iPod gets new lease on life as ATM PIN stealer

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Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Crime doesn't Apple Pay.
Photo: Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Looking for a way to put your existing iPod to good use? How about a career in crime?

Police in Manchester, U.K., have issued a warning to local using ATMs, after a cash machine was discovered fitted with a converted iPod rigged to record footage of customers’ PIN numbers, while also trapping their bank cards.

Police crack massive iPhone black market crime ring

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Apple
I'd be happy with just the one iPhone, to be honest.
Photo: Tigard PD

Police in Tigard, Oregon have cracked an organized retail crime ring which used stolen gift cards worth three-quarters of a million dollars to buy iPhones bound for the Hong Kong black market.

Tigard Detective T.J. Hahn told the local KOIN 6 News that organized retail theft has become a bigger crime than even drug sales.

“This kind of activity makes millions of millions of dollars, into the billions,” he said.

Numbskull thief takes identifying selfie while robbing an iPhone

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May as well have sent a confession via iMessage.
Photo: Los Angeles Police Department

iPhone cameras are getting better and better all the time, with the upcoming iPhone 6s reportedly set to receive one of the bigger camera upgrades in recent memory.

While most of us are happy about this, we’re assuming the guy pictured above is cursing the day Apple decided to include a front-facing camera on its handsets — since it’s caught him in the act of robbing an iPhone, and now gives the police a perfect mugshot it can use for identification purposes.

Man who charged his iPhone on train arrested for stealing electricity

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The man who was charged for charging.
Photo: CBS Interactive

We’ve heard about iPhone-related crime before, but here’s one that’s new: A U.K. man in London who was arrested by police after charging his iPhone on a train.

45-year-old artist Robin Lee was approached by a police community support officer on board the train last Friday, warned that he was “illegally extracting electricity.” When Lee arrived at his destination, police officers were waiting to arrest him.

iPhone’s encryption is so good, not even cops can get past it

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New York cops say iPhone encryption is making their job harder.
New York cops say iPhone encryption is making their job harder.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Law enforcement has a love-hate relationship with the iPhone. Features like Activation Lock have helped crack down on smartphone thefts, but there’s always the lurking threat of someone asking Siri about 9/11 and accidentally dialling 911 in the process.

The latest issue police are butting heads with Apple about relates to the company’s late-2014 decision to no longer maintain decryption keys which let Apple unlock iOS 8 devices for police as part of active investigations.

And New York’s cops aren’t happy about it!

‘Businessman’ who made $43,000 scamming Apple jailed

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Defraud Apple, go to Egypt.
Defraud Apple, go to Egypt.
Photo: Edward Hornsey/Facebook

Edward Hornsey has had an impressively long relationship with Apple’s customer service department. The 24 year-old has returned 51 iPhones in the past year, and Apple has replaced them with brand-new units.

The only problem is that none of those phones were his, and he’s now in jail for fraud.

Thieving educator takes phrase ‘an Apple for teacher’ too far

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If only this story was quite so innocent. Photo: Pioneer Institute
If only this story was quite so innocent. Photo: Pioneer Institute

An old saying states that those who can, do; those who can’t, teach — and to this we should maybe add that those teachers who can’t afford the latest Apple products on their salary, steal.

That’s according to a new report stating that a former Caldwell School District teacher in Idaho has pleaded guilty to grand theft charges, after buying (and then failing to hand over) a plethora of Apple gadgets — including two iPod touches, three iPad 2s, a 27-inch iMac, and three iPad minis.

That’s an A for effort, but a D- for execution.

Activation Lock has slashed iPhone thefts in major cities

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Ericsson wants to stop Apple selling iPhones in the United States. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Drop in crime rate? There's an app for that. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

As highly-desirable and premium-priced tech goodies, it’s no surprise that iPhones have previously been among the most stolen items we carry around on a regular basis. In fact, police have even correlated spikes in crime rate to the launch of new iPhone models — suggesting that it’s not just upstanding citizens who keep an eye on the blogosphere.

That all changed when Apple added its Activation Lock feature with iOS 7, allowing users to locate, lock and even wipe their iPhones remotely in the event that they are stolen. Based on that, a new report claims that the number of stolen iPhones fell significantly in major cities around the world between September 2013, when Activation Lock was introduced, and one year later.

Take that, iCriminals!

Apple Store employees stole $700,000 in gift cards

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giftcards_hero
iCrime doesn't pay. Photo: Apple

In my experience, Apple Store employees are some of the hardest-working, most reasonable and (despite the fact they’re employed to sell you things) trustworthy people in retail. According to Manhattan district attorney, however, that description isn’t universal.

The DA is indicting four former Apple Store employees, plus a dental office receptionist, for an Apple-related scam that ultimately defrauded Barclays Bank of $700,000, using ill-gotten Apple gift cards.

Here’s how it happened.