Crime blotter: Stolen iPhone flies to China, Alabama Apple Store theft, iPhone searches

Apple Store in Birmingham, AL

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In the latest Apple Crime Blotter, a stolen iPhone heads to China, a blind reporter grabs his iPhone back, and a man hit with child porn charges after an iPhone search.

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

Smash-and-grab at Apple Store in Alabama

A group of at least three masked men entered an Apple Store in Alabama on January 13, broke display case locks, and stole iPhones, reported.

The theft took place at the Summit Apple Store in Birmingham, and the suspects fled into an SUV. Police said they informed the Apple Store in Huntsville as a precaution.

Blind journalist fights off iPhone robbery in London

A journalist for The BBC who happens to be blind successfully fought off a thief on a bike who had grabbed his iPhone on a London street. According to The Standard, Sean Dilley jumped on the

thief and got the device back.

Orthodontist charged after investigator finds explicit photos on his iPhone and iCloud

A Michigan orthodontist has been charged with counts including possessing child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and using a computer to commit a crime, after police say he solicited sexually explicit photos and videos from a then-17-year-old girl.

Fox 17 reports that after he was questioned, the man hired investigators to search his iPhone and iCloud in order to demonstrate that "there was no child porn stored on it." The investigator, however, found "a large amount of child porn," and even further evidence of wrongdoing, and went on to turn his own client in.

Following the charges, the man's orthodontic practice sent a note to patients informing them that they were closing.

A Connecticut man has been sentenced to six years in federal prison on weapons charges.

According to the Department of Justice, the man was charged after a search of another suspect's iPhone found photos of the man holding handguns that he wasn't authorized to own. The man was a convicted felon who was not allowed to carry firearms under those conditions.

iPhone stolen from San Francisco makes it to China

A woman who had her iPhone grabbed from her as she rode a bus through San Francisco's Tenderloin district followed the phone with Find My iPhone as it made its way around that city. Two weeks later, it was in China.

The San Francisco Standard says the woman expressed frustration that police were not more helpful, especially since she was telling them the iPhone's exact location. Before long, the iPhone had surfaced in Shenzhen, China.

Reached by the site while on vacation in Brazil, the woman said that she was planning to move out of San Francisco.

Ex-Delaware State Trooper gets six months for iPhone thefts

A former Delaware State Trooper who pled guilty in September to thefts from a package re-shipping company has been sentenced to six months in federal prison, Delaware Online reported.

The thefts entailed hundreds of iPhones that the man took from the company, later selling them through Facebook. Back in 2021, Delaware State Police had seized an iPhone from the ex-trooper's home, fearing that he would delete evidence.

iPhone was stolen as part of "bad blood" between two Irish men, court is told

A pub owner in Ireland is accused of stealing an iPhone from a man with whom he has engaged in years of "bad blood." While the pub owner denies the theft, the judge noted that the iPhone in question was traced to a four-inch pipe behind the man's bar.

According to The Irish Examiner, the pub owner was convicted in the case, which centers on events from 2021. Find My iPhone had traced the man's phone to the pipe at the time.

The accused man was fined 400 euros.

Man who ordered iPhone got back four bags and a block

A man in Singapore who had ordered an iPhone 14 Pro Max on a peer-to-peer e-commerce site instead received four air-inflated plastic bags and a wooden cube.

According to Mothership, the buyer usually buys from Apple-authorized retailers but had a voucher this time so he used Shopee. After the company's customer service reps were not helpful, he filed a police report. The site ended up apologizing to the man and refunding his purchase.

British woman arrested for fraud after claiming iPhones, iPad stolen

A 29-year-old woman who filed at least nine false reports about stolen or damaged items has received a suspended sentence. According to Manchester Evening News, the woman pled guilty to nine counts of fraud by false representation and possession of criminal property.

The woman had claimed several iPhones had been stolen, as well as an iPad, watches, and high-end bags.