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Violent iPhone thefts, embezzlement, and burglary in the Apple Crime Blotter

A professional poker player’s iPhone passcode is used to open his safe, a superintendent accused of illicit spending on Apple Watches, and more crime stories involving Apple, its products, and services.

The latest in an occasional AppleInsider series, looking at the world of Apple-related crime.

iPhone X taken in road rage incident

News broke in late August that several New Yorkers who had recently shopped at Apple Stores had been targeted for theft. But a few weeks earlier, there was another ugly incident involving the theft of Apple products in that city.

The New York Post reports a road rage incident in Queens on August 1 led to both the theft of an iPhone and an allegedly violent act. After one driver got angry at another for sideswiping his car, the first man choked the second, and then took his iPhone X before fleeing, in an incident that was caught on video.

iPhone taken in strong-arm robbery in California

On the opposite coast, an iPhone was stolen from an elderly man in broad daylight in Culver City, Calif., on Sept. 7. According to West Side Today, who cited police, the man was walking when a female driver pulled up alongside him, “began to curse at him for unknown reasons,” and following a struggle, got out of the car and took the man’s iPhone 11.

Woman accused of using iPhone passcode to open poker pro’s safe

A woman accused of robbing Las Vegas poker pro Antonio Esfandiari of more than $1 million worth of merchandise was able to do so because, according to police, she knew the poker star’s iPhone passcode, which was similar to the code for a safe in his home.

Casino.org writes the woman, who formerly had a relationship with Esfandiari’s father, is accused of stealing $150,000 in cash, up to $500,000 in poker chips, and $400,000 in jewelry from Esfandiari’s Las Vegas-area condo.

She was caught after reportedly using one of the stolen poker chips at an area casino.

U.K. man sentenced to 22 months for iPhone, iPad burglary

A man in Leeds, England, has been convicted of a 2018 house burglary that notched £2,000 ($2366) worth of items, including an iPhone, iPad, hair straighteners, three watches, jewelry, and a handbag. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the man was caught after a screwdriver left behind at the scene matched his DNA.

Ex-superintendent charged with embezzlement bought Apple Watches

A former school superintendent in Minnesota has been charged with embezzling $42,000 worth of public funds, after authorities say he abused the privileges of his district-issued credit card. Local news site Bring Me The News reports the ex-superintendent of the Rockford School District made nearly 200 purchases deemed improper, including those of two Apple Watches and home security monitoring equipment, as well as “new laptops every 18 months outside of the usual procurement process for school district equipment.”

The man, charged with 11 counts of embezzlement and three counts of theft by swindle over 18 months, told the Star Tribune through his attorney that he had no intention “to swindle or defraud anyone.”

Fake Apple tech support scam took customer for $9,000

Politicians in multiple states, including the attorney general of Michigan, are warning of a familiar scam in which callers claim falsely to be tech support from Apple or another tech company. One such scam was also recently reported in Illinois.

According to Northbrook Patch, a resident called police on August 29 stating that “Apple” had called and asked for access to the person’s computer, which was granted, at which point the caller claimed the repairs cost $9,000 and asked for the person’s credit card information, which was granted.

Two sought in Apple Watch thefts from T-Mobile store

Police in Carlisle, Pa., are looking for two suspects who they say stole a pair of Apple Watches from a T-Mobile store on September 9. Police told Penn Live the suspects are also suspected of another, similar, theft, 40 minutes later in East Pennsboro Township. Authorities believe, however, that the Watches were display units and therefore useless.

Man stole from priest, bought iPhone to “impress girlfriend”

A man in Zimbabwe broke into a priest’s house, stole $1,500, and bought an iPhone and two other cell phones, in order to “impress his girlfriend,” according to The Chronicle, a publication in that country. The man, who was sentenced to 24 months in jail, had stolen from the same priest before, the report said.

Man in India beaten after allegedly stealing filmmaker’s iPhone

A 20-year-old man in Hyderabad, India, was allegedly beaten with sticks and had his head shaved, after he was accused of stealing an iPhone from the home of Nutan Naidu, a filmmaker who has also appeared on the reality show Telugu Bigg Boss. Per NDTV, seven people were initially arrested for their roles in the incident, while Naidu himself was later arrested, per Times of India.

Naidu was also charged with impersonating an Indian Administrative Service officer in phone calls following the incident.

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