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In the latest Apple Crime Blotter, the bust of Apple Store theft ring in California wasn’t the first, iPads are stolen from a car near Graceland, and a real estate scam was centered on Apple products.
The latest in an occasional AppleInsider series, looking at the world of Apple-related crime.
Man accused of using Siri from the back of a police car to set his alibi
Police in Troy, Mich., said that a man who was arrested for identity theft used the “Hey Siri” function to make commands to his iPhone even as he sat in the back of a police car.
According to Fox 2 Detroit, police say the man was spotted on surveillance video making multiple phone calls from the back of the car to his iPhone, which was out of his reach. He called different people to tell him he’d been arrested and also attempted to set an alibi for himself.
The alleged identity theft scheme, per the story, involved deliveries of bogus orders of items, including iPhones and iPads.
California Apple Store theft ring bust wasn’t the first
The state attorney general in California on Feb. 9 charged eight people for their alleged parts in a series of Apple Store thefts between August 2022 and January 2023, which cost stores nearly $1 million to date. Attorney General Rob Bonta alleged those charged were part of an “organized retail theft operation,” which spanned 11 different counties in both Northern and Southern California.
This isn’t the first major Apple Store theft ring to be broken up in California. In 2018, several arrests were made in relation to the series of thefts that year.
Two iPads stolen from outside Graceland
A pair of iPads, as well as a bag of cash, were stolen from the car of a man who had stopped to visit the wall at Elvis Presley’s Graceland estate in Memphis. WREG reports the incident took place the day after the January death of Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley, upon which many fans visited Graceland to pay tribute.
The iPads were found after police tracked them to a Jeep about 11 miles away. The owner of the car was charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, theft of property, and possession of a controlled substance.
Stolen wallet tracked across 35 cities, using AirTag
Earlier this week, police in North Carolina used an AirTag to track a stolen car, which was soon crashed as part of a high-speed chase. But such cases don’t always wrap themselves up so quickly.
One Twitter user, in a popular thread in late January, tracked his stolen wallet across 35 cities, after he left the wallet on a plane. He asked, jokingly, whether he’ll get credit for frequent flyer miles for all the cities his wallet has visited.
@AmericanAir come on now help your boy out. I only fly with you and you treat me like you don’t even know me . Like I said, I know it’s not your fault that I left the wallet ( even though that flight was delayed over an hour so I was in a rush to sprint through the airport) pic.twitter.com/IV1jnrRkXG
— Bad Ass Vegan (@BADASSVEGAN) January 29, 2023
iPads taken from Apple Store in Newcastle
In late January, police in Newcastle in the U.K. were looking for a man who they say took two iPads from the Eldon Square Apple Store, and also knocked over a store employee.
According to Chronicle Live, the theft took place in November. It started when the man entered the store one afternoon and asked to view two iPads. Then, he pushed the employee and ran out of the store without paying.
iPhone evidence leads to bank fraud guilty plea
A Georgia man has pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, and prosecutors say evidence from his iPhone implicated him.
The U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida says the iPhone search discovered text messages between the man and his co-defendant, which “outlined instructions on how to fraudulently set up business bank accounts using, among other items, fraudulent business documents for non-existent businesses, identification documents and Social Security numbers (SSNs).”
The investigation was kicked off when the man was pulled over by police, who discovered counterfeit Social Security cards and other people’s driver’s licenses.
Real estate scam netted $10,500 of Apple products
A Houston woman was charged with carrying out a scam in which she used Craigslist ads to lure investors for a real estate venture. According to ABC 13, the woman would meet responders to the ads, convince them to set up lines of credit at Best Buy and Conn’s, and get them to buy Apple products.
The report adds she would claim she was running a credit check and would donate the products, which included iPads, AirPods, MacBooks, and Apple Pencils. But in reality, she did neither, and kept everything.
The woman was caught after the Conn’s manager noticed she was coming in with multiple people and became suspicious.
Man accused of running out of T-Mobile store with iPhones
On February 4, police were told that a man entered a T-Mobile store in Buffalo Grove, Ill. and asked to upgrade two of his phones. After he asked to see two iPhones, he grabbed both and ran out of the store.
According to Patch, the man ran out after he was told one of his old phones would be called for identification.
Mother, son accused of stealing car with iPhone in it
A mother/son duo from Georgia is accused of a series of crimes in South Florida that included crashing a truck and stealing an SUV with an iPhone in it, before crashing the truck into a tree outside an Olive Garden.
Local 10 reports the son faces charges of third-degree felony charges of grand theft, fleeing/eluding police, and leaving the scene of an accident, while his mother is charged with a third-degree felony charge of grand theft.
iPad stolen from a Japanese restaurant in New York
Four people broke into a Japanese restaurant in Queens and stole both cash and an iPad, Patch writes, citing the NYPD. The robbery took place at 1 a.m. on February 1, and the robbers fled directly onto the subway.