Apple picking refers to the theft of Apple devices, which often occurs in public when a thief simply snatches the object from a user's hands and runs away. The motivation for Apple picking is generally profit, as second-hand devices can be sold for hundreds of dollars. Apple picking may also be known as iTheft.
Techopedia explains Apple Picking
According to a report by the police department in New York City, theft of Apple devices rose by 40 percent between January 1st and September 23rd 2012 compared to the same period the previous year. That compares with just a four percent rise in major crimes such as murder, rape and robbery. Numerous reports have also indicated that apple picking is common in subways, where thieves snatch devices and exit the train as it's departing.