pp. Snatching a person's iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
Nabbing electronic devices isn't new. But lately it is growing "exponentially" according to a 2011 report from the New York Police Department. The lucrative secondhand market for today's niftiest handsets has produced an explosion in "Apple picking" by thieves. A used iPad or iPhone can fetch more than $400.
The robbery rate is running higher this year on the Chicago Transit Authority system, new data show, and police link the crime increase to "Apple picking" by young thugs stealing smartphones from passengers.
The interior minister, Brice Hortefeux, calls it the "iPhone effect," and the police talk of thieves’ "going to pick apples" on the Métro.
Note that the earliest cite is just an illegal reprint of a New York Times story. However, the Times article doesn't use Apple picking in the title, so the stolen version gets credit for the earliest use. (Although I note with some satisfaction that the user who stole and reprinted the Times article has been "banned" from the forum.)