a long Strange Story, but iMac confiscated by cops, harddrive messed up?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DrDomVonDoom, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. DrDomVonDoom macrumors 6502

    DrDomVonDoom

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Ak
    #1
    So its a weird long story but I will get it out of the way. I got my first iMac early last year, about this time I believe, still ice on the ground. I was really happy with it, was living with 3 other guys in a big house we were all renting out in a fenced in duplex neighborhood that used to be military housing but was now open for public renters.

    It was one day in june, the 21st as I remember it. I came home and there was a man on the porch with a gun, he asked if I lived there, I said yes and he asked me to come inside. So Im sitting there on my couch watching 7 or 8 officers rummaging through the house, looking at the modem, the router carrying down all of our computers. A woman introduced herself as a detective with the Alaskan Computer Crime Division. She asked me some basic questions, asked who else lived there, when I finally got the nerve to ask what it was all about, she said that it had to do with somebody downloading CP, well I was shocked to say the least. The next two hours of interrogation and rifling was a nightmare come true. They put every disc, thumbdrive, cell phone in homeland security bags, and threw it all in the 4Chan Party Van parked on the lawn and took off.

    The next 9 monthes were a schizophrenic nightmare, thinking that at any moment, I was going to be hauled off to prison. My lawyer assured me in cases such as this, Innocent people don't usually do time, if theres nothing to hide, your golden. As was the case...

    Fast foreward to 2 weeks ago, we got the call our stuff was all clear, and a military guy who hacked into our router was arrested and charged. Well, we got our stuff back, in a slightly ravaged manner, my roomates windows pc doesn't work, they tore apart the Graphics card (why?) and broke a sata drive connector on the HD itself. They took a xbox, voided the warrenty by ripping it open and broke the hard drive release button. A missing netbook later I feared for my Mac, when I got it back it seemed fine, they obviously had to take off the screen to get to the HD, theres a few drops of glue or maybe water on the inside of the glass, and now the performance of the iMac seems horrible, its always stopping to load, I wiped the disk for fear of spy software, and reinstalled OSX, it still is just horrible. Should I just get a new HD? Could their investigation caused it, or the internals to become less then proficient as it was before? Just a story and a question, thanks.

    -VonDoom
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    If they opened your mac then they may have knocked something lose or if they really stripped it down you might find they removed the cooling without installing it back correctly causing it to overheat and throttle back!
     
  3. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #3
    I would get back in contact with that lawyer you mentioned and see what your options are for having them replace or repair the damaged items.

    Who knows, maybe they are not required to if the damage occurred in the process of the investigation, but it certainly wouldn't hurt anything.
     
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #4

    if you did get anything back at all, I'd worry that the cops had put some kind of tracking software in the system to keep an eye on me.
     
  5. DrDomVonDoom thread starter macrumors 6502

    DrDomVonDoom

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Ak
    #5
    Yeah, thats why I zeroed the hard drive. If theres anyone in the police industry or computer forensics. could you tell me if they could install something in your computer to watch you? Is that legal?
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #6
    It would be illegal. Call your lawyer, he should be able to assist you further.
     
  7. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

    Staff Member

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    #7
    Yes, they could install something to track you and it's only legal if they have a warrant from court or if you're deemed a terrorist they won't need that warrant.

    As another person said, you should contact your attorney again about all the damaged equipment. Since no one in the house was guilty of anything, I feel that you should be entitled to get your stuff back in the same condition as they took it. I see that justice was served, but at who's expense?
     
  8. mwayne85 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #8
    Geez. That sounds awful. Can't even imagine. Like the guy above me mentioned, you should ask your lawyer what he can do for compensation of damaged property. They SHOULD (big emphasis on should) pay for the iMac and anything else that you got back that wasn't working as it was before... However I wouldn't be too optimistic on a settlement like that. On top of that, it's going to mean more waiting, and more hassle. But that's really your only option. You should be able to get something. Sorry to hear about the messy situation and good luck.
     
  9. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #9
    Home land security has less power now then it did last year. The Congress and president did not keep the powers of homeland security as powerful as they once were. One of the reasons is people like you were legally pillaged with no results. I would attempt to get a refund by contacting that lawyer. I might even send Apple some info maybe they would be kind and offer a repair or replacement at a discount.
     
  10. .Max. macrumors member

    .Max.

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    United Kindom
    #10
    Dude... I'm scared for my MBa now as the police have it -_-

    Sent from my HTC Vision using Tapatalk
     
  11. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #11
    I wonder what they'd do if you have filevault enabled.
     
  12. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #12
    You can get some pretty good damages. Act all hurt when you go to court mentioning, "I couldn't work, do anything I needed and ended up losing invaluable time on projects and I lost a lot of money". You start raising enough of a stink they will replace, I wouldn't settle for repair, replace your crap. I'd also call the local papers/news stations asking if they want a small story about the police using barberous search tactics.

    I've done my share of IT work. You do not need to rip crap apart to find data. Yah you will get back everything and then some. You deserve it dude. Start that publicity going on this. Blog about it on local websites.

    Your lawyer will be able to help you, and get them for legal costs : ) FTW!
     
  13. cinek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    #13
    if you're going to go down this road - especially the "I lost a lot of money", you need to make sure you can prove it, as if their lawyer takes you up on it, and it turns out you can't prove that you are e.g. making a living using your mac, then everything else you say, might be a lie - it probably won't matter any more........
     
  14. DrDomVonDoom thread starter macrumors 6502

    DrDomVonDoom

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Ak
    #14

    Sorry dude, I know how you feel. I really do.

    I could take it to the Apple Store and see if they can take a gander and poke around and see if they notice anything....unusual inside.

    Like Barf said "Prepare to be....JAMMED!" lol
     
  15. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #15
    If they damaged your property in the process of an investigation, they are required to pay for it to be repaired or replaced. The only exception to them not having to do this is if the actions performed were in the act of saving/protecting your life (and even then in some cases they still have to pay restitutions).

    Talk to your lawyer, each state is different in how much and what process you need to go through, but you are entitled to your property being returned damage free, and if not, then repaired or replaced.
     
  16. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #16
    Looks like TrueCrypt saved another criminal from doing time!

    I'm amazed the "our router was hacked" ploy actually worked.
     
  17. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #17
    Huh? Did you miss the part where they arrested the guy who did it?
     
  18. Pachang macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #18
    Lol I would hope so.

    So...some "military" guy hacked your router to somehow download child porn with it.....I don't get it.

    Good story anyway OP. Maybe install windows and use a HD diagnostic tools available (assuming you can't find one for mac). You could tell if it was the HD then. Could also try ram test.

    You could try geekbench scores as well. There are benchmarks around this forum for new iMacs
     
  19. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #19
    Huh? Did you miss the "ploy" part?
     
  20. notjustjay, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011

    notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #20
    So you are accusing the OP of being in cahoots? On what basis?

    Apparently it happens:

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com...706_1_child-pornography-leesburg-man-deputies

    http://www.buffalonews.com/city/communities/buffalo/article369032.ece

    http://www.fox30jax.com/content/act...child-porn-arrest/HyXCnRzZL0empebG3y19Bw.cspx
     
  21. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #21
    Talk to your lawyer, this is -extremely- common when your **** gets seized.
     
  22. logandzwon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #22
    When I used do more desktop related IT I saw the after math of raids a few times.

    They do not give a **** about your stuff. I've seen systems come back with the CPU fans missing, the heat sink removed, etc... cases damaged, parts broken... Everything you said and worse.

    You have no idea how lucky you actually are that they found someone else to charge. Four of you living together would equal about 6-9 months of investigation and forensics work the Agent leading your case needs to justify to his superiors. If though you were all cleared, you will be lucky if nothing gets lost. It isn't that they actually are trying to keep your stuff, it's just the case load for those teams is very high, and stuff gets lost.

    As for your iMac, or any machine you get back, I'd highly advise someone qualified disassemble and reassemble it. There is very possibly one or more of the following; connectors disconnected or seated correctly, screws loose, screws loose in the case, screws stripped, ribbon cables damaged, sensors disconnected.

    As for spy software, if you've all been cleared, it is unlikely they installed anything on your gear. No harm in doing a secure erase and starting over though.

    Oh, BTW, no way your getting even a penny for your trouble. You had someone dealing child phonograph out of your house. Your lucky you weren't charged. (It's BS, that is the way they will see it.) At best you would need to prove they damaged it, and that it wasn't like that when they got it.
     
  23. DrDomVonDoom, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011

    DrDomVonDoom thread starter macrumors 6502

    DrDomVonDoom

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Ak
    #23

    I count this as a blessing every single day I wake up but to explain more precisely...

    We had a router set up with a Password, this GI happened to work with computers for the government and I guess he was brute forcing his way in. As I said before the neighborhood we lived in was decomissioned as contracted military housing, but it assed-up against Ft. Wainwright so it was flooded still with Military Family's.

    We noticed something was wrong at first when my roomate couldn't log into the Router, he had reset it and left it open for maybe a week. It was during this time we noticed Heavy traffic, it was a 12MB d/l line, so 4 guys, 3 xboxes, a ps3 and a couple desktops and netflix streaming here or there it seemed reasonable. It wasn't until I was home alone did I feel not all was right, so I resetup the router with a WEP passcode, and smooth sailing. I figured, some ******* had been using our router, a few of our computers had error'd windows and mac that another user on the network was using our IP numbers, I thought that was suspicious as well. I don't know much about trying to hack, but it seemed to me someone was trying to be sneaky.

    I wasn't sure how sneaky until the cops came knocking later on.

    And to be honest, this doesn't even cover the emotional distress of dealing with cops on the subject, having to tell your parents the cops raided your house for child porn, waiting any minute for the police to come around a corner to get you or the awkward silence after they left the house and your staring at your roomates, and not feeling trust at all. We all walked around, eyeing each other, it wasn't the same after that. and two of these guys I went to middle school with and been friends with for over 10 years. We also used each others computers frequently on varying basis, so my biggest fear was getting popped for some **** I didn't even do. Rape is the closest thing you could come to describing the feeling of getting raided. Needless to say, a day doesn't pass when I don't appreciate the fact I don't have to worry about tomarrow, or the next day, or going home, or work.
     
  24. DrDomVonDoom thread starter macrumors 6502

    DrDomVonDoom

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Ak
    #24
    Well as luck had it, here is the scentencing story posted in our local paper's online counterpart.

    http://newsminer.com/view/full_stor...orn-case?instance=home_news_window_left_top_2

    So don't think you know anything about what happened. The cops, will find out through extensive probing into the computer if A) thats actually where the porn was going to and B) if any porn was ever on the Hard Drive.

    Also he was having convo's with undercover FBI agents trollin' for porn. So don't give me that ****. The cops were watchin' him for a while apparently and traced him through our cable modem box. The cops had my **** for 9 monthes, theres no way in hell if I had ANYTHING close to CP on there, that they would give it back.
     
  25. panoz7, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2011

    panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #25
    His story seems entirely plausible. The police clearly didn't just take his word that he didn't do it, and if they arrested / charged someone else then I'm sure they had evidence against that person.

    To the OP: I'll reiterate what everyone else said: get in touch with your lawyer ASAP.

    EDIT: Should have refreshed before I posted. Thanks for posting that news article. Hopefully that'll be enough for 300d...
     

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