In the latest Apple Crime Blotter, a dropped iPhone leads to a murder conviction, a big Apple theft in Walmart, and tracking AirPods leads to an arrest.
The latest an occasional AppleInsider series, looking at the world of Apple-related crime.
Two Apple Store thefts in Berkeley in 24 hours
The Apple Store in Berkeley, Calif., was hit with two thefts in two days the last week of January, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
The first theft, per the newspaper, was a man who took nine display iPhones and fled the store in a vehicle. The second, the following morning, entailed two men stealing seven computers and fleeing on foot. Police told the newspaper that an arrest was made in the first theft and that that particular Apple Store has been a frequent theft target in recent months.
Police in Oregon seek iPhone thieves
Police in Redmond, Ore., are seeking two women who they say “used a fraudulent Oregon driver’s license to steal eight iPhones worth $9,000” from a U.S. Cellular Store. KTVZ reports the suspects are accused of opening “several” cell phone plans to get the iPhones. The two women are suspected of carrying out a similar crime in December in Madras, Ore.
Man who dropped iPhone convicted of murder
A Georgia man who allegedly dropped his iPhone while fleeing police following a 2021 murder has been convicted. The dropped iPhone was used by police to identify the suspect, leading to his arrest two weeks later. According to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, the man has been convicted of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and felony fleeing, and has been sentenced to life in prison plus ten years.
Nearly $40,000 worth of Apple products stolen from Walmart in West Virginia
In early January, three men stole $38,000 worth of Apple products from a West Virginia Walmart before they fled from the store. WAVY reported one of the thieves distracted a store employee while his two accomplices “used a prying device to get into two caged lockers, which held a large amount of Apple products.” The suspects then escaped through an employee break room and fled in a “dark pickup truck.” When the news station asked Walmart for security footage, a representative stated “We will not participate in this story and don’t provide video from inside our stores.”
Tracking of AirPods leads to arrest of suspect in car break-ins
In Indiana in January, police utilized “the advancement of technology in Apple’s AirPods” to arrest a man accused of numerous car break-ins, Fox 59 explains. According to the station, which cited court documents, the 23-year-old man stole MacBooks, iPads, guns, credit cards, and cash from cars, adding up to nearly $2,000 worth of property. They tracked stolen AirPods to find the man’s whereabouts. After he was arrested, the suspect told police that he “did something dumb with my friend.”
Police in California arrest man accused of iPad thefts
Police in Irvine, Calif. in late January arrested a man who they say had committed multiple thefts of iPads from Target stores in Orange County. Police received “multiple tips,” and the man was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force.
Pennsylvania man charged with trying to sell counterfeit iPhone
A Pennsylvania man arranged to sell an iPhone to someone else, but the box contained a “fake” iPhone, police said. According to PA Homepage, the man collected the money but was later arrested for theft by deception.
Man charged with stealing, damaging city-owned iPad
A man in Illinois was charged in late January with both stealing and doing damage to a city-owned iPad. The Telegraph reports the theft was of a fifth-generation iPad that belonged to the city. The 45-year-old man was charged with theft, a Class 2 felony, and criminal damage to government-supported property, a Class 4 felony.
Man in Thailand charged with breaking in, stealing iPhones and iPads
A 21-year-old engineering student in Thailand has been charged with stealing iPhones and iPads worth 200,000 baht (about $5,600) from a Big C store at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday. According to The Bangkok Post, the man was caught on CCTV cameras “trying in vain to break into a gold shop and an ATM,” before entering a mobile phone store instead. A mobile phone dealer later reported suspicion when a man showed up trying to sell iPhones.