$115K in iPhones stolen out of one car, $200K in iPhones lifted from Best Buy in the Apple...

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in iPhone edited December 2019
Drug lord's brother plans to sue Apple, ex-Apple engineer had missile documents, and more from the world of Apple-related crime.

The Bridgeport Village Apple Store in Oregon
The Bridgeport Village Apple Store in Oregon


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

Over $100,000 in iPhones stolen from car

Police in Oregon say an uncommonly large cache of iPhones -- worth $115,000 -- were stolen from a woman's car outside the Bridgeport Village Shopping Center in suburban Portland on December 8. According to Oregon Live, the theft took place while the owner of the car shopped at a nearby Apple Store.

Police say a man and woman broke a window in the car and took the iPhones.

Charged Apple engineer had Patriot missile file

Jizhong Chen, the former Apple engineer who was indicted earlier this year for stealing trade secrets, also was in possession of a classified file from the Defense Department's Patriot missile program. According to The Boston Globe, Chen -- who had been working on Apple's self-driving car initiative -- had kept the documents in his home, adding national security implications to his case.

100 iPhones stolen from South Carolina Best Buy

Around a hundred iPhones, worth over $1,000, were stolen from a Best Buy in Summerville, S.C., overnight on Monday. According to The Post and Courier, police arrived at 2:18 a.m. to discover "two open cabinets and iPhone boxes scattered on the ground."

Surveillance video showed that three men wearing hoodies and dark clothing had opened the cabinet using a "Hyper Tough"-brand crowbar.

iPad with pastor's sermons stolen from Georgia church

Police in Hapeville, Ga., have identified a man who they say stole an iPad from an area church, which contained the pastor's past and future sermons. According to Fox 5 Atlanta, the items were stolen in November while Rev. James Pullin was delivering one such sermon.

Brother of Pablo Escobar launches gold Phone promises to sue Apple

We told you back in February about an effort by the daughter of imprisoned Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to sell El Chapo-branded iPhone accessories. Now, the relative of another notorious drug lord is planning a similar play.

Roberto Escobar, the brother of the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, has announced the launch of a foldable gold smartphone which he claims is "unbreakable." According to Sky, the phones feature Pablo Escobar's mug shot as a default screen background, while advertisements from the device sport "scantily dressed models in heels." And not only is Roberto planning to compete with the iPhone, but he also announced plans to sue Apple for $30 billion, for "cheating the people and selling worthless phones."

Oklahoma man accused of embezzling iPhones

A 33-year-old Oklahoma man has been accused of stealing $200,000 worth of iPhones from a Best Buy distribution center where he was working.

According to KXII, the accused thief is out of jail on a $2,500 bond.

Woman arrested for false iPhone purchases

A New Jersey woman was arrested in Connecticut for attempting to buy three iPhones from a Verizon store with a false ID. According to Patch, the woman tried to buy two iPhone 11 Pros and an iPhone 11 Pro Max with what store employees recognized as a fake ID, at which point they contacted the account holder, who was not the woman.

She was charged with two counts of third-degree identity theft, two counts of sixth-degree larceny, credit card theft, second-degree forgery and attempt to commit third-degree larceny.

Two charged in Walmart iPhone scheme

Two people in Indiana have been charged for their parts in an iPhone theft scheme. According to the Journal Gazette, one of the accused conspirators executed the scheme with the help of the other, a Walmart employee, and together they purchased phones by creating fake accounts for false customers. They then sold the phones, making a total of around $15,000.

One of the arrestees was charged with forgery, fraud and theft and one count of corrupt business influence and misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, while the other was charged with 11 counts of fraud and one count of corrupt business influence.

Wave of iPhone robberies in The Bronx

A crew operating in the New York City borough of The Bronx has stolen more than a dozen iPhones directly from people's hands and back pockets. According to CBS New York, the people executing the thefts are between 15 and 18 years old.

Police using iPads in "bait boxes" to catch package thieves

Police departments in the Seattle area, seeking to deal with the problem with package theft heading into the holidays, have begun placing "bait boxes" in front of homes, complete with iPads that help track the false packages. According to Q13, police have already successfully used the tactic on four occasions.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    I look forward to seeing the same set of stories for Huawei phones.
    tokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,185member
    One single woman had $115K worth of iPhones in her personal car....
    parked in a mall parking lot?? WTF?

    1. Why did she want so many phones? At least 75 and as many as 160 iPhones is a lot of phones. 
    2. Why did she leave them unattended in a parking lot as she was apparently by herself. More money than sense?

    Geez... 
    repressthisdysamoriaCarnagezoetmb
  • Reply 3 of 22
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,677member
    100 phones worth “$1,000.”   

    ?
    repressthisdysamoriawatto_cobrazoetmb
  • Reply 4 of 22
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,480member
    We have never heard any information as to whether Apple supports stolen iPhones or not. If someone buys a stolen iPhone and tries to activate it, what happens? Does Apple even keep track of serial numbers and where their devices are shipped and sold? Does Apple know what serial numbers belong to stolen devices? There are literally dozens of posts per day on the Apple Discussion forums asking how to circumvent Activation Lock. The stories are more often than not obviously concocted. So what happens to the iPhones that are stolen? Who buys them and do they get them activated by Apple?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    lkrupp said:
    We have never heard any information as to whether Apple supports stolen iPhones or not. If someone buys a stolen iPhone and tries to activate it, what happens? Does Apple even keep track of serial numbers and where their devices are shipped and sold? Does Apple know what serial numbers belong to stolen devices? There are literally dozens of posts per day on the Apple Discussion forums asking how to circumvent Activation Lock. The stories are more often than not obviously concocted. So what happens to the iPhones that are stolen? Who buys them and do they get them activated by Apple?
    Simple. Apple requires proof of purchase (ie. legal receipt listing iPhone serial number and IMEI), OR the user must know the password of the Apple ID associated with the iPhone. Without these conditions met Apple will not bypass activation lock. 
    Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,016member
    lkrupp said:
    We have never heard any information as to whether Apple supports stolen iPhones or not. If someone buys a stolen iPhone and tries to activate it, what happens? Does Apple even keep track of serial numbers and where their devices are shipped and sold? Does Apple know what serial numbers belong to stolen devices? There are literally dozens of posts per day on the Apple Discussion forums asking how to circumvent Activation Lock. The stories are more often than not obviously concocted. So what happens to the iPhones that are stolen? Who buys them and do they get them activated by Apple?
    We have two very different scenarios here. The first is one stolen from an owner that has been using it (like one of the pick pocketed ones in this article). Most of those will have activation lock enabled and those will have very little value to the thieves.

    The second (and is our big question mark) is one stolen from a store/distribution center that isn't activation locked and ideally the stolen ones have their serial numbers recorded. Obviously the distributor would have to send those serial numbers to Apple to enable those to prevent their activation.
    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    gatorguy said:
    One single woman had $115K worth of iPhones in her personal car....
    parked in a mall parking lot?? WTF?

    1. Why did she want so many phones? At least 75 and as many as 160 iPhones is a lot of phones. 
    2. Why did she leave them unattended in a parking lot as she was apparently by herself. More money than sense?

    Geez... 
    i was wondering about this one, too. Is this going to become its own story later? Was it a police bait scenario like the bait doorstep packages?
  • Reply 8 of 22
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,741member
    gatorguy said:
    One single woman had $115K worth of iPhones in her personal car....
    parked in a mall parking lot?? WTF?

    1. Why did she want so many phones? At least 75 and as many as 160 iPhones is a lot of phones. 
    2. Why did she leave them unattended in a parking lot as she was apparently by herself. More money than sense?

    Geez... 
    When I buy a big-ticket item at an Apple store, I assume I'm being watched on some level so when I walk to my car, that's the end trip.  I get in it and drive away.  

    It's like an armored truck doing a delivery/pickup.  There's a lot of money and one has to be aware of their surroundings.  From the article, the duo was obviously scouting and saw this woman buying lots of phones and doing multiple trips to her car.  At least they have photos of the thieves and the car driven so hopefully they'll be caught soon.  Would be interesting to see an update on this article.

    This women... geez... some people are a few cards short of a full deck.
    edited December 2019 Carnagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Some woman driving around with $115,000 in iPhones in their car.

    And they leave the car unattended and the phones in plain sight inside the car?

    Yep, nothing suspicious there at all.

    I feel real sorry for the woman (NOT....).
    edited December 2019 ITGUYINSDCarnagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Over a hundred grand’s worth of phones sitting in a car. 

    Why do I get the feeling that a crime was already in progress when the phones were stolen?
    DAalsethITGUYINSDMisterKitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    Rayz2016 said:
    Over a hundred grand’s worth of phones sitting in a car. 

    Why do I get the feeling that a crime was already in progress when the phones were stolen?
    Well, this was in Oregon, where most buyers go who plan to buy phones to be sold overseas, due to the lack of sales tax there. So she was probably just buying these for resale. But to leave so many unattended... sheesh. 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    sdw2001 said:
    100 phones worth “$1,000.”   

    ?
    They were iPhone 3GS models 😀.
    sdw2001watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
          The phones could be sold for parts?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,741member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Over a hundred grand’s worth of phones sitting in a car. 

    Why do I get the feeling that a crime was already in progress when the phones were stolen?
    Well, the original news article said it was a couple that were scouting the lady when they noticed she was buying lots of phones and making multiple trips to her car that moment.  The woman was the lookout while the guy broke into the car.

    Either way, I have little sympathy for the woman for being so ignorant of her surroundings.  If I have that much in my car, let alone in plain site, I drive away immediately and make sure I'm not being followed.  Stupid to say the least!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    fred1fred1 Posts: 835member
    Reading the second to the last story, I thought it said “the people executing the thieves”.  One can only hope . . .
    edited December 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 22
    apple ][ said:
    Some woman driving around with $115,000 in iPhones in their car.

    And they leave the car unattended and the phones in plain sight inside the car?

    Yep, nothing suspicious there at all.

    I feel real sorry for the woman (NOT....).
    Way to blame the victim here.  Good going.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 17 of 22


    Police using iPads in "bait boxes" to catch package thieves

    Police departments in the Seattle area, seeking to deal with the problem with package theft heading into the holidays, have begun placing "bait boxes" in front of homes, complete with iPads that help track the false packages. According to Q13, police have already successfully used the tactic on four occasions.


    Were they taking lessons from Mark Rober?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_TSR_v07m0

    StrangeDays
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    tokyojimu said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Over a hundred grand’s worth of phones sitting in a car. 

    Why do I get the feeling that a crime was already in progress when the phones were stolen?
    Well, this was in Oregon, where most buyers go who plan to buy phones to be sold overseas, due to the lack of sales tax there. So she was probably just buying these for resale. But to leave so many unattended... sheesh. 
    Ah, I see. 
  • Reply 19 of 22
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    apple ][ said:
    Some woman driving around with $115,000 in iPhones in their car.

    And they leave the car unattended and the phones in plain sight inside the car?

    Yep, nothing suspicious there at all.

    I feel real sorry for the woman (NOT....).
    Way to blame the victim here.  Good going.
    Alleged victim. The story sounds fishy.

    And I don't really care if somebody gets hacked if the password to their iCloud account is "password" and I don't really care about somebody leaving $115,000 worth of iPhones in their car unattended and in plain sight.

    At a certain point, people are responsible for their own actions, and bad things tend to happen more often to very stupid and/or careless people.

    Leaving a bunch of brand new still in the box iPhones in your car unattended and in plain sight is basically inviting crime. Nobody should be surprised by the outcome.


    edited December 2019 watto_cobrazoetmb
  • Reply 20 of 22
    apple ][ said:
    Some woman driving around with $115,000 in iPhones in their car.

    And they leave the car unattended and the phones in plain sight inside the car?

    Yep, nothing suspicious there at all.

    I feel real sorry for the woman (NOT....).
    Way to blame the victim here.  Good going.
    From the linked article:
    "Cooper did not know why the shopper had purchased so many phones, but said it’s not uncommon for customers to make such large purchases from the Apple Store, especially because Apple released the new iPhone 11 a few months ago. He said he didn’t know how many iPhones the customer bought, but that the purchase totaled around $115,000. According to Apple’s website, iPhone 11 prices start at $699."

    I can't see any reason why one person would buy over 100 phones at once. If purchased for a business, wouldn't you just order them from Apple directly? Seems odd to me.


    gatorguywatto_cobra
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