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In the latest Apple Crime Blotter report, an iPhone was found in a toilet, an iPad contained evidence of an extortion scheme, and a surge in thefts in California is being questioned.
The latest in AppleInsider’s occasional series exploring the world of Apple crime.
“iPhone man” faces deportation.
The alleged ringleader of an iPhone theft ring that plagued downtown Minneapolis in 2021 and 2022, the man known as “iPhone Man,” has pleaded guilty and faces deportation.
A Chinese man pleaded guilty to four counts of receiving stolen property, according to KARE 11. He faces no jail time, but faces possible deportation to China. A hearing is scheduled for November.
A total of 12 people were charged in connection with the thefts, which largely involved people in the city center often being intoxicated, taking their iPhones and accessing financial apps. Prosecutors said a man known as “iPhone Man” ultimately received the devices.
iPhone found hidden in airplane lavatory
A family claims an iPhone was glued to a toilet seat on an American Airlines flight and that its 14-year-old daughter discovered it, The New York Post reports.
The family believes a male flight attendant was responsible for allegedly taking her to the first class toilet, where a telephone was installed. According to WSOC TV, authorities are citing only a “potential criminal act” involving a “minor, a phone and a flight attendant” on a flight from Charlotte to Boston.
iPad used as evidence in extortion scheme, resulting in 7 years in prison
The iPad was at the center of a very strange criminal case that ended in a federal prison sentence.
A Missouri man was convicted in late 2022 of extortion after a 2018 incident in which he showed up at a home and left a note claiming he would burn the house down unless he was given $1 million, according to the Justice Department. . The man later entered the house several times and broke windows and doors.
In the extortion note, the man left a phone number, which law enforcement agencies traced to his home. After searching his home, they found an iPad stolen from the victims’ home; The iPad included various incriminating searches.
He was sentenced to seven years and five months in prison.
Is the rise in organized retail crime in California real?
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in early September that the state would spend $267 million on grants to cities and counties to combat organized retail crime.
“Enough of these brazen raids and seizures. Thanks to an unprecedented $267 million investment, Californians will soon see more murders, more policing, more arrests and more criminal cases,” Newsom said in a statement. “When unscrupulous criminals walk out of stores with stolen items, they end up in jail cells.”
However, Substack journalist Judd Legum’s newsletter Popular Information questioned whether any data actually exists showing how much organized retail crime exists in California and whether it has increased.
Neither the National Retail Federation nor the Retail Industry Leaders Association responded to Legum’s question. And while high-profile muggings occur from time to time in California, including at Apple Stores, this is not a new phenomenon.
Major Apple Store robberies in this state were identified in both 2018 and 2022.
Photos surface of two suspects in Grand Arcade Apple Store theft
According to The Cambridge Independent, police “would like to speak” to the two men.
Travis Scott’s iPhone fell off a boat, his lawyer says
Rapper and singer Travis Scott is being sued over the 2021 Astroworld tragedy, in which 10 people died in a stampede at a music festival founded by Scott. The plaintiffs tried to obtain information from the phones of Scott and his accomplices, Consequence reports, but Scott was unable to comply because he claims the iPhone fell from a boat in January 2022.
Scott’s lawyer claims that after Scott threw it from the boat, the iPhone is now at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. The lawyer added that the device was not backed up to iCloud, and neither Apple nor its carrier were able to retrieve Scott’s text messages.
iPad left in stolen car helps save child
Thieves in Atlanta stole a car with a small child inside, but the child’s brother tracked an iPad in the car, leading to the child’s rescue.
Fox 5 Atlanta reports the vehicle was stolen from a gas station. Police were called before the brother realized the iPad was still in the car. Officers followed the signal and entered an open field with the child still inside and unharmed.
The former San Diego State football player pleaded guilty in late August to charges of storing child sexual abuse material on his iCloud account. According to 10 News, Nowlin Evaliko was previously under investigation along with teammates in connection with a gang rape in 2021, and the investigation uncovered offensive images.
He faces up to three years in prison and remains a defendant in a civil lawsuit by a woman accusing him of gang rape.
Nigerian socialite accused of using iPhone to commit fraud
A report by Nigerian publication Vanguard NGR said that a socialite from the country known as Mompha is accused of using his iPhone for fraudulent purposes.
The socialite and his company are charged with eight counts, including “conspiracy to launder proceeds of crime, withholding proceeds of crime, laundering proceeds of crime, failure to disclose assets and property, and possession of documents containing false information.” . and the use of property obtained as a result of illegal actions.”