Crime blotter: A California Apple Store robbery is caught on TikTok

in iPhone
In the latest Apple Crime Blotter, Mike Lindell sues the FBI over his seized iPhone, a mayor's security detail stops a robbery near an Apple Store, and "The iPhone Man" is charged as part of a Minneapolis racketeering case.

Irvine Spectrum Apple Store in California
Irvine Spectrum Apple Store in California

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

TikTok video captures Irvine Apple Store robbery

The robbery of the Irvine Spectrum Apple Store in Irvine, Calif, was caught on video and published to TikTok by a user named @golden.me4 on September 24.

The video had over 59,000 likes, 4,900 comments, and nearly 12,000 shares as of Wednesday.

Ex-Walmart employee gets three years for a resale scheme involving 1,000 iPads, and 912 Apple Watches

The same week that two brothers from Miami were sentenced for a $2.2 million hardware fraud, a South Carolina man was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison, for his part in a scheme to steal over $500,000 in electronics from a Pennsylvania Walmart, as AppleInsider reported Wednesday.

According to the Department of Justice the man begin executing a scheme in 2017 to "defraud the company by hiding certain high-end electronic merchandise when it came into the warehouse on delivery trucks; mailing that merchandise via FedEx to addresses in Allentown controlled by the defendant; selling the stolen goods; and sharing the proceeds with others."

At the time of the arrests of the man and his alleged accomplice, Lehigh Valley Live reported that the thefts included 1,000 iPads worth $309,000 and 912 Apple Watches worth $227,000.

Suburban mayor's detail helps foil Chicago Apple Store robbery

An attempted robbery near Chicago's Lincoln Park Apple Store was foiled by the security detail of the mayor of a nearby town, who fired at the alleged assailant.

According to Fox 32, Christopher Clark, the mayor of Harvey, Ill., was leaving the Apple Store when his detail noticed the attempted robbery of an 86-year-old man, taking place in broad daylight. A detail member even fired a weapon at the robber, although no one was injured.

Mike Lindell sues FBI after iPhone is seized

Mike Lindell, the MyPillow founder and election conspiracy theorist, filed a lawsuit against the FBI in mid-September, alleging that the seizure of his iPhone earlier in the month was improper.

Lindell claims the phone was taken from him as he sat in a Hardee's drive-through in Minnesota and that the seizure was unlawful. Per CNN, the Justice Department had a lawful warrant to conduct the search.

The search appears to be connected to an investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election. While initial media reports had not identified the make and model of Lindell's phone, the lawsuit calls it an iPhone.

Defendants in Staten Island gift card case each owe $60,000

The five people who have pled guilty to their part in a $1 million Apple gift card scam each must pay $60,000 in restitution for their part in the scheme, Staten Island Live reports. In addition, two of the five face jail time.

The scheme entailed obtaining gift cards with information stolen from American Express cardholders for a few months in 2021. The cards were used to buy items from the Apple Store at the Staten Island Mall.

12 charged with racketeering for Minnesota theft ring involving "The iPhone Man"

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office has announced criminal charges under racketeering statutes against 12 people who they say operated a cell phone theft ring in downtown Minneapolis over the course of a year, executing over 40 thefts.

The complaint alleges that the ring acted to "systematically steal cell phones, fraudulently transfer funds from the victims' phones to individuals associated with the theft ring, and then sell the stolen cell phones locally and internationally."

The complaint states phones were funneled to one of the defendants, known as "The iPhone Man," who sent shipments of the phones to China.

Smash-and-grab theft at California T-Mobile store targeted iPhone display

Three suspects broke into a T-Mobile store in Orange, Calif, on September 20 and targeted the store's iPhone display. According to KTLA, the store manager said the suspects "went straight towards the iPhone display and started yanking on our iPhone demos," while also taking Samsung phones.

The theft occurred during business hours, and the manager added that such thefts are "common" when new iPhones are released.

iPad stolen from business on two straight days

A business called Dutch Bros, in Bakersfield, Calif., had the iPad that they used as their register stolen on two consecutive days. According to KGET, separate suspects are sought in the two theft, which took place on September 14 and 15.

The suspect in the first theft had distinctive tattoos and was wearing a Death Row Records shirt.

Ex-coach arrested for false invoice involving iPad

A former high school football coach in the Las Vegas area was arrested, in connection with accusations that he falsified an invoice and given a district-owned iPad to a student. According to The Las Vegas Review Journal, the ex-coach, who had since moved on to a job in a different district, had given away the iPad as a "prize" even though he had borrowed the device with a promise that he would return it.

He faces charges of obtaining money by false pretenses, grand larceny, and conspiracy to commit theft. The case also involves a four-wheeler, which had been donated to the school, which he allegedly took without permission.

Facebook post used to catch iPhone thief

A man who was suspected of stealing an iPhone and a wallet from a car parked at a Circle K gas station on September 12 was caught due to a social media blunder. reports surveillance video was captured of the man, and after his photo was distributed to other agencies, he was recognized.

Police found his Facebook page, on which he was shown wearing an ankle monitor, and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office was able to track the ankle monitor and show that he was at Circle K at the time of the theft. He was arrested later that day when officers tracked the ankle bracelet to a specific location.

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  • Reply 1 of 2
    How can suspects break into a store during business hours?
  • Reply 2 of 2
    Why are thieves getting more and more stupid? Seriously how can you openly steal the display models when a store is open and not get caught? And the fact that those phones track your whereabouts anyway. Thieves are getting more and more stupid these days.
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