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FBI arrests JFK worker in NYC iPad mini heist

updated 10:29 am EST, Mon November 19, 2012

Richardson asked suspicious questions, court documents say

The FBI has arrested an airport worker in the case of last week's iPad mini heist at New York City's JFK airport, according to sources and court documents obtained by the New York Post. The man, Renel Rene Richardson, is said to have been outed after Port Authority detectives talked to his coworkers, and learned that he had been asking unusual questions about both the iPads and where forklifts could be found. A forklift was used to load two pallets' worth of iPads into a truck, and might've been used to load even more had the thieves not been confronted by another airport worker.

Richardson is said to have served as a lookout during the heist, which happened at the Cargo Air Services building where he worked; the actual robbers remain at large. Police sources say that on Wednesday night, Port Authority detectives brought Richardson along to search Long Island for the truck.

The FBI is refusing to comment on the case, including whether or not the Minis have been recovered. The Post has meanwhile adjusted the alleged value of the missing tablets to an even higher $1.9 million.

by MacNN Staff





  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-05-01

    I wonder if Apple can trace these devices upon activation?

  1. rodvera

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-27-07

    They should be able to. They have the s/n for all of them.

  1. dogfolife69

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-19-12

    If they can turn on tracking remotely, that would be a scary thought. If they can do that, what else can they do remotely without user interaction. :bicker:

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by dogfolife69View Post

    If they can turn on tracking remotely, that would be a scary thought. If they can do that, what else can they do remotely without user interaction. :bicker:

    You've missed the point:

    When these devices are activated, they register their serial number with Apple.

    The IP address from whence they connect is in Apple's log files and can be matched to a user through the ISP's records (in most of Europe, this requires a police warrant, and I'm pretty certain it does in the US, as well, except for situations covered by the Homeland Security Act).

    This would theoretically allow Apple to hand over a list of serial numbers and IP addresses to the police, with a request to match them up to users. Provided, of course, that Apple has an interest in catching the people who BOUGHT the stolen iPads, such as they have been sold.

    If a majority of these stolen devices can be recovered directly from the thieves, they might just say "**** it", and let the unwitting buyers of stolen property get off.

    In any case, this isn't location tracking by Apple in the way that Find My iPhone/iPad is when and if you switch it on.

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