a great idea. “Now I don’t have to be as afraid of losing my phone as I usually am,” Jean-Charles says.

Other students interested in registering any electronic devices with Public Safety for protection can do so on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00pm-2:00pm with the assistance of Officer Polonia, who is also part of the Crime Prevention and Investigations Unit. If those times are inconvenient, students can also make appointments with Public Safety Monday-Friday from 6:00am-10:00pm to get their devices etched.