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Crime Blotter: Apple Store sting leads to arrest for gym owner

Carnegie Library Apple Store

In the latest Apple Crime Blotter, Car thieves in Washington reject Android phone, sentencing in New Hampshire iPhone plot, and an iPhone heist in the Netherlands.

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

Man arrested on child pornography charges in sting outside Apple Store

The owner of a gym in Washington was arrested in late November on charges that he distributed child sex abuse images, and the FBI sting took place outside of a District Apple Store.

According to WTOP, an employee of the hookup app Sniffies notified authorities that a user on the app was attempting to contact underage males. Later, an undercover FBI agent established contact with the man and exchanged the offending images.

The agent later set up an in-person sting in front of the Carnegie Library Apple Store, where the man was arrested.

Car thieves reject Android phone, wanted iPhone instead

Washington is reportedly suffering a car theft crisis, and one recent story indicates that car thieves prefer iPhones to Android ones.

KATV reports a man was robbed in Washington by two masked gunmen, after parking his car. They attempted to steal his phone, the man's wife told the TV station, only to reject it when they discovered he had an Android phone and not an iPhone.

The man's wife had used the car to make Uber Eats and Instacart deliveries.

iPhone shipment worth 1.7 million euros stolen from Schiphol airport

A large parcel of iPhones, worth 1.7 million euros, was stolen from a freight company at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands at the end of October, NL Times reported. Per the report, the man posed as a truck driver and carried out the theft.

A video of the crime, the report said, indicated that "the man is not an experienced trucker. He drove in fits and starts and appeared very nervous."

Another iPhone theft totaling 3 million euros took place at the same airport in July of 2020.

Defendant in Nashua iPhone theft plot gets a year and a day in federal prison

The New Hampshire man who was hired to transport $2 million in stolen iPhones, iPads, and more — and later was accused of forging documents to cover his tracks — has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison, following his guilty plea in June.

According to the Justice Department, 31-year-old Guangwei "William" Wu also received a year of supervised release, and a $10,000 fine, and must make restitution.

'Reservoir Dogs'-inspired robbers used "iPhone cables" to tie up victims

They didn't cut off anyone's ear, but a group of robbers in the San Antonio area reportedly were inspired by the movie Reservoir Dogs, using names like Mr. Red, Mr. Pink and Mr. Yellow. One of the accused robbers has been arrested.

Fox San Antonio says the robbers entered a home and robbed the inhabitants at gunpoint. When other victims arrived at the house, per the report, they were tied up using "Apple iPhone cables."

One family member told the media outlet that he had an affair with a woman, and he believed the robbers, who seemed to know the layout of the home and the location of multiple safes, were connected to that woman.

iPad used to steal more than 100 packages from Boston apartment building

The thieves responsible for the recent theft of over 138 packages from an apartment complex in Boston carried it out by using an iPad to "open a control panel" to access the storage room where the packages were.

According to Boston 25, the three suspects were seen on video.

Man robbed of iPhone, Apple Watch in Grindr meetup

A man in Laredo, Tex., who was meeting up with a man he met on the hookup app Grindr was robbed of his iPhone, Apple Watch and wallet.

LMT Online reports the two men had planned to meet at a motel. But once the other man arrived, he threatened to "rob and kill" the victim and later brandished a baseball bat. The assailant was later arrested and charged with aggravated robbery.

Grindr, unlike Sniffies above, is available in the App Store.

Three arrested for fraud at Tyson Corner Apple Store

Two men and a woman were arrested in mid-November and charged with attempting to buy iPhones, including at the Tysons Corner Apple Store in Virginia, with stolen credit cards. In addition, the trio was charged with carrying out a series of car break-ins.

According to WJLA, police in Fairfax County were called to the Apple Store for a "possible fraud incident," after store employees suspected the three people were trying to buy $5,500 worth of iPhones with a stolen credit card.

All three were arrested, and shortly afterward a woman called police claiming her credit cards had been stolen from her car. The three face a total of 65 criminal counts.

British TV host's iPhone was stolen from pub

Richard Madeley, the host of the Good Morning Britain talk show, said on December 1 that his iPhone was stolen from a local pub. The Daily Mail writes the device was taken by someone who claimed to be trying to sell Madeley a magazine.

The host, later in the segment, called for the iPhone thief to be "hanged."

"I've always been against capital punishment but after the week I've had I'm making an exception," he said on the show.

iPhone stolen at Whole Foods, "under customer's nose"

A New Jersey woman had her iPhone stolen while waiting in the checkout line at Hotel Foods in Montclair on November 13. According to Tap Into Montclair, the phone was taken while the woman briefly had her eyes off of it.

Once police were called, they tracked the phone to a specific location, but the story did not say whether it was recovered.