I'm not a 1L. I used to be married to one and then she became a prosecutor. Now I'm a widower so I can't get her opinion. My recollection is that motive matters: "Even a dog knows the difference between being tripped over and being kicked".
With due respect, I believe it was stolen the minute the finder decided to sell it rather than make a reasonable effort to return it to its rightful owner.
But time will tell. You seem very sure of yourself and your opinions. I'm interested to see what happens, but I'm making no predictions.
Time will tell. Its all about the facts that we dont know. I dont believe there was any selling of the phone itself. From what I have read they paid money to a guy to take pictures of a phone that he found and was attempting to return to the owner. It wouldnt matter that they only tried to give it back after talking with an attorney. It does seem to be the guy in the bar seemed to make a reasonable effort by asking around and waiting for the owner to return. Who knows this could all be a lie though. I would say its much more likely that the finder grabbed it when the owner was not looking and left the bar, and being a thief was not smart enough to turn it on airplane mode before apple wiped it.
Its all about the facts!!!!!! We cant really trust anything posted on the internet. Who knows, that letter that was just posted from the apple general counsel could have easily been faked.
But ill go on the record and say that in my opinion there will be no legal action by apple and there will defiantly not be any action by any prosecutor's office. The phone will be viewed as lost and although it may not be morally right what they did they didnt do anything criminal.