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NYPD makes 141 arrests in iPhone, iPad sting operation

updated 09:55 am EST, Mon December 19, 2011

Businesses, buyers snared

A sting operation involving undercover New York Police Department officers resulted in 141 arrests last week, according to an announcement. The NYPD say that having identified a number businesses throughout New York City -- including some thought to have received stolen goods before -- the undercover officers went out to sell iPhone 4s and iPad 2s with the claim that they were stolen. Devices were offered at prices between $50 and $200.

On Friday, though, Police Commission Ray Kelly described the sting as a "two-prong approach to apprehend both thieves and receivers of stolen property." It is unclear how many of the people arrested worked for the targeted businesses. The snare operation began last Tuesday, and continued into Friday.

Apple products are often a lucrative target for thieves and black market vendors. As a rule the devices are extremely popular, making them easy to resell at high prices. Apple Stores themselves have sometimes been hit by smash-and-grab robberies, in which the culprits take advantage of glass facades and simple store layouts to scoop up as many electronics as possible.

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_Samuel

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2011


    I can see...

    some claims of "entrapment" being filed.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not bloody likely

    first of all, if you're told it's stolen merchandise and buy it anyway, you've broken the law. It's not entrapment.

    secondly, the legal definition of 'entrapment' is quite different from what we common folks would consider entrapment. It's quite a high bar to reach, though it happens. There's been some terrorism cases where it would seem to you and I that the defendants were aided to a great extent by law enforcement and seemed plainly incapable of executing their plans on their own... and yet there was no entrapment.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple's role

    Apple could certainly play a better role in this, one that'd rank high as a customer service. They could offer a stolen device registry for their most recent devices. Then a potential iPad buyer would have a place to go to see if it had been reported stolen.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Apple's role

    Right, just what Apple needs to do, another system to keep up and running and hoping the information is correct, hope that people don't file 'false' claims about stolen merchandise in order to get someone in trouble or 'just for gags'. And who makes sure that the registry is up-to-date? Let's say you report your iPad as stolen, and three days later it turns up (no questions asked, or you remembered you left it in the hall bathroom playing angry birds one night after eating mexican food). You forget all about reporting it 'found'. Somewhere down the line, it gets sold or given away a couple of times, someone then decides to look it up on the 'registry', and "boom", Bob's going to jail for stealing an iPad he didn't steal.

    And why just devices? Why not a stolen computer registry? And why just apple? Why aren't you suggesting this for every type of device or product in the world? A lot of stuff is stolen, you know.

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