Two New York criminals managed to buy $16,000 worth of iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches using fake driver’s licenses and credit cards, before their purchases were flagged as being suspicious.
Jorge Escotto, 23, and Joshua Gonzales, 25, were arrested and charged with identity theft and receiving stolen property after the spending spree — much of which appears to have taken place in Verizon stores.
Gonzales was discovered using different IDs showing the same photo, but with different names on each. While accomplice Escotto was initially released because he had not gone into the store with his partner, investigators later discovered that he had visited other Verizon stores in the Ohio area and bought iPhones using a false New Jersey driver’s license and fake credit card.
Police got a call from an Uber driver who said he had just dropped Escotto off at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. When police officers working at the airport arrested Escotto before he boarded his plane, they discovered iPhones, tablets and an Apple Watch in his luggage.
Given their high value and in-demand status, Apple products have (unfortunately) long been targets of criminal activity. As it turns out, $16,000 is relative small fry, too. Last month, police in Tigard, Oregon cracked an organized retail crime ring in which stolen gift cards worth three-quarters of a million dollars were used to buy iPhones bound for the Hong Kong black market.