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Crime blotter: Scammers exploit overheating issues in iPhone 15

Apple Store in Waterloo, Ontario

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In the latest Apple Crime Blotter, iPhones were stolen from a music festival, iCloud figures in a Florida kidnapping plot, and a theft at Waterloo's Apple Store.

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

Scammers exploit overheating issue on iPhone 15

A new scam has emerged aimed at exploiting fears about "overheating" of iPhone 15 models. According to Mashable, one of their own reporters was targeted in the scam.

iPhone owners receive calls from unknown callers claiming to represent Verizon, and the callers offer "remotely run diagnostics" on the new device. The scam often includes multiple calls, including one before the new iPhone is delivered and one after. The scammers then arrange for the iPhone owner to send back their phone, via FedEx.

The reporter then called Verizon and was informed that the calls were not genuine. And when she asked the FedEx driver where the phone would have gone, it was a bogus "RETUNS PROCESING CENTER [sic]."

Verizon told the site that such calls would not be initiated by the carrier.

iCloud search for phone number figures in bizarre Florida kidnapping plot

Three men in Florida kidnapped a man, realized they had grabbed not their intended victim but rather a coworker, tortured their victim, and eventually asked him to access an iCloud account in order to find the intended victim.

The Associated Press reports the botched kidnapping was allegedly carried out by three men, who of whom were brothers. While the kidnappers were holding the first victim, they "put an electric drill to his skin and pointed a firearm at him, before dousing him with water in what prosecutors said was a simulated waterboarding."

After they gave the victim a cell phone, he logged into the iCloud account and found the interned target's phone number.

Then, they drove with the first victim to the target's place of business and tried to get him to come outside. Instead, the man "phoned in a bomb threat in an effort to get a rapid police response to the building."

Pickpocket arrested for stealing iPhones from Austin City Limits festival

In another case of high-volume theft of iPhones from a crowded music festival, a man has been arrested for stealing "dozens" of phones from the Austin City Limits festival in Austin.

According to CBS Austin, a 23-year-old man was arrested and charged with "engaging in organized criminal activity," after he was found with a Faraday bag containing dozens of cell phones, some of which were iPhones. Police suspect the man was part of a larger pickpocketing ring, of the type that often operates at the ACL festival.

Eight suspects carry out theft at Waterloo Apple Store

Police in Waterloo, Ont., say eight suspects "ransacked" the Apple Store at Conestoga Mall and grabbed display items. No one appears to have been hurt in the theft, which took about 30 seconds.

Video was released of the incident:

The opening of that Apple Store made news in 2011, as Waterloo was the hometown of Apple's then-rival Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry.

iPhone contains information on $1.6 million booze heist

A top alcohol distributor in Florida recently suffered a heist of 4,277 cases of its alcohol merchandise, to the tune of $1.6 million, and information on the crime is reportedly contained on a recently unsealed search warrant for an iPhone.

According to CNN, the iPhone Pro Max 14 in question is believed to contain "crucial information, technical data, and evidence related to the burglary and grand theft."

Dropped iPhone leads to arrest in murder case

An 18-year-old Pennsylvania man has been arrested for criminal homicide after police say he left his iPhone behind after shooting a man.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review explains the arrested man was one of multiple people who shot at the victim. After the shooting, police found numerous shell casings, along with the iPhone.

Between tracing the ownership of the iPhone to the alleged shooter and surveillance footage, police were able to make the arrest.

In addition to criminal homicide, the man was charged with "two counts each of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person, and one count each of tampering with evidence, criminal conspiracy, and carrying a firearm without a license and as a minor," the newspaper said.

Stolen Aston Martin tracked by phone and AirPods

A suspect has been arrested for his part in the carjacking of an Aston Martin in Connecticut in September.

According to The Hour, two people, both alleged gang members, stole the luxury car from its owner's home, while also roughing up the owner. After the car was stolen, police were able to track it both through AirPods and a phone left in the car.

Through location data from T-Mobile, police were able to find the car at a "chop shop."

The newly arrested suspect was charged with home invasion, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, and robbery by carjacking, among other crimes.

Trio accused of stealing iPads, car, and tractor

Police in South Carolina have caught three people who they say stole several items, including multiple iPads, a car, and a tractor from a residence. WYFF reports police used a warrant to successfully track the iPads, leading them to the other stolen items, as well as merchandise believed stolen from other burglaries.

The three suspects have been hit with burglary, grand larceny, and criminal conspiracy charges.