For many, a digital gadget offers a lifeline to explore a wider world. For some, it's a curse.
A 15-year-old boy who refused to let go of his Apple iPad was dragged along a Las Vegas street and died after the potential thieves, driving an SUV, ran him over, police said.
On Sunday, Metro Police in Las Vegas announced two arrests in the crime. The suspects, identified as Jacob Dismont, 18, and Michael Samuel Solid, 21, both of Las Vegas, face charges of open murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
The teen was identified as Marcos Vincente Arenas, 15, of Las Vegas. He was a freshman at Bonanza High School, officials with the Clark County School District told the Las Vegas Sun.
According to authorities, the boy was walking along a main street, Charleston Boulevard, on Thursday afternoon when a male suspect opened the passenger door of an SUV - possibly a Ford Explorer or Expedition - and walked over to the youth and grabbed the iPad he was holding. The suspect pulled the boy back to the vehicle, then drove off with both the man and the teen holding onto the tablet. The SUV accelerated, the boy fell and was struck by it, police said.
A memorial at the site of the incident was growing Sunday, where had been placed a pot of flowers with this note attached from his grandfather: "I love you Marcos. I miss you!!"
A spokesman for the Metro Police said that the crime is part of a trend called "apple picking" - street slang used to describe thefts of Apple products, such as iPhones, iPods and iPads.
"They're valuable; they are something that can be quickly sold," he said. "They're lightweight, portable - you can run and hide with them. It's about the next best thing to stealing money," he said, adding that sometimes the victims are children who are accosted by older teens.
In New York City in 2012, police reported that homicides were at the lowest level in 40 years, but that overall crime increased, mainly because of the thefts of Apple products, including iPhones and iPads.