A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 18, 2013
Apple-picking (theft of Apple products)

“Apple-picking” means picking apples from a tree, but “Apple-picking” (with a capital “A”) refers to thefts of Apple products, such as the iPhone and iPad. “‘Apple picking’ phone theft increasing on CTA” (CTA=Chicago Transit Authority) was a news story on July 11, 2011 and “NYPD launches ‘Anti-Apple picking’ campaign” (NYPD=New York Police Department) was a news story on September 20, 2012.
“Apple-picking” became such a problem in New York that the state attorney general demanded, in June 2013, that the Apple products contain “kill switches” so that thieves wouldn’t be able to operate them. One June 17, 2013 news article stated, “In New York City, nicknamed the Big Apple, police have coined the term ‘Apple-picking’ to describe thefts of the popular iPhone and other mobile products, like iPads.” However, the name “Apple-picking” has nothing to do with the “Big Apple” and the term has been used by other cities.
WLS-TV (Chicago, IL)
‘Apple picking’ phone theft increasing on CTA
Monday, July 11, 2011
July 11, 2011 (CHICAGO) (WLS)—Hang on to your iPods when riding on the CTA. Chicago police say there is an increase in robberies targeting the devices
New Database Hopes To Curb Smartphone Theft
by Jeff Brady
April 10, 2012 3:00 PM
JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: A few months back, Alissa Walker was sitting on a train in Los Angeles, reading a book on her iPhone.
ALISSA WALKER: Somebody walked down the aisle and plucked the iPhone right out of my hand, then broke into a run and ran out the door as soon as the train stopped at the station.
BRADY: Walker was stunned. She ran after the thief, but her phone was gone and never coming back.
WALKER: The people at the store were very sympathetic. I guess this has been happening a lot. I mean, it has a name. It’s called Apple picking is the big term that I heard when only after I had my phone stolen. But they’re like, oh, you got Apple picked. Yeah, it happens a lot. It happens a lot.
WABC-TV (New York, NY)
NYPD launches ‘Anti-Apple picking’ campaign
Thursday, September 20, 2012
N.J. Burkett
Eyewitness News
NEW YORK—In conjunction with the launch of Apple’s new iPhone 5, the New York City Police Department is rolling out its own campaign to help victims recover their lost or stolen phones or other electronic devices.
“The theft of Apple phones and other hand-held devices drove the spike in robberies and larceny this year. Individuals alert to their surroundings are less likely to become victims, and Operation ID will help those whose property is lost or stolen to get it back,” said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.
Staten Island (NY) Advance
‘Apple picking’ turns sour for Staten Island teen, cops say
By Frank Donnelly
on January 11, 2013 at 5:02 PM, updated January 11, 2013 at 5:06 PM
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.—A Stapleton teen recently went “Apple picking” on two city buses with decidedly sour results, prosecutors allege.
The accusations come amid a steep citywide spike in Apple product thefts, including the popular iPhone.
Law enforcement agencies have taken to calling iPhone and iPad thefts “Apple picking.”
‘Apple picking’ thieves snatch iPhones
Jeff Rossen and Avni PatelTODAY
Feb. 20, 2013 at 11:33 AM ET
Brazen thieves are finding new ways to steal your iPhone. It’s called “Apple picking,” and you’ll never see them coming.
Daily News (New York, NY)—Daily Politics
June 5, 2013 9:02 AM
NY AG Eric Schneiderman Going After Smart Phone Manufacturers Over ‘Apple-Picking’
BY Ken Lovett
Letting customers shut down their phones would make them worthless on the black market and reduce so-called “Apple picking” — the fastest-growing street crime in New York City. Schneiderman cited statistics that show a 40% jump in the theft of mobile devices in New York City in 2012.
The Chronicle (Chester, NY)
US prosecutors want smartphone ‘kill switch’
Published Jun 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm (Updated Jun 17, 2013)
By Meghan Barr
NEW YORK — U.S. law enforcement officials are demanding the creation of a “kill switch” that would render smartphones inoperable after they are stolen, New York’s top prosecutor said in a clear warning to the world’s smartphone manufacturers.
In New York City, nicknamed the Big Apple, police have coined the term “Apple-picking” to describe thefts of the popular iPhone and other mobile products, like iPads. Such thefts comprise 40 percent of all robberies in New York City, authorities say.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • Tuesday, June 18, 2013 • Permalink

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