Originally Posted by melgross
Yeah, but that's still a lot different than paying someone to steal it where the deal is agreed to in advance which is what some are saying.
I won't argue about the "bounty" because I think that's what's happened. but as far as I know, there was never a specific amount of money mentioned. It was more of a; "Bring us a piece of secret Apple gear, and we'll make worth your while". Sort of a nebulous offer.
It is different. But even if Giz wasn't behind the planning or didn't direct the person as to where they could find the Apple engineer (and what he looked like, when he would be there, etc) the finder would still have to take a number of steps to steal the phone from the engineer that don't really seem plausible. They would need to:
-Find the right group of Apple employees to watch
-Find the right employee in the group to focus on, being the one that has the top secret, disguised prototype
-Get close enough to this person to see that the UI of the phone he was using was subtly different than a stock OS3 or a jailbroken iPhone. A person carrying a top secret device that is not allowed to be seen by anyone might just be a little wary of stranger staring at their top secret device up close.
-Find an opportunity to bump up to the engineer and lift the phone from his pocket without the engineer or anyone from his group noticing.
This doesn't seem reasonable by any stretch, unless the thief was very, very good and very experienced. And if he was, does it make sense that he would shop it around to multiple parties and risk exposure (as this person did) or that he, as an experienced thief, would go directly to the most likely party to pay immediately? This all just pushes the bounds of reality. It doesn't make sense. Some one actually invoked Occam's Razor to show this was the most reasonable series of events for the phone leaving the bar (except they also assumed Giz directed it all).
I suppose if the master pickpocket and thief wasn't fully aware of exactly how to identify a disguised iPhone prototype and exactly which Apple employee had a phone out that night (if at all) we might expect he would have been picking a lot of pockets trying to score the right one. We haven't heard any reports of mass thefts that night/week in the area. That also would have been a quick way to get caught. Faster even than calling a bunch of strangers to ask them if they want to buy it.
If it was stolen from the bar, the only explanation that makes any sense is that it was a simple crime of opportunity. They didn't know what to do with the strange device afterwards, realized it might be a prototype and shopped it around. Perhaps they had heard that some tech site was offering a bounty for early iPad access but weren't sure which, so they call the ones the could think of...Wired, Engadget and Gizmodo. Sure as hell makes more sense than the convoluted fantasies others have proposed.
Or a drunk dude left it behind at a bar.
Occam's Razor, indeed.