Apple crime blotter: Near-daily thefts from an Apple Store, and El Chapo-brand iPhone acce...

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One man reportedly stole headphones and other items from the same Apple Store every day for months, in order to support an expensive drug habit. That and more, in the latest Apple-related crime roundup.

The Apple Store in downtown Portland
The Apple Store in downtown Portland


The latest in an occasional AppleInsider series, looking at the world of Apple crime.

Man stole from Portland Apple Store nearly every day for months

A man in Portland, Ore., stole from that city's Apple Store on a nearly daily basis for several months, according to a probable-cause affidavit cited by Oregon Live. The man would wait for the store's guard to take a break, at which point he would run into the store, steal around $700 worth of Bose headphones or other merchandise, and run back out.

The man, police said, stole in order to support a $150-a-day heroin habit.

Alaska man sentenced for stealing Apple computers

An Alaska man who worked as supervisor for the airline Ravn Alaska has been sentenced on federal charges that he abused his position to steal Apple computers bound for schools in Alaskan villages and then sold them. Breadoflife "Presley" Faiupu, according to the Justice Department statement, was sentenced to five years of probation, with six months of community confinement in a halfway house, in addition to restitution.

Thieves cut into Verizon Store wall to steal 50 iPhones

Two men cut into the wall of a Verizon Store in the Houston area to steal at least 50 iPhones, ABC 13 reported. Police told the station the two thieves cut through the drywall at a vacant adjacent business.

After a brief chase, the two men were arrested.

"Sophisticated" theft scheme resulted in Apple Store purchases

Three suspects are sought for carrying out a multipart theft scheme in Quincy, Mass. According to the Patriot Ledger newspaper, the scheme began with the suspects breaking into lockers at a local YMCA and stealing car keys. They then used the keys to break into cars to steal credit cards, returned the keys to the lockers, and then used the credit cards for fraudulent Apple Store purchases.

Man arrested for armed robbery of cell phone store

Police in Connecticut arrested a man who they say carried out an armed robbery of an AT&T/Sprint Mobile store. The man was one of two suspects who entered the store, pulled a gun, and filled a bag with phones from the store. According to NBC Connecticut, the suspect in custody was arrested outside, when he dropped both an iPhone 8 and a loaded handgun.

He's been charged with robbery, larceny, theft of a firearm, criminal use of a weapon, carrying a pistol without a permit, and breach of peace.

El Chapo's daughter plans iPhone accessories

The notorious Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was convicted last week on ten separate federal counts, including narcotics trafficking, using a firearm in furtherance of his drug crimes and participating in a money laundering conspiracy. But the conviction won't stop Guzman's daughter from selling El Chapo 701-branded products, including iPhone accessories, Complex reported. The line also includes shirts, hats, and cigar accessories.

Guzman, while on the run in 2015, texted with an associate over whether to buy an iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, or the BlackBerry Leap. The drug lord's wife was caught sneaking an unauthorized cell phone into court during the trial in November, although it was never reported what model the phone was.

iPhone theft victim befriends the recipient of her stolen phone

This column has shared a lot of stories about iPhone owners using Find My iPhone to track down their stolen devices, but not many of them have become pen pals with the person who ended up with her stolen iPhone. But that, in fact, happened when Erica Buist had her iPhone stolen from a London bar. Soon after, she heard from someone claiming to be a 16-year-old boy in India who had ended up with her stolen phone.

According to The Next Web, the boy initiated an email correspondence to ask for the iTunes password, and the two traded emails for over a year. The correspondence appears to have ended, after the iPhone was stolen from the teen.

iPhone stolen from funeral directors

A man in the U.K. reportedly entered a funeral home waving a piece of paper and saying something about construction work and painting. Once the man left the funeral directors noticed an iPhone X was missing.

According to Brighton and Hove Independent, the theft has been linked to another incident in which a man entered a tanning salon and exposed himself to a woman.

T-Mobile store employee accused of stealing 14 iPhones

An employee at a T-Mobile store in Texas was reportedly caught stealing 14 iPhones from the store. According to KXAN, after the man was caught, he agreed to pay restitution in exchange for management not calling police.

When he didn't pay, police were called.

Have a crime story for us? Email AppleInsider and tell us about it.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,148member
    Popular products are stolen because they are popular.   I guess the theft reports indicate a healthy market.  Who’da thunk it? 

    When they start stealing Samsungs instead, Apple will be doomed.   DOOOOOMED! (/bender)
    SolilkruppedredradarthekatRay Mas
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Drugs are bad kids mmmmmkay
    edred
  • Reply 3 of 8
    Funny how Surfaces, Pixels and Galaxies never seem to be as popular among the criminal class.
    macseekerlkruppracerhomie3chiaedred
  • Reply 4 of 8
    Wow, one would think that a nearly daily theft of the same item (the first section here with the Bose and AirPods) would alert Apple store management/security to keep a really close eye on those items and identify the culprit much faster than several months. That sort of thing shouldn't take genius-level thinking. 
    edredradarthekat
  • Reply 5 of 8
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,484member
    badmonk said:
    Funny how Surfaces, Pixels and Galaxies never seem to be as popular among the criminal class.
    Well, that’s the problem with brand based coverage in online journalism. You never get the balanced story. We only read about Apple products being stolen. We only read about Apple dealing with class action lawsuits. We only read about Apple’s executive musical chair games. I’m absolutely positive that other tech companies get sued on a daily basis for the same nonsensical reasons Apple does. I’m sure that top end Samsung phones get stolen every day. But there are no tech blogs I know of that are dedicated to Samsung alone like the myriad of Apple tech blogs that are totally focused on the brand, bordering on obsessive coverage of every minutia regarding the company. We have Android tech blogs that encompass the dozens of brands that use the platform but none of them zero in on a specific manufacturer like Apple tech blogs. So unless one is careful you start to believe that only iPhones get stolen, only Apple gets sued, only Apple gets requests from the government, and so on.
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 6 of 8
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,530member
    I am some amazed that a one crook could steal product 'almost daily... for the past fewmonths...'. Obviously, the off-duty cops hired were about as effective as mall-cops, which ironically...

    Reminds me of Sam and Ralph, but with Ralph always getting the upper hand, not Sam.
    edited February 18
  • Reply 7 of 8
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,492member

    Man arrested for armed robbery of cell phone store



    Police in Connecticut arrested a man who they say carried out an armed robbery of an AT&T/Sprint Mobile store. The man was one of two suspects who entered the store, pulled a gun, and filled a bag with phones from the store. According to NBC Connecticut, the suspect in custody was arrested outside, when he dropped both an iPhone 8 and a loaded handgun. 

    He's been charged with robbery, larceny, theft of a firearm, criminal use of a weapon, carrying a pistol without a permit, and breach of peace.

    ...and for being a klutz.  





  • Reply 8 of 8
    macgui said:
    I am some amazed that a one crook could steal product 'almost daily... for the past fewmonths...'. Obviously, the off-duty cops hired were about as effective as mall-cops, which ironically...

    Reminds me of Sam and Ralph, but with Ralph always getting the upper hand, not Sam.
    Usually expensive stuff is in back.  What actual stock that exists is usually smaller ticket items like accessories that are left out in the open on shelving.  You can actually waltz into an Apple Store, buy one of those accessories with the Apple Store App and walk out without anyone batting an eye. No need to wait for a sales associate to ring you out.  That obviously means there is a certain amount of the honor system in play.  Security isn't there for loss prevention so much as to be a visible deterrent.  But I am sure after stealing $300-$600 a day nearly every day for months, someone should have noticed it.  I am sure people steal all the time.  Apple may just write it off as the cost of business but maybe they need to re-evaluate the expensive headphones being unsupervised.  
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