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In the latest Apple Crime Blotter, Frankie Grande’s iPhone was stolen, a guilty plea in a Minneapolis robbery ring, and a bandleader had an iPad and annotated sheet music stolen.
The last of a chance AppleInsider feature, looking at the world of Apple-related crime.
Apple Store theft caught on viral video
Two men stole numerous items from the busy Apple Store in Palo Alto on Black Friday, and the theft itself was captured on video that later went viral.
According The San Francisco Standard, two thieves took approximately $35,000 worth of items from the store on Nov. 25, while threatening passers-by with violence. The two fled in a red Mazda 3 hatchback.
The theft was caught on video that later went viral on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok:
The video responseson Twitter, featured a heated debate between those who viewed theft as a symptom of cultural decline and those who praised Apple Store employees for adhering to store policies, while seeking to protect customers from potential harm .
Over $50,000 in items stolen from Apple Store in Utah
The California robbery was part of a recent spate of Apple Store robberies, including one in which a man in New York was robbed of $95,000 worth of iPhones he bought from the Apple Store of Fifth Avenue at the end of November.
Another such theft took place at the Apple Store in Farmington, Utah in early November. ABC 4 reports that four men took more than $50,000 worth of items from the Apple Store in Farmington.
The thieves, according to police, took iPhones and Macs, committing the crime in just 38 seconds.
Frankie Grande had her iPhone and AirPods stolen
Frankie Grande, dancer, actor and brother of singer Ariana Grande, had his iPhone 14 Pro and AirPods stolen in New York in mid-November. According BNC News, two alleged attackers, aged 13 and 17, have been arrested. The iPhone has been recovered.
One of the accused attackers had a “fake firearm”, according to the report. They were charged with two counts of robbery, two counts of robbery, unlawful use of a credit card, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of stolen property, threatening and harassment, NBC said.
Guilty plea in Minneapolis iPhone theft ring
An accused participant in the iPhone theft ring who was indicted this summer has entered the first guilty plea in the case. Fox 9 says one defendant has agreed to plead guilty, accepting a 57-month prison sentence, in exchange for not facing additional charges.
The Chinese national known as “iPhone Man”, believed to be one of the plot leaders, was due to appear in court on December 2.
The conductor’s precious musical scores and his iPad lost in a car theft
The conductor of the Boston Philharmonic recently lost valuables when his car was stolen, including three prized annotated sheet music, as well as the iPad he used as a clock during performances. The scores were stolen before an important performance by the Orchestra.
According The Boston Globe, conductor Benjamin Zander lost the items when his BMW was stolen. The car was actually stolen twice, as the thief stole the key and presumably took it back, although it was eventually recovered, minus the iPad and sheet music.
Man gets nine years for using Grindr to achieve stealing goals
A California man was sentenced in late November to 111 months in federal prison, for five cases in which he met men on the dating app Grindr and robbed them. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, the man’s routine was to arrange sexual encounters on the app and find a way to use victims’ phones to transfer money to each other.
In one incident, prosecutors say, the man accessed a victim’s Apple Pay account to open a line of credit, which he then used to purchase AirPods. On his sentence, the man received an improvement for hate crime.
Township trustee accused of using taxpayer money for personal Apple devices
A former administrator of Fairfield Township in Indiana is accused of using an Apple Watch and an iPad paid for with public funds. The Lafayette Journal & Mail writes that while the wife’s phone may have been a legitimate taxpayer expense, the other two devices were not.
The ex-administrator, who still uses the devices, was charged in November with 42 counts, including, according to the outlet, theft, tax evasion, fraud, perjury, official misconduct and corrupt business influence.
Target employee accused of stealing three Apple Watches from store
A 20-year-old woman who works at a Target in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area was arrested and charged with stealing $1,800 in electronics, including three Apple Watches and an iPad, from the store.
According Lancaster Online, the woman was charged with a single count of theft, after being caught on store surveillance. She was also accused of taking a Kate Spade iPhone case.
Gang in India accused of selling fake iPhones
Indian police have arrested several people they believe were selling counterfeit Chinese-made iPhones in India’s national capital region. The Hindustan time reports that the gang sold around 60 of the fake iPhones.
The alleged scam involved buying fake phones, buying real iPhone cases and also spoofing the phones’ IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers.