Apple once again finds itself the target of criminal activity, though this time the scheme is slightly more elaborate than a small-time smash and grab job. According to court documents filed in the state of New York, dozens of suspects have been charged in association with using thousands of stolen credit card numbers to purchase products from Apple Store locations across the country. The group made fake credit cards with stolen credit card numbers and then used them to purchase Apple laptops, iPhones, iPods and other Apple products. The group’s leader, 28-year-old Shaheed Bilal, allegedly continued to orchestrate the entire operation even while incarcerated from May through December of last year. Bilal had thousands of stolen credit card numbers in his possession and even boasted on Twitter about using stolen cards at restaurants. Records of Bilal’s tweets were referenced by prosecutors at his arraignment on Tuesday. The Apple Store scheme began in May 2009, and the group reportedly purchased over $1 million worth of Apple products using the stolen card numbers. 27 suspects have been charged so far. More →
On Tuesday morning, the Greenwich, Conn. Apple Store was allegedly robbed by five men, and we decided to drop by the scene today to see for ourselves. The store is now open for business, though one of two main entrances to the location is still blocked off ahead of repairs, which should take place soon.
According to reports and surveillance video, the suspects broke in through the large glass doors by smashing the glass. They proceeded to grab items on display in the store and apparently made off with tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise. No arrests have been made at this time.
It’s the moment every iPhone owner dreads — but secretly dreams about. You’re walking in a dark alley (or near the intersection of Amberson Avenue and Amberson Place in Shadyside, in this case) and three men approach, one brandishing a gun. They demand your wallet, credit card PINs and your precious iPhone. Scared for your life, you nervously comply and hand over your belongings. As the men leave and you run in the opposite direction and think to yourself, “Hell yeah, I finally get to use the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature in MobileMe!” Editorializing aside, this is reportedly what happened early this morning in Shadyside, PA. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, an unnamed victim was allegedly robbed around 1:00 am this morning and forced to hand over his wallet and iPhone. After fleeing the scene unharmed, the man contacted the police and his banks before going home and using Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ feature to locate his iPhone at a local Walmart. The man coordinated with police and three suspects were eventually detained at a nearby gas station. Police recovered a black pellet gun, stolen identification, credit cards and cash, though the report does not indicate whether or not the stolen iPhone was recovered. Moral of the story: don’t steal a guy’s iPhone (but if you do, turn it off).