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The Kremlin responds to Aeroflot smuggling arrests in the Apple Crime Blotter

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The strange story of Hunter Biden's MacBook, an iPhone stolen from an Erie Canal lock, sentencing for an iPhone-stealing postal worker, and more from the Apple Crime Blotter.

The latest in an occasional series, looking at the world of Apple-related crime.

Kremlin responds to Aeroflot smuggling indictment

After a federal indictment was issued October 19 against a group of ten Aeroflot airline employees accused of stealing more than a thousand Apple products, the Russian government has responded.

According to Russian news agency Tass, Aeroflot "has every opportunity to respond to the accusations."

"I am not familiar with the charges they are bringing against the Russian company. But I think that the Russian company is able to protect its interests in the appropriate manner," Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin claimed.

Hunter Biden laptop controversy centers on MacBook, Delaware computer repair shop

In one of the major controversies of the final weeks of the presidential race, The New York Post reported October 14 that a MacBook Pro belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden, showed incriminating emails involving the younger Biden's business ties. Hunter Biden was said to have dropped the computer off at a repair store in Delaware, and never retrieved it.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and attorney for the president, claimed in interviews that he had been given the MacBook, and handed it to Delaware police and the FBI.

However, questions were soon raised about the story. Business Insider revealed that the Post had inadvertently exposed the name of the computer shop, as The Mac Shop in Wilmington. The repairman gave a rambling interview to the press in which he wasn't sure the computers were dropped of by Hunter Biden. And The New York Times reported that there were such doubts in the Post newsroom about the story that multiple reporters didn't want their bylines attached to it.

Aric Toler, of Bellingcat, said on Twitter he believes "someone hacked Hunter's iCloud," most likely Russia or another state actor, and that "the serial code for the probably-imaginary hard drive that had these files shows it was manufactured after the documents' date."

Ex-postal worker sentenced for stealing hundreds of iPhones

A former mail sorter with the U.S. Postal Service in Oregon has been sentenced to a year in prison after he pled guilty to theft of mail, for stealing more than 400 iPhones.

According to Oregon Live, the postal worker carried a special razor blade with which he opened packages containing iPhone 11s, and placed the empty boxes back on the conveyer line. The man then sold the devices for $100 to $150 a pop, using the proceeds to buy expensive sneakers and a BMW.

In addition to his sentence, the man has been ordered to pay $253,550 in restitution.

Man arrested with "arms full of computers" in high school theft

A man in Washington state was arrested in early October and accused of stealing $750 worth of computers from a local middle school at 1 am. According to The Herald Net, police arrived at the school to find the man leaving the building "with his arms full of computers."

The items taken, the news outlet said, were iPads, laptops and a Mac desktop computer.

Early this morning APD received an alarm from the library area at Post Middle School. Officers arrived on scene and...

Posted by Arlington, WA Police Department on Monday, October 12, 2020

iCloud used to charge man accused of smuggling contraband into prison with drones

Authorities in mid-October arrested a New Jersey man and charged him for his part in a plot to use a drone to smuggle tobacco, cell phone chargers, and other contraband into the prison where he had formerly been incarcerated.

The Philadelphia Inquirer writes officers at the Fort Dix prison discovered the drone in October of 2018. Authorities later searched the man's iCloud account, where they found a screenshot of a Google search for "fort dix weather" on the date in question.

iPhone stolen from canal lock

Police in Rome, N.Y., have arrested a man for breaking into a lock on the Erie Canal and stealing an iPhone, as well as tools. Per The Rome Sentinel, police responded to reports of a conspicuous vehicle — a Yellow Volkswagen Beetle — being spotted near the location of the theft.

Authorities "were familiar with the vehicle from prior police encounters," and the stolen items were traced to a local pawnshop, leading to the arrest.

British man who hacked Pippa Middleton's iCloud sentenced for subsequent hacks

A British man who was part of the hacking group known as "The Dark Overlord" was sentenced to five years in prison for hacking several companies, the Associated Press said.

Per The Daily Mail, the same man had been arrested in 2006 for hacking the iCloud account of British celebrity Pippa Middleton.

Teens accused of Apple product stealing spree in Queens

Police in the New York City borough of Queens are looking for a trio of teenagers who they say stole thousands of dollars worth of iPhones and Apple Watches, mostly from cell phone stores, The Forest Hills Post reported. In the alleged thefts, one of them would take the items while the others would act as lookouts.

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