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Police fear new iPhone case could trigger deadly consequences for users

The case, sold online and through street vendors, gives the phone the remarkably realistic appearance of a gun.
/ Source: TODAY

Typically the biggest danger associated with a new iPhone case is that it might fail to protect the pricey product if you drop it. But police and others have far more serious concerns about a case that appears to be gaining in popularity.

The case, sold online and through street vendors, gives the phone the realistic appearance of a handgun.

A number of police precincts, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials have spoken out about the risks of on social media.

"It's a terrible idea, and it's very dangerous," the New Jersey State Police wrote in a caption alongside images of the case on Instagram. "We strongly recommend that you do not use this product."

The concern goes beyond the U.S. A petition on seeks to get the item banned in the U.K. due to its potential "to cause fear and panic."

According to retailer Glamzelle, an app that comes with the case makes "gunshot noises that come from the speaker when you pull the trigger on the gun."

Japan Trend Shop, which also sells it, describes it as "more a piece of equipment than a regular 'cover.'"

"The Gun Grip Case transforms your iPhone 5 into a handgun!" the product page explains. "Available in black, white or pink, this fake 'pistol' works with an app so you can interact with a digital version of the gun in the same color on your iPhone 5 screen. The app means you can play games of Russian Roulette at parties! Don't worry, you can't actually shoot anyone!"

But the fear is that it's the user who could be shot.

"A police officer's job is hard enough, without having to make a split second decision in the dark of night when someone decides without thinking to pull this out while stopped for a motor vehicle violation," the New Jersey's Orange County prosecutor's office wrote in a Facebook post.

That's why Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, has strong words for both those who carry the case and those who sell it.

“The money that is earned from the sale of this case is blood money earned from the blood of the person who is foolish enough to carry it,” he told the New York Daily News.

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