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Burglar who stole Jobs' computers sentenced

updated 10:42 pm EST, Sun January 20, 2013

Raided Apple founders' home during renovations

A burglar who raided the home of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs while it was undergoing renovations and helped himself to Jobs' wallet, computers, iOS devices and other valuables has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Kariem McFarlin, 35, was found to have burglarized a number of homes and may have been caught through the "Find My iPhone" iOS tracking feature, as well as a bizarre incident in which one of the stolen iPads turned up in the possession of a children's party entertainer. Though he pled guilty, McFarlin claimed he was driven to the thefts by "desperation."

Despite the claim, McFarlin still had items stolen from various homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in his own house and storage unit, including one of two pieces of Tiffany jewelry he had stolen from Jobs' home that was worth over $28,000 (he sold the other one to an out-of-state dealer). In addition to the jewelry, McFarlin took two iMacs, three iPads, three iPods, an Apple TV and miscellaneous other items, reports AppleInsider. The burglary occurred in July of last year, and the family were not living there at the time due of ongoing renovations to Jobs' home.

Police were lead to him very quickly through his activation of one of the stolen iPads, which connected to iTunes and allowed Apple's security team to trace the device, details of which they turned over to Santa Clara County's REACT computer theft unit. McFarlin was arrested just a month after the crimes. One of the two stolen iPads ended up in the hands of a friend of McFarlin's, a children's entertainer and substitute teacher named Kenneth Kahn. Kahn was cleared of any involvement in the burglary and did not know the merchandise was stolen when he received it. He used it in his clown act to play songs.

Police reports suggest that McFarlin was probably unaware at the time whose house he was burglarizing, or that he had any personal possessions of the late Apple co-founder and his family. At the time, the Palo Alto area was seeing a rash of burglaries (up 63 percent from the same period the year before); in part some of this increase is now attributable to McFarlin's burglary spree. McFarlin received nearly the maximum prison sentence for his crimes, which included an extra year for "excessive taking of property."

by MacNN Staff



  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 01-16-00

    "Though he plead guilty, McFarlin claimed he was driven to the thefts by "desperation.""

    Pled guilty. It's pled guilty.

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-05-01

    celebrity victim

    7 years seems like a severe sentence for theft on this scale considering murderers get 8 years sometimes.

  1. macjockey

    Junior Member

    Joined: 06-23-04

    that was quick

    Strange how quickly the cops found Jobs' iPad through an activation. My local police can't get Apple to cooperate to supply the same information to them to recover the devices stolen from me.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    You can use "Find my Mac" or "Find my iPhone" to similar effect. That's the non-insider version of what happened here.

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