Out of all the things you carry on your person, a smartphone is likely to be the most valuable item, or at least one of them (a concealed weapon or a Rolex watch could trump your handheld). The high dollar value of any given smartphone is part of what makes them so attractive to thieves, hence why it's not all that shocking to discover that over a million smartphones are stolen each year in the U.S. according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The FCC released a report (PDF) this week on the subject of smartphone theft, and in it, the government organization provides analysis based on data obtained from 21 police departments covering nearly 20 million people. By extrapolating that data to represent the country as a whole, the FCC's assumption that a million smartphones are stolen on an annual basis might actually be a conservative one.
Image Source: Flickr (West Midlands Police)
Regardless, that's not the only alarming statistic. Have you ever considered yourself a walking target? If not, perhaps you should start doing so -- according to the FCC, one out of every 10 robberies in the U.S. involves a mobile device. Depending on where you live, the problem could be even worse. For example, in San Francisco and New York, more than half of all robberies in 2013 involved a smartphone.
"Americans rely daily on mobile devices not only for traditional voice and text communications, but also as essential gateways to the Internet for browsing the data they need and as repositories for personal and business information," the FCC states in its report. "As a result, mobile device theft is a significant concern. Mobile device thefts can impose personal, physical, and financial harm on consumers."
The FCC couldn't say where all the stolen smartphones end up, though it believes a good portion are exported out of the country.