Northern California Apple Store thefts restart, $100K in iPhones lifted from Best Buy & mo...

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San Francisco Bay Area Apple Store thefts restart, plus iPhone thefts around the world including one in which the thieves came back to ask for the passcode, and another by a man who had gotten out of jail moments earlier -- all on the Apple Crime Blotter.

The Apple Store in Palo Alto
The Apple Store in Palo Alto


The latest in an occasional AppleInsider series, a look at the world of Apple-related crime.

Apple Store thefts return to the Bay Area

The massive ring that carried out dozens of Apple Store thefts throughout California last year was busted in the fall, but that doesn't mean such crimes are a thing of the past. In fact, four such incidents have been reported just at the 4th Street Apple Store in Berkeley in the last week. Each time the thieves, according to CBS San Francisco, came into the store, stole the items, and "used brute force" to grab them.

Also this week, thieves shattered the doors of the Apple Store in Palo Alto in a late-night theft, coming away with nine MacBooks. The thieves, however, dropped two of the computers on their way out the door, per Palo Alto Online.

No jail for Belfast Apple Store thieves

Two students from London who were arrested last year for stealing "thousands of dollars" worth of equipment will not receive jail time. According to the News Letter newspaper, the theft was described by one of their lawyers as a "hare-brained scheme," and they received suspended sentences.

iPhone thieves demand phone's passcode

Three men in Wisconsin are accused of stealing a man's iPhone- and then returning to the scene of the crime to ask for the phone's code. Per The Journal Times, one of the thieves went up to a man, asked what gang he was part of, and then punched him, stealing the contents of his pockets which included an iPhone. Then, they drove back and demanded the password.

The three accused thieves are a 21-year-old and two juveniles. The 21-year-old was charged with both robbery with the use of force and two counts of intentionally contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Indian officer's phone stolen while he was distracted

Thieves in India used a distraction tactic in order to steal a police officer's iPhone. According to the New Indian Express, the officer was distracted when a man began banging on his door. While he was distracted, an accomplice banged on the opposite window.

While he was distracted by the second man, the first man reached in and grabbed the officer's phone.

Trio took $100,000 in iPhones from Louisiana Best Buy

Three men were arrested last month for stealing over 100 iPhones, valued at over $100,000 from a Best Buy in Baton Rouge, La, and police believe they were also responsible for similar thefts in other states. According to WAFB, the three men were caught on store surveillance stealing the items from a cabinet and filling a trash can with them. The men were arrested at a motel after police ran the license plates for their car; they were found at a motel along with the stolen iPhones.

Similar burglaries were reported in Texas and Alabama, as well as Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Phone store owners arrested for selling stolen iPhones and iPads

The owners of a Michigan cell phone store have been arrested for buying hundreds of stolen Apple products and selling them nationwide. According to Click On Detroit, the owners of Ace Future Wireless bought items that included the 40 iPads that were stolen from a local schools, and they also bought iPhones that were taken from stores.

They were caught after attempting to buy from an undercover officer.

Florida man steals iPhone from car immediately after jail release

A man in Florida made headlines last week when he stole an iPhone and other items from a car- one that was parked immediately outside the jail from which he had been released moments earlier. According to The Daily Mail, the 34-year-old man walked about 20 feet from the Port St. Lucie jail he'd just gotten out of when he began scoping out cars. Police found the iPhone 7 in his pockets, as well as $547 in cash, a debit card and a driver's license that wasn't his.

He was re-arrested and charged with burglary, grand theft and possession of stolen property.

iPhone thief caught taking selfies

In other South Florida iPhone theft news, a man had his iPhone taken from his work truck while getting gas. Per The Palm Beach Post, the owner of the phone began monitoring his iCloud account remotely, and noticed the thief taking selfies and videos.

iPad helps catch men accused of stealing golf clubs

Three men in New Mexico were served with arrest warrants last week after police say they stole golf clubs from a local golf course, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The three men reportedly stole an iPad, and cash, from a restaurant at the golf course. They went to a pawn shop owned by a former manager of the course, while wearing clothes associated with the golf course. The trio ran away when they noticed the owner was suspicious.

The iPad led authorities to their apartment.

Do you have a story about Apple-related crime? Tell us about it here.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 480member
    What do thieves do with the phones? Can’t Apple track them as soon as they get activated on a network?
  • Reply 2 of 4
    kruegdudekruegdude Posts: 340member
    bulk001 said:
    What do thieves do with the phones? Can’t Apple track them as soon as they get activated on a network?
    I suspect they can be used for parts. 
  • Reply 3 of 4
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,934member
    bulk001 said:
    What do thieves do with the phones? Can’t Apple track them as soon as they get activated on a network?
    eBay? LetGo? Craigslist? The people buying them don't know they're stolen until they try to activate it. By then, the seller is long gone. Even if the seller sold it at say $200 under what a new phone would cost its a gain for them because they didn't pay anything for the phone. 

    Never buy a new iPhone off those sites....just go to Apple, or another Authorized Apple Reseller. If it sounds too good to be true....
    edited April 21
  • Reply 4 of 4
    Why aren't these people stealing Samsung Galaxy S10 units when everyone says they're a lot better than iPhones? One would think there would be more of a demand for the best smartphone available or at least that's what all the tech-heads claim. I'm sure once the Galaxy Fold is widely available, all the lousy thieves will be stealing them by armed robbery. Hey, it's a $2000 wonderphone. /s
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