police Stories April 12, 2016

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London’s Metropolitan Police service has apparently abandoned plans to issue iPad minis to 15-20,000 frontline officers after spending a total of £6M ($8.58M) on a trial of just 641 devices. This means that the trial ended up costing the taxpayer £9,360 ($13,397) per iPad.

The Inquirer obtained the information using a Freedom of Information request.

The Met spent £1.2m on hardware during that time, including the iPads and supporting servers and accessories, £4.1m on custom software development, which included the databases to support mobile operations, £600,000 on business and management activities and £100,000 on licences. The costs also include the replacement of 12 tablets during the trial period … 

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police Stories February 19, 2016

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An 18-year-old girl reportedly kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend has been safely rescued by police after her mother tracked her location using Find My iPhoneCNBC reports that the victim was found more than 150 miles away from home.

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police Stories November 24, 2015

New York promotes mobile app to report suspicious activity in ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday announced that the state is supporting a mobile app allowing people to report suspicious activity, reports the NY Daily News. The See Send app, available on both iOS and Android, allows users to send either a text note or a photo.

The app […] will allow people to send a photo or written note to the state police Intelligence Center, where its credibility can be examined and referred to the proper law enforcement agency if necessary. [It] should be used to report suspicious behavior or specific situations like an unattended backpack in a public place, not simply hunches.

The app is already supported by Pennsylvania, Ohio, Louisiana, Colorado and Virginia.

State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico likened the app to a telephone crime tip line, with police hoping that making it easier to pass on tips will make it more likely that people will use it.

“If you see something that may be linked to terrorism, send something,” D’Amico said. “Your tip could provide valuable information that could prevent a tragedy.”

For emergencies, you should of course still call 911. More information about the ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign can be found here. The See Send app is a free download on iTunes.

police Stories September 26, 2015

Apple could face penalty in Russia over same-sex couple emoji inclusion

Apple could potentially be facing a fine upwards of one million rubles in Russia (which is only about $15,000 USD) over its inclusion of same-sex couple emoji characters on the built-in iOS keyboard. The Independent reports that police in Russia have began an investigation into Apple to determine whether the company has violated a highly controversial national ban on activity its government considers homosexual propaganda.

Local police in Russia’s Kirov region began their enquiries after Orthodox activist and lawyer Yaroslav Mikhailov complained that the images violated a controversial 2013 law banning the promotion of homosexuality to minors.

police Stories December 12, 2014

Iowa planning America’s first iPhone driver’s license, working on privacy concerns

If you’re pulled over by a patrol car in Iowa, you might in future find the officer asking for your ‘iPhone and registration, please.’ The state is working on creating a smartphone app that can be shown in place of a physical license, reports the WSJ.

DOT spokeswoman Andrea Henry said that both security and privacy concerns need to be addressed before the project can proceed. Animation might be used to guard against someone showing a screengrab in place of the app, and privacy will be protected by ensuring that “the phone never leaves your hands.”

Users could hold up the phone so that police or Transportation Security Administration officers can scan the license electronically, rather than handling the phone.

The app will also need to hide notifications while it is in use, preventing a police officer having access to any other information on the phone, such as text message alerts.

MorphoTrust USA, the company working with the state to create the app, says that it is in discussion with more than 20 other states.

police Stories December 11, 2014

Canadian court rules that police officers can search cell phones without warrant during arrest

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled by a 4-3 decision that Canadian police officers have the right to search cell phones without a warrant during arrests under certain circumstances: the arrest must be lawful, police need a valid reason for the search, the search must be limited to the suspected crime and police must keep detailed records of the search.

police Stories November 3, 2014

Thanks to iCloud, California cop busted for stealing nude photos from suspect’s iPhone

A California policer offers has been charged with Theft and Copying of Computer Data after looking through the photos on a female DUI suspect’s iPhone, and sending nudes to himself and two other officers. He is also charged with the same offense in regard to a second woman.

CNET reports that the suspect unlocked her phone to look up a contact she wanted to call to advise of her arrest. With the iPhone unlocked, Officer Sean Harrington of the California Highway Patrol in Dublin, California, sent as many as six nude images to himself and two colleagues.

On Friday, Harrington was charged with two felonies. One pertained to the original complainant, only named as Jane Doe No. 1 in court documents. The second involves a different woman, named as Jane Doe No. 2 […]

A text message obtained during investigations of the incident has Harrington texting another officer: “Her body is rocking.

The CNET report says that “the incident only came to light because 23-year-old Jane Doe No. 1 had her iPhone synced to Apple’s iCloud,” with Gizmodo adding that Jane Doe No.1 spotted the messages on her iPad.

Apple’s iCloud actually uncovered the plot since the suspect synced messages from her smartphone with her iPad. She soon noticed that photos had been sent to a number she didn’t recognise.

Harrington has resigned from the California Highway Patrol, and if found guilty faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in jail.

A Virginia court recently ruled that suspects cannot be compelled to hand over their passcodes to police, but that fingerprints can be used to access phones.

police Stories October 31, 2014

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While Touch ID makes sense for most of us as a secure and convenient way to protect our phones, there is one group of people who may want to stick to good old-fashioned passcodes: criminals.

A Virginia District Court has ruled that while phone passcodes are protected by the 5th Amendment, which says that those accused of crimes cannot be compelled to incriminate themselves, there is no such protection against using a suspect’s fingerprint to unlock a phone …  expand full story

police Stories May 16, 2014

The four largest carriers now support texting 911, but most emergency call centers don’t

When the FCC set a voluntary deadline of yesterday for putting in place technology to allow people to text 911, all four of the main national carriers complied. But since most emergency call centres aren’t yet equipped to receive texts, don’t expect to be using it any time soon.

The FCC said that the ability to text 911 could be a life-saver for those with hearing or speech impairments, as well as in situations where it might be dangerous to make a phone call – while a crime is in progress and the perpetrator within earshot, for example.

But the wireless trade association, the CTIA, warned that even where 911 texting is supported, it’s still impossible to guarantee immediate delivery of texts. We’ve all experienced examples of texts that arrive the next day, so the advice remains to make a voice call wherever possible.

The FCC has uploaded a list of emergency call centres accepting 911 texts. If you attempt to text 911 in an area where the service is not supported, you’ll get a text bounce-back. Needless to say, please do not test the service.

police Stories March 25, 2013

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A police officer in the U.K. named Doug Crossan reported his own 13-year-old son for fraud after Apple refused to refund £3,700 that the child ran up playing freemium App Store titles on his iPad. DailyMail has the story:

Cameron then racked up more than 300 purchases on games such as Plants vs Zombies, Hungry Shark, Gun Builder, Nova 3. Many of them are free to download but users can buy in-game extras – in one game Cameron had purchased a virtual chest of gold coins costing £77.98.

But the technology company has refused and his only way of recouping the money is to report the purchases as being fraudulent. So Mr Crossan, of Clevedon, North Somerset, has shopped Cameron to the Action Fraud helpline – meaning his son could face arrest and questioning by the his father’s colleagues. He said: ‘I am sure Cameron had no intention to do it, but I had to have a crime reference number if there was any chance of getting any credit card payments refunded.

We reported last week that Apple was adding a new “offers in-app purchases” warning in the App Store to better inform consumers downloading free apps that additional content will require a fee. The move followed a settling a class action lawsuit that alleged children were able to rack up thousands of dollars through the iOS freemium model, i.e. in-app purchases, with both parents and children under the impression that the games were free. Apple is refusing to refund Crossan, citing “parental responsibility and pointing out that iPads contain password locks to prevent accidental or unwanted purchases.”

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police Stories March 19, 2013

Police arrest Polish gypsy crime ring targeting Apple/electronics stores responsible for $3M in loot

SiliconValley.com reported police in Torrance, Calif. have arrested four suspects claiming to be part of a “Gypsy family” from Poland that is responsible for targeting Apple retail stores and other electronics retailers across the country. The group is accused of stealing around $3 million in property over the last year, and police have so far recovered more than $20,000 worth of Apple products:

The suspected thieves arrested March 8 in Hawthorne are believed responsible for 17 crimes at Apple (AAPL) stores in Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Canoga Park, Glendale, Brea, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Irvine, along with a MacMall in Torrance, a Microsoft store in Mission Viejo, and other businesses across Los Angeles and Orange counties, including Best Buy, Costco, PetSmart, Sam’s Club, Sports Authority and Wal-Mart, Torrance police Sgt. Robert Watt said.

During the crime and others like it, the men would stand in a position to block employees from seeing the women behind them. The men selected items from shelves and passed it to the women, who would hide it inside their oversized dresses and overcoats, and purses, Watt said.

Once the suspects were arrested, police recovered more than $20,000 worth of Apple products, Watt said.

police Stories July 30, 2012

WSJ: 40 percent of device thefts in NYC are Apple, including a jaw-busting iPad from our own reporter

[tweet https://twitter.com/SuzanneKellyCNN]

The Federal Communications Commission revealed last spring that 40 percent of all major city robberies now involve smartphones, but New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said over the weekend that same figure now applies to Apple product-related thefts in New York City, and the Wall Street Journal’s Rolfe Winkler should know first hand, as he was attacked recently while toting an iPad in Brooklyn.

According to the Winkler:

We were buried in an e-book when the subway doors opened at the Bergen Street stop in Brooklyn. In a flash, a pair of hands dove into my date’s lap and ripped away her iPad. Chasing the guy was instinctive. But he had a crew backing him up that I never saw. Instead of winning back the iPad, I found myself lying on the platform bleeding, my jaw split in half.

Winkler then cited a 2011 report from the New York Police Department to detail what he dubbed as “iCrime wave” statistics:

How big is the iCrime wave? National data aren’t available, but in New York, there were more than 26,000 incidents of electronics theft in the first 10 months of 2011—81% involving mobile phones—according to an internal police-department document. In Washington, D.C., cellphone-related robberies jumped 54% from 2007 to 2011, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. And the data may drastically undercount thefts. Since many don’t involve violence, many victims don’t bother reporting them.

Major theft of Apple devices is not limited to New York, however. In May, one notable woman, now known as the “iThief,” stole over 100 iPads across Texas-based Walmarts. The retail giant even caught her on video—check it out.

Retail crime is not as menacing as violent ones, though, such as the case from earlier this month, where several masked assailants carrying assault rifles overtook a truckload of Apple products passing through Aulnay-sous-Bois in Paris.

police Stories May 4, 2012

Caught on camera: ‘iThief’ steals 100 iPads across Texas (Video)

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O.K., here is another Walmart-based story: The retail giant’s asset protection team has captured an unidentified woman stealing iPads on surveillance video. Sure, theft is commonplace at the supercenter, but police said this woman has stolen roughly 100—or $57,000 worth of— iOS tablets.

 According to ABC News’ Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate, WFAA:

She usually strikes in the early hours of the morning. Police say she does the same thing every time, leaving groceries at the counter and walking out of the store with two or three iPads. Her latest hit came last week at a Sherman Wal-Mart.

The video above shows how the Wally World thefts occur. The woman allegedly hit 36 cities in Texas, including 28 Wal-Mart stores and eight Targets. The crook’s dubious habits in the Lone Star state even earned her a new nickname: “The iThief.”

police Stories November 22, 2011

LA Times reports that Apple’s Find My iPhone app was used to assist in the arrest of an armed robbery suspect last Thursday. The male suspect entered a female’s home at gun point and took her purse, which held her beloved iPhone inside. The suspect left the home, and thought the coast was clear.

However, the victim then called police and remembered that she had Find My iPhone and notified them. Luckily for her, a random citizen on the street let police use his laptop to track the suspect down via Apple’s website. The officers later found the man and he was arrested on robbery charges. The LAPD told the LA Times how crucial it is to have tracking software installed whenever possible:

LAPD officials say computer and phone theft is a major contributor to crime in Los Angeles, and the theft — and its outcome — illustrate the value and benefit of using tracking applications and software for computers, cellphones and portable tablets.

Find My iPhone was also used in September to help sift through the wreckage in the terribly sad Chilean plane crash. Find My iPhone has important use cases everyday, and we’re glad to see the poor woman got her items back. This is a great reminder that you should have it installed (and to criminals to pass on taking Apple devices!)

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police Stories October 27, 2011

Watch out! Using Siri while driving is still illegal in California

MercuryNews was told by the San Jose Police that using Siri while driving is illegal. The San Jose Police Luitenant said that the actual act of talking to Siri isn’t illegal, but it’s the part when you use you’re hands to navigate through its functionality when things start getting setup for a nice ticket. “It’s […]

police Stories October 7, 2011

Apple executives knew Jobs’ condition at iPhone 4S Launch

According to Palo Alto police department spokeswoman Sandra Brown (via Bloomberg), Apple executives may have known Steve Jobs’ condition at the time of the iPhone 4S launch event. Apple informed police that Steve Jobs passing was close, days before Apple’s official statement confirming he had passed. As a result of the meeting, police apparently put […]

police Stories September 25, 2011

SFPD wants surveillance footage in the lost iPhone case

CNET reported this afternoon that the SFPD has asked for surveillance footage from Cava 22, the bar where an Apple employee apparently lost the unannounced iPhone. The SFPD asked to see footage from the dates of July 21st and 22nd, not when the iPhone left the bar, but as part of their investigation to see […]

police Stories September 7, 2011

In search of the missing iPhone, a man claimed Apple came to his home impersonating police to conduct a search. It was later reported by SFWeekly that Apple didn’t impersonate officers, and was rather accompanied by four member of the San Francisco Police Department, as two Apple security guards entered the home. Interestingly, there was no police report filed as such. Today however, Cnet is reporting that the SFPD has begun an investigation to determine what role the officers actually played in the search.

Lt. Troy Dangerfield, of the San Francisco Police Department told CNET today that an internal investigation has begun into learning how officers assisted two Apple security employees search a home for the handset in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood in July.

There’s definitely some sketchy areas around this case that we’d like to be uncovered, and we’ll let you know when we hear more. Check out SFPD’s statement from this weekend after the break:

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police Stories September 2, 2011

Update: The SFPD has given Cnet a full statement:

After speaking with Apple representatives, we were given information which helped us determine what occurred. It was discovered that Apple employees called Mission Police station directly, wanting assistance in tracking down a lost item. Apple had tracked the lost item to a house located in the 500 block of Anderson Street. Because the address was in the Ingleside Police district Apple employees were referred to Officers in the Ingleside district. Four SFPD Officers accompanied Apple employees to the Anderson street home. The two Apple employees met with the resident and then went into the house to look for the lost item. The Apple employees did not find the lost item and left the house.

The Apple employees did not want to make an official report of the lost item.

Earlier today, SF Weekly reported that a Bernan Heights man claimed Apple posed as police officers to search his house for the missing iPhone 5. SFWeekly is now reporting that their earlier report had some incorrect points, and that the San Francisco Police Department did assist Apple.

Contradicting past statements that no records exist of police involvement in the search for the lost prototype, San Francisco Police Department spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield now tells SF Weekly that “three or four” SFPD officers accompanied two Apple security officials in an unusual search of a Bernal Heights man’s home.

Four plain clothed police officers came to the house with two Apple security guards. During the search inside the home, the four police officers stood outside while the Apple security guards were inside. What is odd is that the police report wasn’t filed as such. We’re sure more is going to come out in terms of this case.

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