Like so many aspects of life today, Apple seems to come up over and over again in stories about law enforcement and crime. Products like iPhone and iPads are frequently stolen and used in the commission of crimes, while the company itself continually comes up in debates about privacy and the conduct of government and law enforcement agencies.
So, AppleInsider presents a new occasional feature: A roundup of recent crime-related stories involving Apple products.
Apple Watch data solved an Australian murder
Data from an Apple Watch may have helped investigators in Australia solve a murder from 2016. According to Australia’s ABC News, investigators collected data from the Apple Watch belonging to the victim, 57-year-old Myrna Nilsson, and the data showed that Nilsson’s niece, Caroline Nilsson, had in fact staged a home invasion, and committed the murder herself. The Apple Watch’s activity and heart rate measurements helped ascertain the timing of the murder. leading to the younger Nilsson’s arrest.
iPhone theft may be a felony for life in Virginia
Virginia recently changed the threshold for felony theft, but the new amount still places the theft of most iPhones in such a range that conviction for stealing on iPhone would make the thief a lifetime felon. According to Marketplace.org, Virginia lawmakers recently reached a deal to raise its the state’s threshold to $500, when it was previously $200, tied with New Jersey for lowest in the country. Most states, however, have a threshold of over $1,000.
Airplane passenger, wrongly accused of iPhone theft, was an Apple Store employee
A 27-year-old man who was falsely accused of stealing another passenger’s iPhone on a British Airways flight says he was accused because he was the only black man on the flight. The Daily Mail reported that Jonathan Vardon, who also happens to be an Apple Store employee, was searched after the plane landed in Barcelona, but it turned out the owner had left his phone in the plane’s bathroom.
Apple Store scuffle in Texas
A dispute at an Apple Store at a mall in Friendwood, Tex., this week, appears to have been connected to a customer who was falsely believed to have stolen a pair of headphones. Local TV station KTRK reported that the man, who had placed the headphones down on his young son’s stroller, was tackled by an unidentified man, as seen on security video. No arrests were made in the melee.
iPad taken from AT&T employee’s bare hands
A man is wanted in New Orleans for walking into an AT&T store and taking an iPad straight from the hands of a store employee. According to WWL TV, the theft took place March 27, with the crime caught on in-store video.
Apple phone scam reported in Wisconsin
Scammers falsely claiming to be from Apple is calling Wisconsin residents and seeking remote access to their computers. According to The Journal Times newspaper, the scam begins as a recording claiming to come from the company, citing a problem with their iCloud or Apple ID accounts. A “support rep” then seeks access to the mark’s computer. The bogus rep would then ask for a $100 iTunes gift card as “payment.” Another version left out the robocall element and called directly. Those receiving the calls are advised to hang up immediately. A similar scam was also reported in Florida, specifically targeting seniors.
Three arrested for taking an iPad from New Jersey Auntie Anne’s
Three people were arrested in late March for stealing an iPad from an Auntie Anne’s pretzel store at a mall in Bridgewater, N.J. According to the local news site Tap Into the Breeze, the three suspects were charged, respectively, with theft of movable property, defiant trespassing and receiving stolen property.
City employee’s alleged fraud included iPhones, Apple Watches
A logistics officer in the utility department in Round Rock, Tex., was arrested for stealing more than $15,000 from the municipal coffers, which included unauthorized charges on his city credit cards for two iPhones, two Apple Watches, power tools and “a 50-gram gold bar.” According to the Austin American-Statesman, Carlos Hernandez Jr., has been charged with theft. Apple products are not an approved expense on city credit cards, the report said.