Sunday, March 1, 2009

Discriminatory Souls

And here we thought racism was the primary channel of discrimination. Nah man. Thieves are the most biased individuals. Who would have known that thieves could be so choosy in Boston, where a whooping 14% of the robberies involved the Sidekick?

Boston police reported more than 300 stolen Sidekicks in 2008, accounting for 14 percent of all robberies in the city. New York City saw a 59 percent surge in subway robberies in December compared with the previous year, driven largely by thieves targeting high-end cell phones, especially the Sidekick.

And Adrian Portlock, whose company tracks stolen cell phones, ranks the phone among the most-taken worldwide, even though the Sidekick's primary market is the United States, where it is available for $100 after a rebate.

Thieves have long targeted trendy items, from Air Jordans and Starter jackets to iPods and GPS units. But the Sidekick is not ubiquitous — it has never cracked the list of the five top-selling cell phones since the consumer research firm NPD Group began the ranking in 2005. Instead, thieves target Sidekicks because of their urban hipness quotient, and because they're easy to resell.

So the psychology of the klepto is to target the most profitable items and abscond with it, while eschewing all items that are mundane and fruitless? A Blackberry Bold 9000 is a magnet for sticky fingers but an LG Envy will leave potential purloiners recoiling in horror. If that's the case, then this explains the simple yet complex motives for the "get-em boys" of the world. Why the necessary explanation? Because by understanding the predator's habits and tendencies, the prey is left more insulated from the dystopian reality of having your sh-- took. If profitability is the number one motivator for a group a thieves, then common sense dictates that the more austere one appears, the better off they are in the attention department. But what about the indiscriminate masterminds, the souls who just jack just to jack (unintentional alliteration)? They're scant.

This debunks the widely held notion that people are mere pawns in the vagaries of kleptomania, unable to deter an inexorable force known as the Get-Em Boys. I drive a Escort. I don't ever, EVER, have to worry about anybody scoping the ride. But I have cousins who were jacked multiple times and...let's just say that they drove the antithesis of the Escort. It's no surprise when its 1992 and you have to fear for your life if you have on a Starter's jacket, or in 2009 and a Sidekick is the crave. But it seems to be a surprise when the prevalent problem of banditry has such a simple solution.

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