Crime blotter: AirDrop Cyberflashing rises, iPad theft leads to high-speed chase, and Appl...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2018
Two Apple thefts in the same part of New Jersey, an indictment for a professor who spent thousands of federal grant money on Apple purchases, and more, in AppleInsider's latest in an occasional series, looking at the world of Apple-related crime.

The Airdrop feature
AirDrop

Tracking of stolen iPad leads to chase, shots fired

The theft of an iPad from a car outside a fitness center led to a high speed chase after police tracked the device and pursued the vehicle. According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, a pair of 17-year-olds stole the iPad, which was then tracked to a car that had also been stolen from an airport car rental lot.

The ensuing chase, which included shots fired from police, ended when police stopped the car using spike strips. Following the forced stop, the drivers got out and ran across I-85.

They were both captured on foot, with one running across eight lanes of traffic, and the other later found hiding under a woodpile.

"Cyberflashing," via AirDrop, reportedly on the rise

The act of sending lewd photos to unsuspecting strangers' phones through AirDrop- known as "cyberflashing," is allegedly on the rise, according to a local news report. CBS 3 in Philadelphia references recent reports that New York lawmakers are seeking to "help prosecute the digital sexual harassment."

There aren't any statistics shared to show how prevalent the practice is, but users are advised to adjust their privacy features.

$3,000 in iPhones taken from N.J. Target

A group of thieves took display iPhones worth a total of over $3,000 from a Target in Marlton, N.J., the Cherry Hill Courier Post newspaper reported. The theft, which took place Nov. 28, took just four minutes, and the thieves fled in a Dodger Charger.

Couple tries to use stolen card For $5,000 Apple Store purchase

At that same Target last month, a couple used a stolen credit card to spend $900 and then attempted a $5,000 purchase at a nearby Apple Store which was declined. Police say the man and woman stole the card by lifting a woman's purse at a Whole Foods.

The suspects got away.

Elderly man falls for "sophisticated" iPhone scam

An 81-year-old Florida man last month fell for an online scam that entailed buying and selling a shipment of iPhones. According to WFLA, he was offered $200 per transaction in order to send a shipment of iPhones- but once he bought the phones, a man immediately pulled up and stole the items out of his car.

After the theft, the "employers" asked him to buy eight more phones -- which he did -- and then didn't hear from the scammers again.

Professor spent thousands in grant money on Apple products

A former college professor has pled guilty to federal charges that he stole money earmarked for federal research grants and spent it on purchases from Apple, Amazon, and eBay. Jichun Zhang, a former Research Associate Professor at the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space (EOS) spent a total of $6,900 worth on improper purchases. According to a news story in Seacoast Online earlier this year that cited the indictment, Zhang made one Apple purchase totaling $2,569.

Sentencing is set for March 2019.

Credit card scam perpetrators bought Apple products

A duo was recently indicted on federal charges that they carried out a scam to bribe Postal Service employees to give them credit cards stolen from the mail. And when they used them, they favored Apple products with their ill-gotten gains. According to Patch, when the scam operated beginning last year, the perpetrators often used the stolen cards to purchase "Apple MacBook Pro devices and other Apple products."

They face numerous charges, including bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.

MacBook Pro stolen from DJ

A disc jockey who performs around nightspots near Colchester in the U.K. had the MacBook Pro he uses for his DJ sets stolen from the bar where he works. According to Gazette News, a man was caught on CCTV entering the bar and taking the 15-inch laptop, which contained the entire collection of music he uses when performing.

Man and boy arrested after thefts in Chicago suburbs

Two people, an 18-year-old man and a juvenile boy, were arrested after carrying out thefts of iPhones and iPads from Sprint and T-Mobile stores west of Chicago. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the two each face four counts of burglary and theft, and two of their accomplices remain at all.

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

linkman

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    Should Apple be blamed for thieves of their choice towards valuable Apple merchandise.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    A group of thieves took display iPhones worth a total of over $3,000 from a Target

    In other words, they took two phones.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Tower72Tower72 Posts: 20unconfirmed, member
    We recently had an ATT store robbed at gunpoint 9 min after opening. Looks like iPads and iPhones were taken as well. In and out in 90 seconds
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Is it really "cyberflashing" when you send somebody hello.jpg to let them know they probably shouldn't leave their AirDrop wide open?
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Perhaps Airdrop should not automatically preview images from strangers.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    Tower72Tower72 Posts: 20unconfirmed, member
    darkvader said:
    Is it really "cyberflashing" when you send somebody hello.jpg to let them know they probably shouldn't leave their AirDrop wide open?
    I do not see how this could be cyberflashing. You are doing them a service sending a hello.jpg . But if you include your junk in it, then its a problem
    edited December 2018
  • Reply 7 of 12
    tokyojimu said:
    A group of thieves took display iPhones worth a total of over $3,000 from a Target

    In other words, they took two phones.
    My thoughts exactly.  Maybe 5 if they went for the 7s instead of the newest ones.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    dipdog3 said:
    Perhaps Airdrop should not automatically preview images from strangers.
    Perhaps you should realize that it does not by default.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,029member
    The way the Gazette article is written makes it sound like the DJ had his only copy on the Mac of "around six years worth of original music he had produced. The music I created is priceless to me," he said. "I am in a bad position at the moment because all of my music collection which I use to DJ was also on that laptop."

    If your livelihood depends on digital data then make sure you have a backup. Or multiple backups in diverse locations. If you value your data then BACKUP YOUR STUFF PEOPLE! It is so much cheaper/easier to back it up than recover it -- if it can be recovered at all.
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 10 of 12
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    Should Apple be blamed for thieves of their choice towards valuable Apple merchandise.
    No - but you shouldn’t be surprised either as a once innovative company becomes an overpriced commodity seller and a symbol of high-conjuncture to the have-nots.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    linkman said:
    The way the Gazette article is written makes it sound like the DJ had his only copy on the Mac of "around six years worth of original music he had produced. The music I created is priceless to me," he said. "I am in a bad position at the moment because all of my music collection which I use to DJ was also on that laptop."

    If your livelihood depends on digital data then make sure you have a backup. Or multiple backups in diverse locations. If you value your data then BACKUP YOUR STUFF PEOPLE! It is so much cheaper/easier to back it up than recover it -- if it can be recovered at all.
    Completely agreed.  And backup doesn't have to be expensive.  If an online backup service like Carbonite, or one of the many others, won't work for you, then a couple of external USB hard drives in separate safety deposit boxes should.  A friend of mine uses both.  In addition to the online backup, he has two USB drives.  One is in the bank, one is on the desk.  Once a month, he takes the one from his desk, verifies that the drive itself is still working properly, takes it to the bank, exchanges the drives, brings the other one home, does the verification again, hooks it up, syncs the backups, and starts the cycle all over again.
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