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alhedges

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2008
395
0
For the sake of argument, We'll presume that Gizmodo's statements are taken to be true and that this is in no way a publicity stunt. As to the finder. We'll call him "Lucky Duck"

Did Lucky commit theft of the Iphone?

***
Lucky will say that his actions were reasonable and just in trying to return the phone. Apple will assert that, given the nature of the property and the close proximity from the place of finding to Apple's headquarters, Lucky didn't come close to meeting this standard. A judge is likely going to agree with Apple.

Sorry, but this is just wrong. First of all, this is a criminal case; Apple isn't a party. In order to convict "Lucky," the People would have to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Lucky's actions in calling Apple a couple of times and even speaking with an Apple employee in an attempt to return the phone did not constitute "reasonable and just" actions in an attempt to return the phone.

No jury is going to say that Lucky should be imprisoned for a year because of Apple's incompetence. He called the purported owner of the phone and attempted to return it, apparently describing the situation at some length. He complied with the law and is not guilty.

Look at published "lost property" cases in Calif (there aren't a lot). There are none with facts even remotely like these.
 

McGiord

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
4,558
290
Dark Castle
Sorry, but this is just wrong. First of all, this is a criminal case; Apple isn't a party. In order to convict "Lucky," the People would have to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Lucky's actions in calling Apple a couple of times and even speaking with an Apple employee in an attempt to return the phone did not constitute "reasonable and just" actions in an attempt to return the phone.

No jury is going to say that Lucky should be imprisoned for a year because of Apple's incompetence. He called the purported owner of the phone and attempted to return it, apparently describing the situation at some length. He complied with the law and is not guilty.

Look at published "lost property" cases in Calif (there aren't a lot). There are none with facts even remotely like these.

Well, now the saying is that Lucky should have contacted the bar (or any of the people working there), and should have left the 'found' gadget there for the owner to go back there and pick it up. Common sense...beyond reasonable doubt...

*I am no lawyer...nor have any clue about California's Laws
 

Cartaphilus

macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2007
581
65
Sorry, but this is just wrong. First of all, this is a criminal case; Apple isn't a party. In order to convict "Lucky," the People would have to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Lucky's actions in calling Apple a couple of times and even speaking with an Apple employee in an attempt to return the phone did not constitute "reasonable and just" actions in an attempt to return the phone.

No jury is going to say that Lucky should be imprisoned for a year because of Apple's incompetence. He called the purported owner of the phone and attempted to return it, apparently describing the situation at some length. He complied with the law and is not guilty.

Look at published "lost property" cases in Calif (there aren't a lot). There are none with facts even remotely like these.

I think we might have an interesting conversation in the jury room. Assuming the California Civil Code requirements of turning lost goods to the authorities don't apply to a criminal case and it is just a matter of what we think is reasonable and just, there would probably be a wide range of opinions, especially if the the panel is drawn from posters on MacRumors.

As a juror the question I'd ask myself is what someone who had a good faith desire to see the phone returned would have done, and then compare the defendant's behavior to that standard. I would think that at least leaving your phone number with the bar manager would be the least anyone would do before taking the phone out of the bar. Asking the bartender if the occupant of the stool paid by credit card, or if he were a regular known to the staff would be another indication the finder had the right intention. Posting a notice in the bar, tracking down the owner from data on the phone, checking in at the bar the next day, calling the police/sheriff, any of those things would make me feel better about the defendant.

On the other hand, selling the phone, especially for $5,000 makes me think that the rights of the owner were not uppermost in this fellow's mind. I'd be interested in any character testimony too. My experience is that honest people have a history of behaving with integrity and dirtbags tend to have been dirtbags for a long time.

Of course, whether the Apple employee or Apple should have lost the phone would be no more important to me than if a defendant in a house burglary case claimed the house was filled with valuables and left unlocked with no alarm.

Clearly, though, there is the "finders keepers" school of thought, as well as the hoary precedent that "99% of us are also thieves", and similar sentiments one can read on this very thread, so as I say, it would be an interesting deliberation.

But as I sit here unencumbered by any evidence beyond internet posts, and not yet hearing the reasoned opinions of others, I'm voting guilty.
 

marcfogel

macrumors regular
Oct 7, 2007
192
0
Prediction:

Apple gets their device back and it ends right there. Despite the publicity, I suspect this is an embarrassment to Apple Inc.
 

frankjl

macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2010
122
0
lol @ this thread.

All of sudden macrumors members became legal experts giving advise on how this case might play out.

This is simple

It was a phone that was found in a bar.

Nothing to it. I found 2 iphones on the streetin one of the occasion I asked the people around me
they said no. I moved on What am i supposed to do? Devote my entire night or day to findin the owner?

Samething for this guy. He found the phone asked around and moved on.
Im sure he wanted to keep it and being that the oppurtunity knocked he ran with it.

Also Based on some peoples ethics code on this board. If you find 100 hundred dollars on the floor It sounds like you would stop what your doing and devote yoru time to finding the real owner.

Get with reality and stop defending apple already. They can handle themselfs pretty well.
 

cmaier

Suspended
Jul 25, 2007
25,405
33,473
California
If you find a phone and don't want to "devote your time" to finding the owner, LEAVE IT WHERE YOU FOUND IT.


lol @ this thread.

All of sudden macrumors members became legal experts giving advise on how this case might play out.

This is simple

It was a phone that was found in a bar.

Nothing to it. I found 2 iphones on the streetin one of the occasion I asked the people around me
they said no. I moved on What am i supposed to do? Devote my entire night or day to findin the owner?

Samething for this guy. He found the phone asked around and moved on.
Im sure he wanted to keep it and being that the oppurtunity knocked he ran with it.

Also Based on some peoples ethics code on this board. If you find 100 hundred dollars on the floor It sounds like you would stop what your doing and devote yoru time to finding the real owner.

Get with reality and stop defending apple already. They can handle themselfs pretty well.
 

Carniphage

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,880
1
Sheffield, England
If you find a phone and don't want to "devote your time" to finding the owner, LEAVE IT WHERE YOU FOUND IT.

Good advice.

But remember to take a lot of nice photographs of the device sitting where you found it. First.

You are then safe to sell them onto the highest tech-blog bidder.

This way you won't run afoul of the law - and you still get to pocket thousands!

(my point being that a bad outcome for Apple could have happened with absolutely no illegality whatsoever)

C.
 

marcfogel

macrumors regular
Oct 7, 2007
192
0
lol @ this thread.

All of sudden macrumors members became legal experts giving advise on how this case might play out.

Correct and so what! There seems to be a lot of room for interpretation in this situation anyway.

----------
marcfogel
Senior Partner
Dewey, Cheatem & Howe
 

lPHONE

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2009
671
1
If you find a phone and don't want to "devote your time" to finding the owner, LEAVE IT WHERE YOU FOUND IT.

Yea... For just a phone, sure... But an iPhone prototype? There isn't a single person on this forum that would return it. :rolleyes:
 

freelancing

macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2007
113
33
what really goes through the mind of someone who 'finds' an iPhone

What really goes through the mind of someone who 'finds' a likely valuable item (iPod, iPhone, etc.)? Here's how I see the potential thought process of "Lucky," who I will refer to as "The Thief," because he is a thief, regardless of how some choose to rationalize his thoughts/actions.

If someone like my clueless & honest mom found a prototype iPhone (let's say - in McDonald's - I cannot picture that woman in a bar), she would do one of the following:

  1. Ask to speak to the manager, and then hand him the phone, in case the owner came back or called, looking for it.
  2. Would leave a note w/ a # for the owner to call her to describe the item so she could make sure it was returned to the rightful owner
  3. Go to a local police station and turn it in as lost property and get a receipt. After 30 days, it becomes hers (in Dallas, anyway).
  4. Contact some techno-geek, who knows about gadgets and see what it is and what they think should be done with it.

Then, a fairly technically savvy individual, who understands the value of -holy cow! a prototype iPhone and is also dishonest and practices moral relativism, has the following things on his/her mind when/if they stumble upon this gem:

  1. Crap, some dude left his iPhone... gotta make this look good. No telling who saw me sitting here and taking the phone. Will sit here at the bar where I 'found' the phone and look like I'm waiting for my friend to come back - just in case he does come back and someone points at me and says, "He took your phone!" - I have a cover story that I was hoping they'd return and I was keeping it 'safe.' I mean, if it was a crappy flip phone, I'd just give it to the manager, because it's only worth something to the guy who lost it... but iPhone - sweet eBay cash, bebeh!
  2. Sit around for an hour and wait for many of the patrons to leave, including any nearby that saw me pocket the phone... then, with no witnesses who saw me 'find' it or the guy who it actually belonged to, now I will ask if anyone lost a phone. No answer. Sweet! I scored an iphone. I wonder how much this will pawn for or go for on eBay? Maybe Craigslist?
  3. Apple is probably tracking the GPS via MobileMe - crap, better put this sucker in Airplane mode.
  4. Gonna take it out of the 3G case to see if it's just a 3G or a 3GS - and sweet mother of Venus - it's totally different. Whoa. Cha-ching. Start thinking - this could be the way to pay off that student loan.
  5. Think about selling to someone in China - this will help them make the uberest of knock-offs before Apple releases theirs. Oh wait - that would be Federal time if I got caught. Not good. Ok, next idea. Whoa - drunk. Gotta crash and think on this in the morning.
  6. Oh, what a hangover I've got. Oh yeah, I found that sweet iPhone thingy. I live not too far from the mothership - this could be the real deal. I'm gonna take it out of airplane mode to see what kind of info I can garner... aw crap - it just got wiped. Sweet crap, probably just gave away my GPS coordinates - or close... good thing this apartment complex has so much concrete in it. Whew. Ok, back into airplane mode - it's freaking worthless as far as data, now.
  7. Idly think about selling on eBay - nope, scratch that. Apple will be all over that, I get no $, and it gets confiscated and I get embarrassed, maybe fined. That would suck and my girlfriend would probably dump me and tell all her friends on facebook.
  8. Find an unscrupulous 'news' organization that wouldn't hesitate to pay for the item. Gizmodo is full of pre-pubescent young boys who use jammers at the CES conference (and subsequently get bannded) - they're idiots with money - I'll sell to them.
  9. Better make the story look good, just in case one of the synapses fires in one of the brains of one of the Gizmodo people - so I know - not going to call Apple Corporate - or e-mail sjobs@apple.com, but we're going to call AppleCare and get transferred to some poor lackey in Bangalore who won't know what in the hell I'm talking about - and maybe he'll transfer me to tier 2, they'll think I'm an idiot or that I have a clone, then I'll be in the clear.

I don't claim to know the thoughts of any individual, but hearing the account of what this person claims to have done to try to get the device back to Apple, I don't believe they were being diligent in doing so. They were covering their butts. They knew they had a valuable item, otherwise they wouldn't have expected to get $5000 for just a cell phone. An item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it... so it's worth at least $5K - bringing this to felony theft. At this point, red flags should be going off in the guy's head - whoa - is this right? No - too late, all the blood has already rushed into his wallet. Big head no longer thinking, nor has it done so in the past 30 days since acquiring the item.

IF they were smart enough to know how to fence the phone - who to contact, where to go, & how to not get caught with the phone in the interim, they are smart enough to know you don't call freaking AppleCare to return something like this. This is akin to finding a rolex that belongs to Ray Kroc and then calling the McDonald's on Preston Road in Dallas, asking the shift leader there where I'd return a watch that clearly belonged to McDonald's corporate. That would be ridiculous. You'd find the number to the corporate office of McDonald's, not someone who does tech support.

Apple may be so relieved that only the morons at Gizmodo got the phone, and not a company in China that would exploit the technology to make superior fakes, maybe they won't do anything to this guy or Gizmodo, but frankly, I think they should When Gizmodo took the thing apart to verify it was real (so is their story - honestly, would anyone pay $5K for a possible fake?), they should have realized what they had done - fenced stolen property unknowingly - and contact Apple. Did they? No - they relied on the story by the thief.

The whole story and attitude by Gizmodo shows that very little of anything they say/claim is to be trusted. The whole story just keeps unraveling to the casual observer. I hope Apple Legal is preparing to rake Gizmodo over the coals. So-called Journalists that behave like this should be relieved of duty and all those who were party to the transaction should be charged with grand larceny.
 
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