iPhone evidence catches a mail fraud conspiracy, a police department recommends AirTags in cars, and Apple device orders replaced with fruit.
The latest in an occasional AppleInsider series, looking at the world of Apple-related crime.
Ex-trooper pleads guilty texting himself woman’s nude photos
A former Minnesota state trooper who was accused in thesummer of 2020 of texting himself a nude photo from a woman’s phone has pled guilty to the offense. According to NBC News, the trooper responded to the scene of a suspected drunken-driving crash and used the woman’s phone to text himself intimate images.
The officer was caught when the boyfriend of the woman, whose phone was synched with her MacBook, discovered that the photos had been sent to an unknown number. This led the boyfriend to call the number.
The officer, who has since been fired, pled guilty to misdemeanor nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images and agreed to two years of probation.
iPhone evidence busts mail fraud conspiracy
Two Dominican nationals have pled guilty to a mail fraud scheme that was busted in part due to evidence obtained from an iPhone.
According to a Department of Justice press release, the two men admitted to “using stolen personal identification information to obtain high-end electronic devices such as cell phones, laptop computers, tablets, and watches.”
The defendants were caught in a Customs and Border Patrol raid in April 2020, in which electronic devices were seized. A review of one of the iPhones revealed much information, including fraudulent driver’s licenses and other details of the scheme.
One Connecticut police department is recommending that car owners place AirTags inside their cars in order to avoid car thefts. According to Patch, the area has seen a large recent uptick in car thefts, and the AirTags are seen as a way to mitigate the problem.
Citizens are also advised to lock their cars and otherwise secure valuable items.
iPhones meant for delivery in Thailand were replaced by fruit
A food preparer in Thailand was meant to receive eight used iPhones from relatives but opened the box only to find that they had been replaced by a single mango fruit.
According to Bangkok Post, a staffer of the parcel delivery company, Flash Express was responsible for the theft. The woman meant to receive the iPhones contacted Apple, and traced the devices to Bang Rakam. In a Facebook post, the woman accused the company of refusing to help her, but they later apologized.
Police later found the suspected thief, who denied any involvement, although the stolen phones later rang nearby.
Find My iPhone tracks, catches accused church thief
Police in Washington state used the Find My iPhone function to catch a man suspected of stealing from two local churches.
According to KPQ, police found $10,000 worth of stolen items reportedly stolen from five different victims. While police found two Apple computers, they did not find the iPad that they had tracked to the residence.
Police seek suspects who stole “bags full of MacBooks
The Knoxville Police’s Property Crimes Unit is seeking two suspects who they say stole “two bags full of Apple MacBooks” from an area Best Buy. The two are said to have left the store in a dark-colored sedan.
The Best Buy was located on Towne and Country Boulevard in Knoxville.
Apple Watches said to be calling 911 by mistake
When the officers call back, which is mandated when people call the police and hang up, they are often told the call came from an Apple Watch and was accidental.
iPhones reportedly being stolen, for bank access, in Brazil
A rash of iPhone thefts in Brazil is meant not to use or resell the phones, but rather to access bank accounts, reporting on the crimes from that country claims.
According to the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, as cited by India Today, those who own iPhone 11 and XR models have noticed that if their phone was stolen, they have also had bank accounts hacked. It is a particular gang in Sao Paolo doing so, per the report.
“Robbers noticed how much information people put in their phones. Usually, Waze users in the car with an Android smartphone are their main focus. Although breaking an iOS system is more difficult, they have also specialized in it,” the local police chief in the report.
Find My iPhone leads to 70-year-old on the beach
Police in Ontario recently used the Find My service to try to solve the theft of an iPhone and a pair of shoes, both of which had taken from an area beach. Blackburn News reports the iPhone was found in the possession of a 70-year-old man, who was charged with theft under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000.
Pennsylvania State Police are looking into a theft of an iPhone 11 and a wallet containing $1,000 in cash and credit cards – all from a shopping cart at a Tractor Supply store in Somerset County.
According to We Are Central PA, troopers have been warning of items being stolen from shopping carts.
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