Crime blotter: Brazen iPad mini warehouse theft, restauranteur fencing stolen MacBooks, mo...

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Besides just a restaurant-owner that was selling pilfered MacBooks, Apple's iPad and iPhones are continuing targets of thefts everywhere, including from a blind man at Six Flags, and trouble at a Kijiji meetup.

The Florida warehouse thief, caught on security video (Hollywood Police Department)
The Florida warehouse thief, caught on security video (Hollywood Police Department)


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

Woman who stole MacBook Pro claimed she "thought she was dealing with terrorists"

A New Hampshire woman was arrested for stealing a $1,300 MacBook Pro from a businessman in a complicated scheme, and claims that she "thought she was dealing with terrorists and she was intercepting their merchandise."

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, a local electrician said that his company bank account had been hacked into in order to make the fraudulent purchase. The accused woman claimed that she had been "contacted by a company that was going to pay her to pick up packages, re-label them and ship them," leading her to believe that she was "dealing with terrorists." She later, however, admitted that she had sold the computer on eBay.

The theft charge was "placed on file" after the woman agreed to pay back the money.

iPhone stolen from blind man at Six Flags

A 34-year-old blind man had his iPhone taken from a Six Flags in Missouri, although police were later able to recover the phone. According to My Leader Paper, the man sent a text to the phone reading "you stole the phone from a blind man," and police later followed Find My iPhone to a residence, where the phone was found in the bushes outside.

500 iPad Minis stolen from Florida warehouse

A masked thief stole 500 iPad Minis from an electronics warehouse in Florida, but was caught on surveillance video while doing so. According to the Sun Sentinel, the thief cut the power cord for the security camera, but not before 14 seconds of the theft were recorded:.



25 iPads taken from California school

Thieves broke into an elementary school in Santa Maria, Calif., and stole 25 iPads in mid-Novemebr. According to KSBY, teachers hope they can track the devices via Find My iPhone.

City employee accused of theft of 1,000 iPads ruled competent to stand trial

We told you last time about the former city employee in Gary, Ind., who was accused of stealing over 1,000 iPads and is now accused of faking an illness that has rendered her unable to speak. Now, a federal judge has determined that the woman, Monique Bowling, is competent to stand trial.

According to Northwest Indiana Times, Bowling is "competent to stand trial and is not suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering her mentally incompetent to the extent that she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against her or to assist properly in her defense."

iPhone stolen at Kijiji meetup

A Canadian man who arranged to meet someone for a transaction through the peer-to-peer e-commerce app Kijiji had the phone stolen, from a counterpart who run away into a waiting car. According to North Umberland News, the thief fled in a red SUV vehicle with Quebec licence plates.

Restaurant owner admits he fenced stolen MacBooks

The owner of a fried chicken restaurant in Champaign, Ill., has admitted that he bought several electronics devices, including MacBook computers, with the intent of reselling them, while knowing the items were stolen. According to the News Gazette, the owner ran an operation where he bought stolen phone and laptops from customers and later sold them overseas.

Caught after police used a confidential informant, the owner was sentenced to probation and home confinement.

iPhone theft ring of teenagers caught in Canada

A group of seven teenagers has been charged in the organized theft of 11 iPhones from a pair of stores in Alberta. According to CBC, the teenagers wore winter clothes and stole phones from both an I-World and a Staples in the same mall. The teenagers were arrested following a brief chase.

Tennessee thieves use pickax to cut hole in roof, steal iPhones and iPads

A cell phone store in Memphis called Smooth Wireless was robbed of more than $60,000 in merchandise, including iPhones and iPads. According to Fox 13 Memphis, the masked thieves cut a hole in the roof with a pick-ax, tore the security system off the wall, and quickly stole the merchandise.

Man in Singapore caught in Apple purchase scam

A man in Singapore was arrested late last month and charged with executing a scam in which he got several people to pay him for Apple products, on which he never delivered. According to Straits Times, the man would collect the money and then disappear.

iPhone stolen from truck outside Wawa

A driver in a white truck and trailer stole an iPhone from another car in the parking lot of a Wawa convenience store in Newtown Square, Pa., according to the Newtown Township Police Department's Facebook page. Commenters on the department's Facebook page recognized the van as possibly belonging to a local tree removal company.

Pickpockets steal iPhones from Cleveland bar

There have been several reports of pickpockets stealing iPhones and other phones from customers at a popular Cleveland bar. According to Fox 8, the thief or thieves have "pilfered a large number of smartphones" from patrons at the Around the Corner bar in the city's Lakewood section. Similar crimes have been reported throughout the downtown area.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    So, apparently it IS child’s play to unlock iOS devices and defeat activation lock. Apparently it is NOT possible for Apple to lock and track these stolen devices. Apparently we’ve been sold a pack of lies about the security of Apple hardware. If not then why does Apple hardware seem to be the first choice among thieves. I’m starting to doubt what Apple says about its products. On the Apple Discussion forums we tell people looking to defeat activation lock after they purchase a second hand device that they are out of luck unless the previous owner unlocks it and removes it from Find My Iphone. Is it all bullshit then?
  • Reply 2 of 11
    lkrupp said:
    So, apparently it IS child’s play to unlock iOS devices and defeat activation lock. Apparently it is NOT possible for Apple to lock and track these stolen devices. Apparently we’ve been sold a pack of lies about the security of Apple hardware. If not then why does Apple hardware seem to be the first choice among thieves. I’m starting to doubt what Apple says about its products. On the Apple Discussion forums we tell people looking to defeat activation lock after they purchase a second hand device that they are out of luck unless the previous owner unlocks it and removes it from Find My Iphone. Is it all bullshit then?
    None of your assumptions are correct. People steal anything just because and people buy stollen goods because they are cheep and don’t think about activation lock and then they are screwed. In the article it literally had an example of find my iPhone helping police find a stolen device. If a warehouse is robbed those devices don’t have anyone signed in to activation lock. 

    I recomend re-reading the article. 
    tycho_macuserzoetmbracerhomie3
  • Reply 3 of 11
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,377member
    I lost my iPhone recently and tracked it using someone else's iPad.  The only problem was trying to remember my password to get into "Find my iPhone".   I was able to track it to a store I shopped in earlier that day, locked the phone and put a message on it that said, "Please leave the phone at the service counter.  I'm coming back for it."    It all worked perfectly, although if the phone had been turned off, I suppose it wouldn't have worked at all.   Now that in itself doesn't mean that it's impossible to defeat the activation lock, but considering how much the police and FBI have reputedly spent to get them broken, I would think it's quite difficult and beyond the means of an ordinary thief.   What I don't understand is who would buy a used device without checking whether it worked or not.   

    And why are there so many people who think it's perfectly okay to steal other people's stuff?   

    And I thought there wasn't much crime in Canada. <g>

    I think Apple has to enable functionality (unless this works already) where you can remotely lock one's device even if it's turned off and then it automatically locks the next time it's turned on.   Otherwise, if the thief shuts off the phone before you get to lock it, you're out of luck.  
  • Reply 4 of 11
    zoetmb said:

    I think Apple has to enable functionality (unless this works already) where you can remotely lock one's device even if it's turned off and then it automatically locks the next time it's turned on.   Otherwise, if the thief shuts off the phone before you get to lock it, you're out of luck.  
    It is already set up like that. Glad you got your phone back. 
    chia
  • Reply 5 of 11
    There's no "N" in restaurateur.

    cincytee
  • Reply 6 of 11
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,571member
    Thieves broke into an elementary school in Santa Maria, Calif., and stole 25 iPads in mid-Novemebr. According to KSBY, teachers hope they can track the devices via Find My iPhone.
    Looks like you really need those iPads in the School system to help with spelling :) 
  • Reply 7 of 11
    It's my understanding that, in the case of unsold, unactivated devices, like those from the warehouse and stores, Apple knows (or could know, the serial numbers of the stolen devices and can effectively "brick" them to make them worthless to the thieves and subsequent purchasers.  Is that correct?

    If that's true, then the only value to the thieves is the ability to sell them to unsuspecting users, or to ship them overseas for sale or parts scavenging.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    they probably also target older people with smartphones... many like my parents don’t have find my iphone etc turned on...
  • Reply 9 of 11
    It's my understanding that, in the case of unsold, unactivated devices, like those from the warehouse and stores, Apple knows (or could know, the serial numbers of the stolen devices and can effectively "brick" them to make them worthless to the thieves and subsequent purchasers.  Is that correct?

    If that's true, then the only value to the thieves is the ability to sell them to unsuspecting users, or to ship them overseas for sale or parts scavenging.
    It’s my understanding they’re usually stolen for the parts these days.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    We traced my grandson’s iphone using “find my iphone” and basically made the phone make sounds, put up a message, and said the phone had been reported stolen. They kept the backpack, and the new “The Duke” football. But left the phone on a bench by a store. They were literally moving around a crowded lot one step ahead. Ditched the phone to make their getaway. We also know the apartments they stopped at while we were getting ready. It worked great. Police couldn’t be bothered.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    Like he said: "Restaurateur" misspelled in headline. It's been two days. Please fix.
    chris.com said:
    There's no "N" in restaurateur.


    edited December 2018
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