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

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

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.”

expand full story

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.

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