Crime blotter: California arrests, a Monster firing, and bulk thefts of new iPhones

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2018
A father goes after his ex-wife in court after she took their daughter's iPhone, Find My iPhone finds a stolen iPad, and other news from the world of Apple-related crime.

An Apple Store theft


The latest in an occasional AppleInsider series, on the latest in Apple crime.

Charges brought against 17 in California Apple Store thefts

California's state attorney general has brought charges for conspiracy to commit grand theft against 17 individuals in the thefts of Apple Stores around the state that have taken place throughout the year. Seven people were arrested, with warrants issued for the other ten, in the thefts that cost the stores more than $1 million in lost merchandise.

The investigation was conducted by the San Luis Obispo Police Department and the Oakland Police Department, along with the state Department of Justice eCrime Unit and 19 different counties.

Two wanted for Long Island Apple Store theft

On the opposite coast from most recent Apple Store thefts, two men are wanted for taking items from an Apple Store in Huntington Station, N.Y. But instead of iPhones or iPads, those thieves are accused of taking four sets of Beats headphones, two Apple Pencils and two Magic Mouse devices, Patch reported.

Monster fires COO, alleging death threats

Monster Products, the cable and headphone maker that was the original manufacturing partner for Beats headphones, has been in often-contentious litigation with Apple since 2015, stemming from the earlier Beats/Monster breakup. Now, the company has suffered another falling out. Monster announced Sept. 25 that it has removed its chief operating officer, Fereidoun "Fred" Khalilian, and also obtained a restraining order against him.

At a press conference the New York tech show CE Week in June, founder and CEO Noel Lee (known as the "Head Monster") appeared with Khalilian to announce a cryptocurrency play called "Monster Money," which would represent the long privately-held company's first time accepting outside money in its 40-year history.

But something apparently went awry, as Monster now alleges Khalilian attempted a hostile takeover of the company, and that the restraining order and police report were necessary "for the protection of numerous employees of Monster against threats of mutilation, death, and threats to family."

Monster's statement, in a rarity for corporate press releases, goes on to provide more than a dozen links to news stories and documents detailing Khalilian's past alleged misdeeds, which reportedly include various scams as well as multiple sexual assault accusations that stem from a period when he co-owned a Miami nightclub with Paris Hilton. In addition Khalilian, due to a 2011 FTC settlement, is permanently banned from the telemarketing industry.

Charges dismissed against mother who took daughter's iPhone

A routine parenting dispute in which a mother punished her daughter by taking away her iPhone became a matter for the courts this month, when the woman's ex-husband claimed the device belonged to him. According to WOOD TV, the former husband claimed that he owned the iPhone, and that his ex had committed a crime by taking it away.

The case, however, was dismissed after prosecutors determined that the daughter was, in fact, the phone's rightful owner.

Chilean family in Miami has 18 iPhones stolen

A family from Chile that visited Miami to get iPhones had 18 XS Max models -- valued at around $18,000 -- stolen from their rental car last week. According to the Miami Herald, the family had planned to bring the phones back to Chile and "hand them out to family members and friends." But the car was broken into while they visited a coffee shop.

"Imagine buying a just released iPhone and having it stolen. These people bought 18, stopped for coffee, left the phones in the car, and moments later all were stolen," Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said on Twitter, attaching video of a TV news report on the theft.

55 iPhones taken in Michigan

In another bulk theft of 2018 iPhone models, 55 iPhones were stolen from an SUV at a mall in Troy, Mich. According to Click on Detroit, a man had spent $60,000 to buy 55 new iPhones with the intent of re-selling them.

But, while he was elsewhere in the mall, someone broke the car window and took the merchandise.

iPhone stolen from government building in Michigan

A 56-year-old man had his iPhone stolen from the ordinance department counter at City Hall in Dearborn Heights, Mich. According to the Press and Guide, the man briefly stepped away from the counter and when he returned the iPhone was gone.

After the owner called the phone, a man answered and "allegedly shouted profanities before hanging up."

Teenager admits to stealing iPhones from Staten Island Apple Store

A teenager is headed to jail after he admitted to stealing six iPhones -- worth $4,400 -- from an Apple Store on Staten Island on the day after Christmas last year. According to SI Live, the now-18-year-old pled guilty to third-degree grand larceny, and will be sentenced next month to a year in jail.

Security guard arrested for taking iPhones

In another theft from a government building, a security guard at the Palm Beach County Government Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., has been arrested for stealing two iPhones, one of was in a case that also included $160 in cash, a drivers license and two debit cards.

According to My Palm Beach Post, the guard was caught on security video disposing of the license and cards, although he told deputies he had "gone upstairs to retrieve pants from a break room."

Find My iPhone discovers stolen iPad

A nursing assistant received a sentence of two years' probation after he was found to have stolen an iPad from a patient at the assisted living facility where he worked. According to KSL, a Find My iPhone discovered not only that the iPad was in the area where the assistant lived, but that its device had been charged to the assistant's own first name. He pled guilty to theft, after earlier being charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

23 iPhones taken from AT&T store

A total of 23 iPhones, valued at a total of more than $20,000, were stolen from a single AT&T store in Ohio over a three-week period, the Dayton Daily News reported. An employee is suspected to be the culprit.

iPad taken from stroller at a wedding

A woman's iPad was stolen from the lower component of a baby stroller, while the baby's mother was attending a wedding. According to the Bothel Reporter, the case has been closed, because "there were no security cameras observing the stroller at the time of the theft and there was no other useful information to be found."

Tracking device catches woman who took iPhone

An Ohio woman was caught taking an iPhone from an area Walmart due to a GPS tracker on the device's box. According to Cleveland.com, police followed the signal and then confronted the woman at a gas station. The woman claimed the device had "accidentally fallen into her bag and that she had just discovered it was there and intended to return it."

Surveillance video contradicted her story.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Seems odd to me that a company as sophisticated as Apple can't 'brick' the display models if they leave the store or are unplugged. Word would get around, eventually.

    Are all the stolen items sold for parts?
    claire1
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Why doesn't Apple ban hoodies from its stores?
  • Reply 3 of 16
    claire1claire1 Posts: 484unconfirmed, member
    Monster lol. They need to destroy themselves from the inside out.

    hentaiboy said:
    Why doesn't Apple ban hoodies from its stores?

    Discrimination does more bad than good.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 16
    Are all the stolen items sold for parts?
    In general, yes. Activation Lock is pretty effective at preventing stolen iOS devices from being resold directly. That also renders the logic board effectively valueless, but the screen, back casing, and a few other parts can still be worth some money.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    Honestly especially with eSIM Apple should look at making sure the devices keep a persistent connection until flashed with the proper version of iOS. They should be unable to be powered off, and as soon as an employee tells the system that they've been stolen they should start giving out as grating of a sound as possible! They should also broadcast their GPS location. It's not as if the devices should be able to disable their eSIM.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 6 of 16
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,674member
    Chilean family in Miami has 18 iPhones stolen
    A family from Chile that visited Miami to get iPhones had 18 XS Max models -- valued at around $18,000 -- stolen from their rental car last week. According to the Miami Herald, the family had planned to bring the phones back to Chile and "hand them out to family members and friends." But the car was broken into while they visited a coffee shop.

    "Imagine buying a just released iPhone and having it stolen. These people bought 18, stopped for coffee, left the phones in the car, and moments later all were stolen," Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said on Twitter, attaching video of a TV news report on the theft.


    Why would you EVER EVER leave your phone in plain sight in there car? 
  • Reply 7 of 16
    macxpress said:
    Chilean family in Miami has 18 iPhones stolen
    A family from Chile that visited Miami to get iPhones had 18 XS Max models -- valued at around $18,000 -- stolen from their rental car last week. According to the Miami Herald, the family had planned to bring the phones back to Chile and "hand them out to family members and friends." But the car was broken into while they visited a coffee shop.

    "Imagine buying a just released iPhone and having it stolen. These people bought 18, stopped for coffee, left the phones in the car, and moments later all were stolen," Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said on Twitter, attaching video of a TV news report on the theft.


    Why would you EVER EVER leave your phone in plain sight in there car? 
    Perhaps they didn’t and instead were observed making the purchase and followed. When the opportunity arose and the phones were unattended, swiped. 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 8 of 16
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Build Apple Store next to police station.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,898moderator
    claire1 said:
    Monster lol. They need to destroy themselves from the inside out.

    hentaiboy said:
    Why doesn't Apple ban hoodies from its stores?

    Discrimination does more bad than good.
    I wouldn’t call that discrimination.  It’s not the hoodie or anything else about the person’s appearance or clothing style that would be initiating profiling of him/her; it’s the fact the person is entering a retail establishment while concealing his/her most identifiable feature, the face.  That’s not profiling; it’s common sense.  
    jony0
  • Reply 10 of 16
    ronnronn Posts: 303member
    hentaiboy said:
    Why doesn't Apple ban hoodies from its stores?
    That would make no sense. Hoodies are worn by everyone. From frat boys, house moms, tech engineers, retirees, etc. Would the ban also apply to anyone wearing a snapback? Sun visor? It's a retail location, not the latest hip club.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    grifmxgrifmx Posts: 76member
    an iPhone accidentally fell into my purse! ahahahahaha! I hate when that happens!
  • Reply 12 of 16
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,932member
    So many car break-in's, especially in CA. You don't want to leave anything of any value in your car, let alone a bunch of brand new iPhones. That has to be a HUGE score for that criminal. There was this news store not long ago about car break-in's, and they were tracking the stuff that was stolen, caught up to one of the people and found the other item, as as they were in their room, the car with all their camera equipment and other items got stolen. You can't make this stuff up. You sure as hell don't leave $18,000 worth of iPhones in your car!!!!! I wouldn't leave anything in plain site that's worth more than $10. Unless you like your car to have a broken window, all for a $20 item.

    As for the mother taking away the phone as punishment, I can why the father is not a part of the family. Going so far as to take this to court? What a a-hole. Who knows what else he's allowing when his daughter is with him. A second phone? Skimpy clothes that MOM wouldn't approve of?
    edited October 2018
  • Reply 13 of 16
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,005member
    hentaiboy said:
    Why doesn't Apple ban hoodies from its stores?
    Dumb ass suggestion.

    Banning hoodies would be a useless act. These guys don't ask permission to enter the store. Even if signs said 'NO HOODIES ALLOWED' they'd just walk right passed the signs and start grabbing goodies.

    Ban hoodies. As if.
    ronn
  • Reply 14 of 16
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,005member

    macxpress said:
    Why would you EVER EVER leave your phone in plain sight in there car? 
    Like that would have made any difference.  

    In both cases of mass thefts, the victims were very likely followed from the store or nearby, with all the Apple bags. You don't make large scale purchases like that without somebody noticing.

    There have been cases were victims were followed to their homes and robbed as they got out of their cars.


  • Reply 15 of 16
    claire1claire1 Posts: 484unconfirmed, member
    claire1 said:
    Monster lol. They need to destroy themselves from the inside out.

    hentaiboy said:
    Why doesn't Apple ban hoodies from its stores?

    Discrimination does more bad than good.
    I wouldn’t call that discrimination.  It’s not the hoodie or anything else about the person’s appearance or clothing style that would be initiating profiling of him/her; it’s the fact the person is entering a retail establishment while concealing his/her most identifiable feature, the face.  That’s not profiling; it’s common sense.  
    Hoodies aren't stocking caps. You can clearly see faces. 

    With the media addicted to Apple hate, I can see an Apple employee asking someone to remove their hoodie doing a lot more damage. Look at the idiot who blamed Apple for removing his movies.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    kenckenc Posts: 185member
    How is Zuckerberg going to buy an iPhone, if you ban hoodies?
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