Nude photo texts and iPhones switched for fruit in the Apple Crime Blotter

in iPhone
iPhone evidence catches a mail fraud conspiracy, a police department recommends AirTags in cars, and Apple device orders replaced with fruit.

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

Ex-trooper pleads guilty texting himself woman's nude photos

A former Minnesota state trooper who was accused in thesummer of 2020 of texting himself a nude photo from a woman's phone has pled guilty to the offense. According to NBC News, the trooper responded to the scene of a suspected drunken-driving crash and used the woman's phone to text himself intimate images.

The officer was caught when the boyfriend of the woman, whose phone was synched with her MacBook, discovered that the photos had been sent to an unknown number. This led the boyfriend to call the number.

The officer, who has since been fired, pled guilty to misdemeanor nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images and agreed to two years of probation.

iPhone evidence busts mail fraud conspiracy

Two Dominican nationals have pled guilty to a mail fraud scheme that was busted in part due to evidence obtained from an iPhone.

According to a Department of Justice press release, the two men admitted to "using stolen personal identification information to obtain high-end electronic devices such as cell phones, laptop computers, tablets, and watches."

The defendants were caught in a Customs and Border Patrol raid in April 2020, in which electronic devices were seized. A review of one of the iPhones revealed much information, including fraudulent driver's licenses and other details of the scheme.

Police department recommends AirTags be used to avoid car thefts

One Connecticut police department is recommending that car owners place AirTags inside their cars in order to avoid car thefts. According to Patch, the area has seen a large recent uptick in car thefts, and the AirTags are seen as a way to mitigate the problem.

Citizens are also advised to lock their cars and otherwise secure valuable items.

iPhones meant for delivery in Thailand were replaced by fruit

A food preparer in Thailand was meant to receive eight used iPhones from relatives but opened the box only to find that they had been replaced by a single mango fruit.

According to Bangkok Post, a staffer of the parcel delivery company, Flash Express was responsible for the theft. The woman meant to receive the iPhones contacted Apple, and traced the devices to Bang Rakam. In a Facebook post, the woman accused the company of refusing to help her, but they later apologized.

Police later found the suspected thief, who denied any involvement, although the stolen phones later rang nearby.

Find My iPhone tracks, catches accused church thief

Police in Washington state used the Find My iPhone function to catch a man suspected of stealing from two local churches.

According to KPQ, police found $10,000 worth of stolen items reportedly stolen from five different victims. While police found two Apple computers, they did not find the iPad that they had tracked to the residence.

Police seek suspects who stole "bags full of MacBooks

The Knoxville Police's Property Crimes Unit is seeking two suspects who they say stole "two bags full of Apple MacBooks" from an area Best Buy. The two are said to have left the store in a dark-colored sedan.

The Best Buy was located on Towne and Country Boulevard in Knoxville.

Apple Watches said to be calling 911 by mistake

One police department in Kansas says that they have been frequently receiving mistaken 911 calls from Apple Watch users. According to WKRN, the police in Overland Park, Kansas, have gotten many such calls.

When the officers call back, which is mandated when people call the police and hang up, they are often told the call came from an Apple Watch and was accidental.

iPhones reportedly being stolen, for bank access, in Brazil

A rash of iPhone thefts in Brazil is meant not to use or resell the phones, but rather to access bank accounts, reporting on the crimes from that country claims.

According to the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, as cited by India Today, those who own iPhone 11 and XR models have noticed that if their phone was stolen, they have also had bank accounts hacked. It is a particular gang in Sao Paolo doing so, per the report.

"Robbers noticed how much information people put in their phones. Usually, Waze users in the car with an Android smartphone are their main focus. Although breaking an iOS system is more difficult, they have also specialized in it," the local police chief in the report.

Find My iPhone leads to 70-year-old on the beach

Police in Ontario recently used the Find My service to try to solve the theft of an iPhone and a pair of shoes, both of which had taken from an area beach. Blackburn News reports the iPhone was found in the possession of a 70-year-old man, who was charged with theft under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000.

iPhone, wallet with $1,000 stolen from shopping cart

Pennsylvania State Police are looking into a theft of an iPhone 11 and a wallet containing $1,000 in cash and credit cards - all from a shopping cart at a Tractor Supply store in Somerset County.

According to We Are Central PA, troopers have been warning of items being stolen from shopping carts.

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  • Reply 1 of 3
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,532member
    But everyone keeps telling me police are divine saints who do no harm???????

    Also the a find My story is funny how they used a stolen iPad to find the location but couldn’t actually find the iPad that led them there. He must have hid it good! This is why you need a new iPhone to help you find your items. It has accurate tracking down to the foot. 
    edited June 20 dysamoriadarkvader
  • Reply 2 of 3
    Beats said:
    But everyone keeps telling me police are divine saints who do no harm???????

    Also the a find My story is funny how they used a stolen iPad to find the location but couldn’t actually find the iPad that led them there. He must have hid it good! This is why you need a new iPhone to help you find your items. It has accurate tracking down to the foot. 
    ...and in 9/9 of these stories, the police are the ones that collect evidence of the wrongdoers, including the Trooper that did wrong, and was fired, convicted, and has two years of probation.  Police aren't divine saints, and I have been on both sides of the police story, as a person needing the police and someone that had the police called on me, which leads me to your second point...

    On 9/11/19, my stuff was stolen from where I work, and here's the synopsis of what happened.
    4:50pm - Found my backpack emptied, my work laptop askew (it was tethered to the desk), and my stuff gone, including an aviation headset, my iPad, and later, I found out charge cords and my wireless mouse (the nano dongle was still in my laptop, so it was evident it was a "grab and go" activity.  Note that this is a open area of a factory, with lots of visibility.

    5:10pm - After calling the security at my company, and filing a report with them, I called the local police, and they said they'd "send someone over to take a report."  I told them I'd wait outside the gates of the company, so to make it easier.  I took pictures of the area with my work phone, where the stuff was stolen.

    5:12pm - on my way to my car, I realized that my iPad was cellular, and I could use Find Friends on it, and discovered it was about 2 miles from where I used to live, in an apartment building.

    5:13pm - called 911 to let the police know I was on my way over to where the iPad was, as it hadn't moved.  I checked a few times on the way over, and it didn't move, so I felt safe in the assumption that my stuff was in the apartment building.  I was told not to "get my stuff back" and "someone would be with me in a 'few minutes'"

    6:00pm - arrived at the place where my stuff was, and parked outside a mini-mart.  I was thirsty, so I went inside to get something to drink.  After returning to the car, did another Find Friends to see that the iPad had moved to the corner of the street, where I saw a car with two people, a large well built 6'2" man and a woman, approximately 5'2" and about 110lbs at a car with a bunch of backpacks in it.  I called 911 to let them know that I think that these are the people, and asked where the police were.  They told me they were busy, and would get back to me "real soon".

    6:45pm - my phone is going dead, and after the two people going through all of the backpacks, they decide to push the car to a gas pump.  I move my car to where they were, and get out of the car to get a charge cord.  I was pretending to be on the phone arguing with my wife about how she beat me up, so that when the police come to talk to me, it doesn't seem like they're there for these two.  I walk around talking loudly about how she threw hot soup on me and beat me with the pans, and how I'm afraid to come home.  I did all of this while taking pictures of these two.  Note to self:  Next time you try this, do a video.  All of the pictures looked like "bigfoot pictures".

    6:50pm - on the way out of the store, the young woman stops me and asks for gas money.  This is too funny.  I apologize to her, and told her I didn't have any cash.  Then I yell into the phone that "this isn't my girlfriend.  You cheated on me!!!"  The young woman apologizes, and I cover the phone and apologize to her, and that "she (my wife) is crazy."

    7:00pm I call 911 again from the car, and let them know that they're out of gas, and if they get there, they can get them.  I'm told that the police will get back to me "right away".

    7:15pm  They get money, and start pumping gas.  I call 911, who patches me through to the police, who then interrogate me:  
    "Did you see the things that were stolen?"  
    "No, I was told not to confront them."  
    "Well, if you didn't see it, file a police report."  
    "You know if you come to me, I can make the iPad say, "Arrest these people, Officer Worthless (not his real name)", but I thought if I made it make all kinds of noises, then the tracking feature would be rendered useless when they tossed it out of the car."  Wait... they're leaving."
    "Do not follow them"
    "They're going the same direction as the place I live.  And look, my iPad is tracking along with them.  Who'd have thought?"
    "Well, you need to file a police report."
    "You're worthless.  You have the easiest crime to solve, and you just sat on your [email protected]#$ when you could have done something about it.  I'll file the report, and have a wonderful night."
    "Well. " *click*

    8:00pm  I get home, and go online to file the police report, and discover my flight log, with about $12,000 in flight records is missing.  This increases the value of my items to >$15,000 ($12000 for the logbook information, $1500 for the headset, and $1500 for the iPad)

    9:00pm I call the police department with this information, and they tell me to come down there.  I ask if Officer Worthless is there, and they tell me he has gone home for the night.  

    10:00pm The police get the information from me directly, and it turns out my iPad is dutifully reporting that it is there, about 2 miles from my home.

    11:00pm  The police let me know they have my stuff, and I can pick it up at 4am the next morning.  I am asked about a computer they had from my company, and I tell them I'll look into it.

    4:00am  I go to the police station and get my stuff back

    6:00am  I go to work and become the stuff of legend.  Everyone laughs at the detail I took.

    The guy was arrested on possession of stolen property, possession of controlled substances, and possession of a stolen vehicle.  In gratitude, they returned all my stuff unharmed, and included things I didn't realize were stolen, but were mine.  I didn't get anything that wasn't mine, and didn't notice anything else missing.

    about a month later, a detective calls me, and after the initial interview, starts laughing as we are going through the report I gave them.  He asked what I did, and understood my frustration when he read back the 911 call.  He said this was one of the easiest cases he had to put together.

    Note to AI:  I can give you all of the case details, if you like.
  • Reply 3 of 3

    One Connecticut police department is recommending that car owners place AirTags inside their cars in order to avoid car thefts. According to Patch, the area has seen a large recent uptick in car thefts, and the AirTags are seen as a way to mitigate the problem. 

    Citizens are also advised to lock their cars and otherwise secure valuable items.
    You'd think a police department spokesperson would learn to speak more precisely.

    Simply adding an AirTag to a car will do precisely nothing to "avoid theft".  It might allow easier tracking, assuming a sufficiently well hidden AirTag's signal can penetrate a car's frame (seems plausible to me, but I might have to try that with my one AirTag), but given the nature of the safeguards Apple has put in place to prevent stalking, that seems unlikely for more than a short period of time.  Maybe.

    Apple was right to downplay the theft detection possibilities of AirTag.
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