The New York Police Department has been putting up flyers outside Apple Stores asking iPhone owners to upgrade to iOS 7.

The reason? The NY police wants all iPhone owners to have Activation Lock, the new iOS 7 feature that makes it impossible for a thief to erase an iPhone without knowing the owner’s Apple ID login information.

iPhones have been a very lucrative target for theft, which is why government officials and state police have been pressing Apple to implement better anti-theft measures in iOS since quite some time. Now that this feature is finally available, it’s no surprise that the NYPD wants iPhone users to upgrade to iOS 7, in the hope that this leads to lower theft cases.

This is what NYPD’s message says:

Attention Apple users

As of September 18, 2013 the new iOS7 feature brings added security to your Apple Devices

By downloading the new operating system if your device is lost or stole it cannot be reprogrammed without an Apple ID and password

The download is free from Apple

For additional safety features and information contact

Apple’s earlier solution to iPhone thefts was “Find my iPhone” which let iOS users remotely track the location of their lost device, and securely wipe it, if needed. But even with those measures, a thief could easily erase the device and resell it.

With the new Activation Lock, once a device has been marked as lost, and then erased, it can only be used after the owner’s iTunes credentials are entered.

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