Crime blotter: Arrest in case of iPhone taped to airplane toilet

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 21

In the latest Apple Crime Blotter, an executive sues Apple over a stolen iPhone, a prisoner stands accused of using iPad to solicit minors, and a pig enters the Apple Store in Brazil.

The Apple Store in Rio
The Apple Store in Rio



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

iPhone found taped to airplane toilet leads to arrest



In September of 2023, a family complained that they found an iPhone taped to the lid of a toilet on an American Airlines plane when their daughter used that bathroom, and they claimed a male flight attendant was responsible. Later, they filed a lawsuit.

On January 18, the man believed responsible was arrested. According to WCNC, citing the FBI, the man has been charged with one count of attempted sexual exploitation of children and one count of possession of child pornography depicting a prepubescent minor. Per the complaint, the man had encouraged the girl to use that specific first-class bathroom. A search of the man's iCloud account found more videos of minors using the bathroom on planes.

Executive who sued Apple claims he lost massive data after iPhone theft



An executive named Michael Matthews, who is based in Minnesota, had his iPhone stolen by a pickpocket while traveling in Arizona in December of 2023. According to CBS News, much worse things happened afterward, leading Matthews to sue Apple in federal court.

According to the story, the thieves took his iPhone, were able to hack into it, and disabled his ability to access it remotely. They gained access to his Apple ID and Apple Pay accounts, while also resetting his Recovery Key.

Matthews' attorney alleges that in making this possible, "Apple has made a policy decision to assist and perpetuate the lawlessness of criminals over the ownership and privacy rights of its users."

Serial iPad thief sought in California



Police believe the same man is responsible for several thefts of iPads from Target stores throughout Southern California. ABC 7 reports the Irvine Police Department has released a video of the man grabbing an iPad from a store employee.

The thefts, per police, have added up to about $39,000 in damages.

#FelonyFriday - In October, we asked for help identifying a serial burglar suspected of stealing from Target stores throughout Southern California. The suspect has continued his crime spree, and the estimated loss to Target is $39,000. In the most recent cases, the suspect pic.twitter.com/M1ZmOZajAF

-- Irvine Police Department (@IrvinePolice)

Prisoner accused of using iPad to solicit photos from minors



A man incarcerated in a Texas prison has been accused of using a prison-issued iPad to attempt to "coerce five young girls into sex" and solicit nude photos, KSET reported.

The 36-year-old inmate was charged with online solicitation of a minor under 14 years of age, and the investigation turned up something unusual, per the report. He had been using the iPad for "communicating with his wife, who is also his first cousin," and the wife is also married to another man, leading to potential bigamy charges.

His wife had been ordered to cease contact with the prisoner, to regain custody of her children.

Chicago schools lost millions worth of iPads, report says



The Inspector General of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has issued an annual report, showing that the district reported more than 77,000 tech devices, worth about $23 million, in the 2021-22 school year. The lost devices included "laptops, iPads, Wi-Fi hotspots, printers, document cameras, and interactive whiteboards."

"In a District of our size, some device loss is expected, but we remain concerned about the loss of any public asset," CPS said in a statement to Fox News, which reported on the release. "Our CPS team will work to streamline our system for tracking resources, including devices while enforcing compliance with Board policy."

A similar report in November, in Minneapolis, found that that district had lost track of thousands of iPads and laptops.

Woman chided after bringing her pig to Apple Store in Brazil



A woman brought her pet pig into an Apple Store in Rio de Janeiro, where the pig repeatedly defecated but the woman made no effort to clean it up. According to The Daily Mail, customers in the store "could be seen keeping their distance and staring at the woman in shock as she stood near the entrance without showing an intent to remove her four-legged pet's droppings."

The video was publicized after it was shared on Instagram by a Brazilian political consultant, although there's no indication that the woman was arrested or faced any other discipline.

Teen has AirPods stolen after he was followed home



A teen in Solihull in the U.K. had his AirPods stolen after he was followed home from an area train station. Birmingham Live reports the incident took place just before Christmas, and police posted a video on January 17:

#APPEAL | We want to speak to these three men following a robbery in #Dorridge #Solihull.

A teenager had his Apple AirPods stolen after he was followed from Dorridge train station on 23 December. pic.twitter.com/PeuU1d0Nim

-- Solihull Police (@SolihullPolice)

Judge releases medical records in iPhone theft that led to shooting



A Florida judge has agreed to the release of medical records related to the June 2023 shooting that was carried out as part of an iPhone theft. According to Naples Daily News, the state had sought EMS and emergency-room records related to the death of a 19-year-old who was shot during an iPhone robbery.

A 17-year-old was charged in the case and pled not guilty.





Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    XedXed Posts: 2,704member
    The 36-year-old inmate was charged with online solicitation of a minor under 14 years of age, and the investigation turned up something unusual, per the report. He had been using the iPad for "communicating with his wife, who is also his first cousin," and the wife is also married to another man, leading to potential bigamy charges. 

    Wow!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 5
    I am experiencing the same thing as the executive whose phone was stolen. In my case, a scammer called me stating that he was from Goldman Sachs Apple Card. He said a large charge against my card had occurred. Sure enough, I looked and $11K had been charged. I assumed he was legit because Apple has told us all how secure their card is and unhackable. After an hour of talking to him (thought he was legit since he already had my info - don't know how since we are very careful) and with my wife talking to Goldman (who refused to verify whether the guy was theirs or not) he hung up. In the process, he changed my second-level verification phone number and locked my iPhone. It is now approaching month 2 of Apple's "Elite Investigator Team" refusing to release my iCloud account or unlock my phone. As did the executive, I have over 30 years of data on the phone. It is all backed up on 2 different drives and in iCloud, but Apple's backup system won't let another phone restore from it. I cannot update my Home Pods or Apple TVs (3 in all) since they are linked to the phone. My $850 brand new Ultra 2 Watch is a brick for the same reason. I had to buy another phone just to use my phone number and very minimal data exchange. Even stuff I use on my MacBook Pro cannot be shared even though I can use some of it on the MacBook because that data is tied to the phone. I am about to talk to a lawyer. I have been working with Apple's team, but now I think they are ghosting me. I am at a loss and the mental strain has been extreme. I have been using Apple stuff exclusively since 1985. I was one of their best evangelists. Never again will I tie so many things to one platform. I advise others not to now.
    dewmeretrogustoronn
  • Reply 3 of 5
    XedXed Posts: 2,704member
    respencer said:
    I am experiencing the same thing as the executive whose phone was stolen. In my case, a scammer called me stating that he was from Goldman Sachs Apple Card. He said a large charge against my card had occurred. Sure enough, I looked and $11K had been charged. I assumed he was legit because Apple has told us all how secure their card is and unhackable. After an hour of talking to him (thought he was legit since he already had my info - don't know how since we are very careful) and with my wife talking to Goldman (who refused to verify whether the guy was theirs or not) he hung up. In the process, he changed my second-level verification phone number and locked my iPhone. It is now approaching month 2 of Apple's "Elite Investigator Team" refusing to release my iCloud account or unlock my phone. As did the executive, I have over 30 years of data on the phone. It is all backed up on 2 different drives and in iCloud, but Apple's backup system won't let another phone restore from it. I cannot update my Home Pods or Apple TVs (3 in all) since they are linked to the phone. My $850 brand new Ultra 2 Watch is a brick for the same reason. I had to buy another phone just to use my phone number and very minimal data exchange. Even stuff I use on my MacBook Pro cannot be shared even though I can use some of it on the MacBook because that data is tied to the phone. I am about to talk to a lawyer. I have been working with Apple's team, but now I think they are ghosting me. I am at a loss and the mental strain has been extreme. I have been using Apple stuff exclusively since 1985. I was one of their best evangelists. Never again will I tie so many things to one platform. I advise others not to now.
    1) I'm sorry for the issues you're having and scammers are truly horrible, but personal responsibility is also key to protecting yourself (and your family).

    2) When did Apple say that their card was "unhackable"?  There is better security when using Apple Pay over a physical card due to the virtual number and tokenization, but that's everything in Apple Pay, and does not translate to the physical Apple Card. The same goes for Samsung Pay and Google Pay (or whatever Alphabet calls it now).

    3) Does it really need to be said that you don't engage in-bound finanical/account calls? In the past, you could if you recognized the voice, like if your personal broker called you, but these days you need call them back at the number you have saved in your contacts or from a number you find on their legitimate website.

    4) You can avoid nearly all of these issues with complex passcodes, unique passcodes, and 2FA. I'm guessing you don't use a robust password manager so I would implore you to consider one moving forward. People balk at a few dollars a month for 1Password, but when I hear stuff like this I know that it's well worth it. With a family plan it can be as low as 99¢ per user per month.
    ForumPostwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 5
    Xed said:
    respencer said:
    I am experiencing the same thing as the executive whose phone was stolen. In my case, a scammer called me stating that he was from Goldman Sachs Apple Card. He said a large charge against my card had occurred. Sure enough, I looked and $11K had been charged. I assumed he was legit because Apple has told us all how secure their card is and unhackable. After an hour of talking to him (thought he was legit since he already had my info - don't know how since we are very careful) and with my wife talking to Goldman (who refused to verify whether the guy was theirs or not) he hung up. In the process, he changed my second-level verification phone number and locked my iPhone. It is now approaching month 2 of Apple's "Elite Investigator Team" refusing to release my iCloud account or unlock my phone. As did the executive, I have over 30 years of data on the phone. It is all backed up on 2 different drives and in iCloud, but Apple's backup system won't let another phone restore from it. I cannot update my Home Pods or Apple TVs (3 in all) since they are linked to the phone. My $850 brand new Ultra 2 Watch is a brick for the same reason. I had to buy another phone just to use my phone number and very minimal data exchange. Even stuff I use on my MacBook Pro cannot be shared even though I can use some of it on the MacBook because that data is tied to the phone. I am about to talk to a lawyer. I have been working with Apple's team, but now I think they are ghosting me. I am at a loss and the mental strain has been extreme. I have been using Apple stuff exclusively since 1985. I was one of their best evangelists. Never again will I tie so many things to one platform. I advise others not to now.
    1) I'm sorry for the issues you're having and scammers are truly horrible, but personal responsibility is also key to protecting yourself (and your family).

    2) When did Apple say that their card was "unhackable"?  There is better security when using Apple Pay over a physical card due to the virtual number and tokenization, but that's everything in Apple Pay, and does not translate to the physical Apple Card. The same goes for Samsung Pay and Google Pay (or whatever Alphabet calls it now).

    3) Does it really need to be said that you don't engage in-bound finanical/account calls? In the past, you could if you recognized the voice, like if your personal broker called you, but these days you need call them back at the number you have saved in your contacts or from a number you find on their legitimate website.

    4) You can avoid nearly all of these issues with complex passcodes, unique passcodes, and 2FA. I'm guessing you don't use a robust password manager so I would implore you to consider one moving forward. People balk at a few dollars a month for 1Password, but when I hear stuff like this I know that it's well worth it. With a family plan it can be as low as 99¢ per user per month.

    It depends. When I had a bogus charge on my AMEX card, one of the reps called my house. I was highly on alert when the rep asked me for my card number over the phone. I asked why I needed to that if they (the rep) already have my info. Now granted her English wasn't so good nor my Japanese any better so I asked for an English speaker. Once I made that clear I wasn't going to give out such info without knowing for sure as to why it was needed. The rep explained about the procedures on verifying card holders and walked me through on the bogus order and how how to void my card being charged. I was lucky. Here in Japan there is a site that you can check the phone number to see if its the real company number or fake. Even if they say we have such and such info, don't be afraid to ask them tons of question as to why over the phone such info is needed. I hope respencer that such a site is in your country to check the next time such a call in the future.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 5
    XedXed Posts: 2,704member
    Wolfen said:
    Xed said:
    respencer said:
    I am experiencing the same thing as the executive whose phone was stolen. In my case, a scammer called me stating that he was from Goldman Sachs Apple Card. He said a large charge against my card had occurred. Sure enough, I looked and $11K had been charged. I assumed he was legit because Apple has told us all how secure their card is and unhackable. After an hour of talking to him (thought he was legit since he already had my info - don't know how since we are very careful) and with my wife talking to Goldman (who refused to verify whether the guy was theirs or not) he hung up. In the process, he changed my second-level verification phone number and locked my iPhone. It is now approaching month 2 of Apple's "Elite Investigator Team" refusing to release my iCloud account or unlock my phone. As did the executive, I have over 30 years of data on the phone. It is all backed up on 2 different drives and in iCloud, but Apple's backup system won't let another phone restore from it. I cannot update my Home Pods or Apple TVs (3 in all) since they are linked to the phone. My $850 brand new Ultra 2 Watch is a brick for the same reason. I had to buy another phone just to use my phone number and very minimal data exchange. Even stuff I use on my MacBook Pro cannot be shared even though I can use some of it on the MacBook because that data is tied to the phone. I am about to talk to a lawyer. I have been working with Apple's team, but now I think they are ghosting me. I am at a loss and the mental strain has been extreme. I have been using Apple stuff exclusively since 1985. I was one of their best evangelists. Never again will I tie so many things to one platform. I advise others not to now.
    1) I'm sorry for the issues you're having and scammers are truly horrible, but personal responsibility is also key to protecting yourself (and your family).

    2) When did Apple say that their card was "unhackable"?  There is better security when using Apple Pay over a physical card due to the virtual number and tokenization, but that's everything in Apple Pay, and does not translate to the physical Apple Card. The same goes for Samsung Pay and Google Pay (or whatever Alphabet calls it now).

    3) Does it really need to be said that you don't engage in-bound finanical/account calls? In the past, you could if you recognized the voice, like if your personal broker called you, but these days you need call them back at the number you have saved in your contacts or from a number you find on their legitimate website.

    4) You can avoid nearly all of these issues with complex passcodes, unique passcodes, and 2FA. I'm guessing you don't use a robust password manager so I would implore you to consider one moving forward. People balk at a few dollars a month for 1Password, but when I hear stuff like this I know that it's well worth it. With a family plan it can be as low as 99¢ per user per month.

    It depends. When I had a bogus charge on my AMEX card, one of the reps called my house. I was highly on alert when the rep asked me for my card number over the phone. I asked why I needed to that if they (the rep) already have my info. Now granted her English wasn't so good nor my Japanese any better so I asked for an English speaker. Once I made that clear I wasn't going to give out such info without knowing for sure as to why it was needed. The rep explained about the procedures on verifying card holders and walked me through on the bogus order and how how to void my card being charged. I was lucky. Here in Japan there is a site that you can check the phone number to see if its the real company number or fake. Even if they say we have such and such info, don't be afraid to ask them tons of question as to why over the phone such info is needed. I hope respencer that such a site is in your country to check the next time such a call in the future.
    1) Numbers can be spoofed.

    2) I've had CC companies call me about charges. Since I have saved the contact info on the back of my cards into my password manager and contacts I politely ended the call and called the card issuer back with the number I had stored. Never accept incoming calls as legit (when having to hand over sensitive data) and you are much less likely to be a victim.
    ronndewmewatto_cobra
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