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Apple crime blotter: Apple Store receives meth, California thefts continue despite arrests

Several more Apple Store robberies in California, a Congressman's campaign cash spending spree including Apple Store visits, and an NFL star is accused of insider trading over FaceTime. The latest from the Apple crime blotter.

surveillance footage of the Walnut Creek, Calif., Apple Store theft, via the Walnut Creek Police Department



The latest in an occasional AppleInisder feature, a roundup of Apple-related crime:

Apple Store theft crew caught, but robberies continue in California



A crew was arrested in Thousand Oaks, Calif., August 20 and suspected of responsibility for several of the thefts at Apple Stores throughout this year. Several more Apple Store thefts took place in California in the ensuing days.

A crew of eight men was arrested after stealing 38 iPhones from the Fashion Island Apple Store in Orange County. The Los Angeles Times reported that five of the men were arrested last Tuesday on suspicion of conspiracy and burglary, while three other suspects fled.

A separate robbery took place the following day at Corte Madera in Marin County on We. According to the Marin Independent Journal, the five thieves ran into the store, grabbed items from two tables, and ran off, fleeing in a Honda sedan. Police say the theft netted $19,000. Then, days later, thieves hit an Apple Store in Walnut Creek, Calif., and another robbery took place in Valencia days after that.

The Associated Press reported that the five people arrested in Thousand Oaks are "suspected of being an organized retail theft crew." It's unclear whether the crews are working together, but it is clear that the arrests have not deterred the other thefts from taking place.

Iowa man caught, accused of stealing 35 iPhones



A man in Iowa was arrested August 27, after police say he stole 35 iPhones from a Sprint store at gunpoint and then led police officers on a chase. According to the Des Moines Register, the man brandished a BB gun and took the phones and about $400 in cash from a safe. Earlier in the day, the same man had stolen a car, also at gunpoint.

Police say that after crashing a car, he was apprehended and charged with first-degree robbery.

Crystal meth sent to Apple Store



A package of crystal meth was mistakenly sent via FedEx to the Apple Store location at New York's Grand Central Terminal. According to the New York Post, a store employee opened a box that arrived at the store in early July and discovered two bags of the drug.

A drug dealer, who had somehow managed to write the wrong address while shipping drugs to a heavily policed transit hub via a method that leaves a clear paper trail, was arrested four days later.

Indicted Congressman accused of spending campaign cash at Apple Store



Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), along with his wife Margaret, was indicted August 21 and charged with wire fraud and conspiracy, as well as campaign finance violations. Prosecutors say the Hunters illegally directed $250,000 in campaign funds for their personal use. According to the indictment, as cited by CNN, Rep. Hunter in 2010 visited an Apple Store and used campaign money to spend both $1,199 on a Mac computer and $41.04 on a video game.

Three years later, Hunter returned to an Apple Store and spent $138.19 on iPhone accessories, including a camera lens, and told his chief of staff the latter purchase was a "campaign receipt."

NFL star indicted for insider trading used FaceTime to communicate with accomplice



NFL linebacker Mychal Kendricks was indicted Wednesday on charges that he engaged in insider trading along with his accomplice, Damilare Sonoiki. Sonoiki was a Goldman Sachs employee who would tip off Kendricks to impending mergers and acquisitions.

According to separate SEC civil charges cited by ESPN, the two men communicated through "methods of communication that they apparently believed would not be uncovered, such as FaceTime."

Kendricks issued a statement admitting to his role in the scheme and apologizing, and he was released by the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.

Man arrested for stealing iPhone, moped



A 19-year-old in Massachusetts has been arrested for stealing a moped from a 16-year-old acquaintance, along with his iPhone. According to the Hartford Courant, the accused stole the moped.

Then, three days later, the accused and an accomplice pulled a BB gun on the 16-year-old, threatened him, and stole the contents of his pockets, which included his iPhone, a charger, a knife, and a sheet of math homework.

Man pleads guilty to part in $40,000 iPhone/iPad identity theft scheme



A 41-year-old man has entered a guilty plea for his part in a scheme to order $40,000 worth of iPhones and iPads under false names, open attached Sprint accounts, and order them to be delivered to addresses in Nashua, N.H. The man and two accomplices then grabbed the packages and sold the devices. According to the Union Leader newspaper, the three conspirators were arrested in January.

Two arrested in iPhone delivery scam



In a similar case to the Nashua one above, two men were arrested August 23 in Clarks Summit, PA., after retrieving several iPhones that had been delivered to an address there. The two men were charged with theft, criminal conspiracy and other counts, the Times-Tribune said.

Lunch ladies accused of school theft



A pair of sisters who supervised two school cafeterias in New Canaan, CT., for years, skimmed more than $500,000 over a five-year period, The New Canaanite reported. In addition to the cash, one of the accused returned an iPad belonging to the school to police — "saying she didn't realize she had it and didn't want to be accused of stealing it"— while a man connected to the alleged scheme later returned a school-issued iPhone and iPad.

South Carolina man accused of $2,000 electronics theft



A man has been arrested for stealing what police say was $2,000 in consumer electronics from a Walmart and Verizon Store in South Carolina. Police say the man stole a display iPad and two laptops from the Walmart and an iPhone 8 from Verizon, the Journal Gazette and Times Courier reported. Both thefts were caught on video surveillance.

Credit card thief caught due to distinctive haircut, jersey



A man in Wyoming was arrested after police caught him buying an iPhone, Apple Watch and other items with a stolen credit card. According to Oil City News, police say the man stole several cards from a wallet in a YMCA locker room, and used them for a shopping spree at Walmart and Target. Police said surveillance video made it clear the thief was a "skinny white male with a man bun or top knot" hairstyle, wearing a brown Wyoming Cowboys jersey with a number 1 on it.

He was later arrested after police responded to a public intoxication call at a party supply store, where the suspect was found holding the stolen iPhone and wearing the same clothes from the video.

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