Daily Apple Store thief sentenced, viral selfie yielded no tips on the Apple crime blotter...

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The FBI hacked an iPhone in the Long Island Iced Tea crypto investigation, a Chinese counterfeiter in a million-dollar fake iPhone ring has been sentenced, and more in the Apple crime roundup.

The Apple Store in Portland
The Apple Store in Portland


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

Viral selfie of iPhone thief yielded no leads

In a Facebook post in early July that went hugely viral, the police department in Kearny, N.J., shared a photo of a man who had allegedly stolen an iPhone, and posted a selfie to the phone owner's Instagram. While the photo of the man's face was widely shared by local and national news outlets, it hasn't led to an arrest in the month since.

The department "did not receive any worthwhile tips with our post," a Kearny detective told AppleInsider in an email, and the case remains unsolved.

Chinese national gets three years for smuggling of counterfeit goods

Jianhua "Jeff" Li, a Chinese man living in the U.S. on a student visa, was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison for his role in a scheme to counterfeit fake iPhones and iPads, and smuggle them into the United States. Per a Justice Department press release, Li had pled guilt to his role in the conspiracy to smuggle more than 40,000 electronic devices and accessories.

The group is believed to have earned more than $1.1 million from the sale of counterfeit electronics in the United States.

Man gets prison for daily Apple Store thefts in Portland

We told you in February about a man who stole from the same Apple Store in Portland, Ore., nearly every day for months and was eventually arrested. Now, per The Oregonian, he's been sentenced to over three years in prison.

The 39-year-old man, who had reportedly been stealing in order to support a drug habit, would run into the store while the guard was missing or distracted. He also admitted he had stolen from other stores.

FBI hacked iPhone in Long Island Iced Tea investigation

The company behind Long Island Iced Tea made headlines two years ago for announcing a pivot to blockchain technology. The government is investigating that pivot and the possibility that was tied to an insider trading scheme- and part of their evidence came from an iPhone that the government successfully hacked.

According to Quartz, investigators are examining messages between two men who have been implicated in the scheme -- and the FBI, in 2018, was able to hack into one of the men's iPhones. It's not clear what model iPhone was involved, but the government did obtain a warrant.

iPhone thief gave employee his ID

It's not normally advised for those planning to steal to give store employees their ID with their name and information, but one accused thief reportedly did just that.

Per Forest Park Review, a 20-year-old Illinois man entered a Walmart, said he wanted to buy two iPhones, and then said he wanted to apply for a credit card in order to pay for them, and handed the employee his state ID and debit card. However, when the employee returned one of the iPhones was gone, and the man's information had been deleted from a computer.

The man was arrested not long after.

$12,000 in iPhones taken from Walmart

Over $12,000 in iPhones were stolen from a Walmart location in Galesburg, Ill. WGIL reports two thieves used a black pry bar that was for sale at the store to pry open a drawer and take the items.

Suspect sought in Chick-fil-A iPad theft

A man who police believe stole an iPad from a Chick-fil-A in Vacaville, Calif., was caught on store security cameras. According to The Reporter, the man showed up just before closing and reportedly swiped the device while employees were distracted.

Women wanted for stealing 24 Apple Watches

Police are looking for two women who they say were responsible for the thefts of 24 Apple Watches from a Walmart in Georgia. Online Athens writes the crime took place in early June, when two suspects pried open a locked case and took the watches, valued at nearly $9,000. An additional theft of two iPads brought the total haul to over $10,000.

DNA from iPhone helped catch accused car thief

iPhones have solved a lot of crimes over the years, but not often because of DNA on them. But just that happened in Louisiana last week. Per The Advocate, a man from Baton Rouge led police on a chase in a stolen car, which he eventually took airborne before crashing into a house. The man then fled, but swabs on an iPhone left at the scene led to a DNA match and the man's arrest.

Have an Apple-related crime story? Email AppleInsider and tell us about it.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,469member
    You can't make this stuff up.

    What I don't get is how an individual has the resources to make and sell counterfeit iPhones and iPads.   There's an awful lot of technology and manufacturing required even if one does a lousy job.   Did these things actually work?   Was it not obvious that they were fakes?   Did they have iOS on them?   Who manufactured them?   Interestingly, if you read the press release, individuals from Italy were involved and this sounds like there might have been mafia involvement.  

    And are a lot of Apple Watches really sold in Walmarts (even though the lowest price one is now only $279)?    One of the reasons Apple started their own retail is because they were unhappy with the way their products were presented and sold in retail.   Can they really be happy with the way their products are sold in Walmarts?   
  • Reply 2 of 8
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,934member
    zoetmb said:
    And are a lot of Apple Watches really sold in Walmarts (even though the lowest price one is now only $279)?    One of the reasons Apple started their own retail is because they were unhappy with the way their products were presented and sold in retail.   Can they really be happy with the way their products are sold in Walmarts?   
    If Apple wants people to be able to buy an Apple Watch I can't see why they wouldn't sell them in WalMart, Target, etc. Not everyone lives close to an Apple Store. I have the original (Series 0) Apple Watch and I got mine at Target on a Black Friday deal.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    Can't all of these stolen devices be tracked via their serial numbers? Can't they be remotely locked or not be activated? Just trying to think of how all these thieves STILL get away with it...
  • Reply 4 of 8
    I hear you, Peterhart...

    ...you'd think every store, every day, automatically, would do an electronic inventory of all the display devices and any not connected to the store's wifi...would be 'bricked!' Automatically!

    Personally, I would never steal anything...I'm not really built for prison. :)
    edited August 4
  • Reply 5 of 8
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,376unconfirmed, member
    What's it with the "social media generation" posting selfies with stupid faces?


    The criminal who posted a selfie on the victims Instagram account.

    macxpress said:
    zoetmb said:
    And are a lot of Apple Watches really sold in Walmarts (even though the lowest price one is now only $279)?    One of the reasons Apple started their own retail is because they were unhappy with the way their products were presented and sold in retail.   Can they really be happy with the way their products are sold in Walmarts?   
    If Apple wants people to be able to buy an Apple Watch I can't see why they wouldn't sell them in WalMart, Target, etc. Not everyone lives close to an Apple Store. I have the original (Series 0) Apple Watch and I got mine at Target on a Black Friday deal.

    My local Wal Mart had such an ugly Apple display I wanted to complain to Apple and let them know how they were devaluing the brand.

    iPhone 6 was already out and they had iPhone 4s on display with ugly cutouts that read "iPod" and "iPhone" on a huge piece of plastic. I have pictures of this somewhere.
  • Reply 6 of 8

    iPhone thief gave employee his ID

    It's not normally advised for those planning to steal to give store employees their ID with their name and information, but one accused thief reportedly did just that.

    Per Forest Park Review, a 20-year-old Illinois man entered a Walmart, said he wanted to buy two iPhones, and then said he wanted to apply for a credit card in order to pay for them, and handed the employee his state ID and debit card. However, when the employee returned one of the iPhones was gone, and the man's information had been deleted from a computer.

    The man was arrested not long after.

    The stupidity of some thieves is unbelievable!
  • Reply 7 of 8
    peterhart said:
    Can't all of these stolen devices be tracked via their serial numbers? Can't they be remotely locked or not be activated? Just trying to think of how all these thieves STILL get away with it...
    I would guess that yes, the devices could be traced by serial or something if one were to try to activate it.  Most thieves realize this and aren't stealing phones and watches to use themselves, they're selling them to parts collectors or shipping them overseas, or to other parts of the country where they're sold to unsuspecting buyers for cheap.  Some numbers I saw a few years ago make me believe most of them get shipped overseas.  Don't know if that's changed or not.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    Arina14Arina14 Posts: 10member
    Someone's clearly not doing their job if this thief whose pic went viral is still free. I mean what are the chances that all of these individuals have seen your face, but you are still not getting caught? How is it that no one has been able to correctly identify the individual, when so many of us have seen his photo?
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