Crime blotter: California arrests, a Monster firing, and bulk thefts of new iPhones

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A father goes after his ex-wife in court after she took their daughter's iPhone, Find My iPhone finds a stolen iPad, and other news from the world of Apple-related crime.

The latest in an occasional AppleInsider series, on the latest in Apple crime.

Charges brought against 17 in California Apple Store thefts

California's state attorney general has brought charges for conspiracy to commit grand theft against 17 individuals in the thefts of Apple Stores around the state that have taken place throughout the year. Seven people were arrested, with warrants issued for the other ten, in the thefts that cost the stores more than $1 million in lost merchandise.

The investigation was conducted by the San Luis Obispo Police Department and the Oakland Police Department, along with the state Department of Justice eCrime Unit and 19 different counties.

Two wanted for Long Island Apple Store theft

On the opposite coast from most recent Apple Store thefts, two men are wanted for taking items from an Apple Store in Huntington Station, N.Y. But instead of iPhones or iPads, those thieves are accused of taking four sets of Beats headphones, two Apple Pencils and two Magic Mouse devices, Patch reported.

Monster fires COO, alleging death threats

Monster Products, the cable and headphone maker that was the original manufacturing partner for Beats headphones, has been in often-contentious litigation with Apple since 2015, stemming from the earlier Beats/Monster breakup. Now, the company has suffered another falling out. Monster announced Sept. 25 that it has removed its chief operating officer, Fereidoun "Fred" Khalilian, and also obtained a restraining order against him.

At a press conference the New York tech show CE Week in June, founder and CEO Noel Lee (known as the "Head Monster") appeared with Khalilian to announce a cryptocurrency play called "Monster Money," which would represent the long privately-held company's first time accepting outside money in its 40-year history.

But something apparently went awry, as Monster now alleges Khalilian attempted a hostile takeover of the company, and that the restraining order and police report were necessary "for the protection of numerous employees of Monster against threats of mutilation, death, and threats to family."

Monster's statement, in a rarity for corporate press releases, goes on to provide more than a dozen links to news stories and documents detailing Khalilian's past alleged misdeeds, which reportedly include various scams as well as multiple sexual assault accusations that stem from a period when he co-owned a Miami nightclub with Paris Hilton. In addition Khalilian, due to a 2011 FTC settlement, is permanently banned from the telemarketing industry.

Charges dismissed against mother who took daughter's iPhone

A routine parenting dispute in which a mother punished her daughter by taking away her iPhone became a matter for the courts this month, when the woman's ex-husband claimed the device belonged to him. According to WOOD TV, the former husband claimed that he owned the iPhone, and that his ex had committed a crime by taking it away.

The case, however, was dismissed after prosecutors determined that the daughter was, in fact, the phone's rightful owner.

Chilean family in Miami has 18 iPhones stolen

A family from Chile that visited Miami to get iPhones had 18 XS Max models — valued at around $18,000 — stolen from their rental car last week. According to the Miami Herald, the family had planned to bring the phones back to Chile and "hand them out to family members and friends." But the car was broken into while they visited a coffee shop.

"Imagine buying a just released iPhone and having it stolen. These people bought 18, stopped for coffee, left the phones in the car, and moments later all were stolen," Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said on Twitter, attaching video of a TV news report on the theft.

55 iPhones taken in Michigan

In another bulk theft of 2018 iPhone models, 55 iPhones were stolen from an SUV at a mall in Troy, Mich. According to Click on Detroit, a man had spent $60,000 to buy 55 new iPhones with the intent of re-selling them.

But, while he was elsewhere in the mall, someone broke the car window and took the merchandise.

iPhone stolen from government building in Michigan

A 56-year-old man had his iPhone stolen from the ordinance department counter at City Hall in Dearborn Heights, Mich. According to the Press and Guide, the man briefly stepped away from the counter and when he returned the iPhone was gone.

After the owner called the phone, a man answered and "allegedly shouted profanities before hanging up."

Teenager admits to stealing iPhones from Staten Island Apple Store

A teenager is headed to jail after he admitted to stealing six iPhones — worth $4,400 — from an Apple Store on Staten Island on the day after Christmas last year. According to SI Live, the now-18-year-old pled guilty to third-degree grand larceny, and will be sentenced next month to a year in jail.

Security guard arrested for taking iPhones

In another theft from a government building, a security guard at the Palm Beach County Government Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., has been arrested for stealing two iPhones, one of was in a case that also included $160 in cash, a drivers license and two debit cards.

According to My Palm Beach Post, the guard was caught on security video disposing of the license and cards, although he told deputies he had "gone upstairs to retrieve pants from a break room."

Find My iPhone discovers stolen iPad

A nursing assistant received a sentence of two years' probation after he was found to have stolen an iPad from a patient at the assisted living facility where he worked. According to KSL, a Find My iPhone discovered not only that the iPad was in the area where the assistant lived, but that its device had been charged to the assistant's own first name. He pled guilty to theft, after earlier being charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

23 iPhones taken from AT&T store

A total of 23 iPhones, valued at a total of more than $20,000, were stolen from a single AT&T store in Ohio over a three-week period, the Dayton Daily News reported. An employee is suspected to be the culprit.

iPad taken from stroller at a wedding

A woman's iPad was stolen from the lower component of a baby stroller, while the baby's mother was attending a wedding. According to the Bothel Reporter, the case has been closed, because "there were no security cameras observing the stroller at the time of the theft and there was no other useful information to be found."

Tracking device catches woman who took iPhone

An Ohio woman was caught taking an iPhone from an area Walmart due to a GPS tracker on the device's box. According to Cleveland.com, police followed the signal and then confronted the woman at a gas station. The woman claimed the device had "accidentally fallen into her bag and that she had just discovered it was there and intended to return it."

Surveillance video contradicted her story.


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