Apple is refusing to help police in investigation of my stolen computer - why? help!

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by cdenes, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. cdenes macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2008
    Someone broke into my apartment and stole my MacBook last April, and I filed a report with the police but never thought I'd see or hear of it again. But in June, I got an automatically generated email from Apple that my computer had been brought it to the Apple store for repair! I guess since I was registered as the original owner my email was still in their database system. I was thrilled! I called the store, they said I had to tell the police and that they would deal with the police. So I did, and from there it has all gone downhill.

    The police said Apple was refusing to give them the laptop. So they got a search warrant and took a posse to the store threatening to arrest the entire staff for possession of stolen property if my computer was not turned over to them immediately. They got my computer. But they can't return it to me until they have completed their investigation which involves arresting the person who brought the computer in for repair (again, for possession of stolen property) and questioning that person. And herein lies the trouble: Apple is stonewalling the police and refusing to release the information. Yes a subpoena was delivered to Apple a month ago. I have tried to get involved myself, to see if there is anyone I can talk to about this and get the ball rolling again, but everyone I talk to at apple says they can't help me and only the police can talk to the legal department. When I point out that the police have been talking to the legal dept and get nowhere, I'm told that there's nothing I can do. This is so frustrating!!!!

    To add to the insult, we're talking about a breaking and entering - a pretty serious crime. Someone broke into our apartment at night while I, my husband and my son were sleeping. This is scary and I can't understand why the company would want to hinder the investigation. The chances that the police are going to get anywhere with this are very small now and I am upset that they were not allowed to immediately question the only person who might be able to lead them to the thief.

    Finally, when I went into the store myself, I was told that it was a good thing the police already had my computer because company policy requires staff to return property to the person who has brought it in if they come to get it, EVEN IF THEY ARE AWARE THAT IT IS STOLEN PR0PERTY. Why on earth would Apple privilege a "customer" who has bought stolen property over a customer who bought their product at full retail value???

    Does anyone have any ideas of who I can talk to about this and how to get things rolling again?
  2. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    I think its all up to the police, they can use whatever they are allowed to, to interact with apple.

    IF what apple did breaks the law (which I have no idea is true or not), police would find a way of dealing with it.

    You can always goto court if you think you have the standings, Im not sure if it worth the trouble tho.
  3. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Corporate policy of Apple, which applies to all Apple Stores, is to fully cooperate with the police. What you mentioned is impossible. Why?

    Apple does not do this: "automatically generated email from Apple that my computer had been brought it to the Apple store for repair".
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I could not imagine Apple refusing a subpoena from the courts for information regarding the name of a person bringing in a computer for repair that is stolen property. This isn't just an Authorized Repair Center is it?

    Anyways if Apple is actually refusing I would file a lawsuit for the information, legal fees and time lost by you.
  5. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Didn't I see a different username post this exact same thing yesterday?
  6. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
  7. Darkroom Guest


    Dec 15, 2006
    Montréal, Canada
    you couldn't be more wrong. apple most certainly does follow up on the quality of service provided by their technicians... err... "geniuses" :rolleyes: and an automatic email requesting users to rate the service obtained from apple staff is emailed out shortly after the visit.

    it's a good thing the OPs computer had to be sent in for repair, and that it wasn't a quick fix, otherwise the computer would be even more difficult to find.

    i'm sorry to hear about the break-in to your home... that's very upsetting when it happens to someone (i also have experience with this)... but the chances that the actual thieves were the ones that requested help at the apple store is slim, as it was probably someone who bought it from eBay, Craigslist, or even a pawn shop, and i think this long line of connections is probably the reason it's taking the police so long to find the criminals... that being said, i really do hope they catch the people who broke into your home...
  8. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    i'd send a detailed email address to steve jobs email. of course, i don't know what that is, but if you do a search, it's in here somewhere (I would, but am running out the door).

    good luck. that really sucks.

    on the positive side, it seems the police are helping big time and from reading other stolen macs posts, that seems to be opposite of what we read.

    keep on it and with the faith.
  9. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles

    should get you in touch with apple executive relations.
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    No you are wrong. When you bring the computer in, the Genius will ask the person for the current email address.

    If such an event happened, the person will NOT be getting AUTOMATED email for various reasons.

    The point here is that the claim of the one post wonder does not match what would ACTUALLY happen in such a case.

  11. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    I've taken many a product to the Apple Store and I usually get an email asking me to rate the service. They don't ask for an email when you're at the genius bar.
  12. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    In my area, Eastern US, flagship store, they do, every single time.

    They confirm email, phone number, and address, even if I was in there the day before on the same ticket.
  13. cdenes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2008
    Sorry I was working all day and didn't get to check back earlier. This is indeed my first post - I only just heard of this web site today. I didn't post about stolen computer earlier, though I have posted about this on the discussions page, but not recently (it was back in June when I was full of hope!).

    Indeed Apple legal services told the police I should never have been notified. Lucky for me I was, but Apple is apparently none too pleased about it (this according to the police - I can't get through to anyone at Apple so don't know what they have to say for themselves). I think what happened is the person (yes I know it's most likely not the thief but the police are hoping that if it was bought on craigslist they can get the IP address of the seller and at least try to track it down as far as possible) - anyway, when the person brought it in for repair (to the apple store 5th avenue, new york to be precise) they plugged in the serial number and all my information came up. The person then crossed it out and wrote in their own contact info (I heard this from a store employee). Perhaps that person didn't give another email so it still used mine? I don't know. But I definitely got an email saying "your computer is being sent for repair" and I was so happy to get it. As you can imagine.

    Someone said that what I describe isn't possible. I don't believe it either! It makes no sense! And yet... here I am. The thing that is taking time right now is not the police investigation, because the police so far have no information at all. It is that apple is refusing to cooperate. Thanks to the person who posted steve jobs' email - I am going to write to him asap. who knows where that will get me but it is worth a shot.

    And thanks being here and trying to help. If anyone has more ideas, please continue to post them. I'll let you know how things progress.
  14. cdenes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2008
    Listen Mr. Consultant, there is no need to be so rude! I am not a "one post wonder" I am a new visitor to this site. Everyone has to start somewhere. Jeez.

    If it makes you feel better, here is the text of the email I received (minus indentifying information). If you don't call this 'automated' then I don't know what is:

    Dear x,

    We have received your MACBOOK (13-INCH LATE 2006) for repair. The Apple Store Fifth Avenue will send it to the Apple repair center.

    Repair ID: Rxxxxxxxx

    Your repair status is available online.


    The email included a link to check repair status on their web site where I was able to verify that the serial number matched the stolen computer. Perhaps this should not have happened but it is clearly not IMPOSSIBLE - please go into the 5th Avenue store yourself and ask the managers whether this happened. They are trying to help me too and are fully informed.

    So there!
  15. teleromeo macrumors 65816


    Dec 2, 2006
    kidnapped by aliens
    if the police got a search warrant to go in the apple store to get the computer and apple does not want to give them the information about the person that brought it in the shop they should get another warrant so they can search the database op the shop.
  16. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Isn't it the responsibility of the court that issued the subpoena to enforce it? Why don't you follow up that way?
  17. BlakTornado Guest


    Apr 24, 2007
    Washington, OH
    To be fair, there are a LOT of people who post here once to cause a big scene to turn Apple fans against their "masters", and start an ethical or moral debate among the members based on the "actions" of Apple.

    However, I am very sorry to hear about what happened to you. I hope it gets sorted soon. I am very paranoid about burglars, myself, and I can't possibly imagine how terrible I would feel if I were in your situation.
  18. cdenes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2008
    Hm. I don't know how to do this. Do you?
  19. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    See any similarities between the OP's post and

    BTW, Sky Blue, see how the OP all of a sudden comes out of the woodwork and agrees with what I said regarding contact info?

    But he got caught lying again. He said he "heard this from a store employee", but earlier in the post he said. "I can't get through to anyone at Apple"

    I am not going to mention any additional inaccuracies. If you know how Apple Store works, you would be ROTL right now. It's harder to lie than to tell the truth.
  20. cdenes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2008
    Consultant, what is wrong with you????

    I am not sure what the rules are for posting here so I'm not going to use any expletives but I would LOVE to break into your house, steal your computer and then accuse you of making up the whole story. (Where does this get me by the way? making up the story?)

    First of all, I'm a woman. But whatever.

    Second, the employee told me about the crossing off of info the very first time I contacted the store to let them know that the computer in for repair was stolen. That iPhone thread sounds very similar I must admit. Eerily so. I'm going to get in touch with that guy to see if we can perhaps work together.

    If you're so sure of how things work, why don't you walk yourself into the store over there on 5th Ave and ask what the procedure is for handling stolen merchandise brought in for repair. Then get back to me. (And get the name of the person who gives you a different answer than I'm telling you so that I can go in and get them to help me. Because I'd rather get that laptop back than be proven right.)

    While you're there, check in and ask about my story. They all know about the police 'raid' in June, for sure.

    Third, I can't get through to anyone WHO CAN HELP ME. I can get through to lots of people who tell me there's nothing they can do.

    Since you're no help either go waste someone else's time.
  21. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    Hmmm, it is oddly similar to what consultant posted...

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say this, if you'd ever worked for a retail chain you'd understand what is going on. Everything has to go through corporate and be analyzed by legal to make sure the store is in no way liable in any legal action that might result.
  22. stoleniPodguy macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2008
    cdenes, if you still monitoring this thread, I would love to hear the latest on you situation.


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