Apple Store Customer Arrested for Shoplifting Says He Was Trying to Use EasyPay Self-Checkout


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

A New Jersey teenager was arrested this weekend for allegedly attempting to shoplift a pair of headphones from the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in Manhattan, reports Macworld. Eric Shine says he scanned the barcode of a pair of Bose headphones, and navigated the EasyPay purchase process to the final screen, but failed to complete his purchase. Upon trying to leave the store, he was stopped by store employees who accused him of shoplifting and called the police to have him arrested.

I pulled out my iPhone, and realized it still showed the Pay Now button, and not the receipt," Shine said. "I told them I had no intent of stealing; I've been in the store for an hour, and I'm still willing to purchase the headphones."

That didn't satisfy the Apple Store staff. "They said, they see this all the time, and that they knew I had the intent to steal, and this was an easy excuse," said Shine, who pointed out to the manager that he had asked for--and received--a bag from an Apple Store employee for the headphones. When you successfully complete a transaction, the Apple Store app clearly states that, to get a bag, "just show a specialist your receipt." Shine says the Apple Store employee he spoke to didn't ask to see his receipt, compounding his own error with the app.
Last year, the 'Apple Store' iPhone app was updated with a new 'EasyPay' feature that allowed users to purchase products in the retail store without interacting with any salespeople. This benefits both customers and the store by freeing up store employees to deal with customers that need one-on-one attention.

EasyPay has been popular with Apple's more tech-savvy customers, but the risk of misunderstandings like this are easy to foresee. Shine was offered a plea bargain for one day of community service and attending a class on larceny in exchange for having the charges against him reduced, but he declined. He told Macworld that he "didn't try to steal anything" and will instead face larceny charges in October.

Article Link: Apple Store Customer Arrested for Shoplifting Says He Was Trying to Use EasyPay Self-Checkout


macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2008
This is exactly why I think EasyPay is a bad idea, it too easy to have major misunderstandings.


macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
I'm actually surprised this doesn't happen more often. I've used the feature at Grand Central and the Upper West Side. Both times, I've made sure the receipt showed up on my screen before walking out.


macrumors 65816
Apr 4, 2007
los angeles
It's hard to judge intent here, but if it were me, i'd make sure I was damn certain the transaction went through to avoid any accusations of stealing in the first place.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2011
NFC powered passbook should be used to put a real self checkout system in stores to make the system more secure


macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2010
I almost did the same exact thing with a Iphone screen protector a couple of months ago! Luckily I found out how to use it then I purchased it!!

This easypay is VERY confusing!!!!
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macrumors 65816
Apr 11, 2007
I don't know whether he really intended to steal or not, but I sort of hope he gets off. Apple has to take responsibility for the fact that these problems will come up. It seems they are willing to trade tight control for reduced employees, so they have to deal with the possible ramifications.


macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2003
Does he a criminal record?

If he doesn't have a criminal record or hasn't been in trouble with the law before, I would say it was an honest mistake.

On the other hand if he has a history of shoplifting/theft then throw the book at him.
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macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
I always worry about this. Makes me nervous when I leave the store after I pay with EasyPay.


macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2012
Hahah I freaked my girlfriend out one time using easy pay. I walked out of the store with a product in my hands after using easy pay and said "go go go!" she looked so freaked out, it was awesome lol... Glad she can take a joke... :D


macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2010
How do they know he had intent to steal?
Because this is the 15th pair of headphones he's forgot to purchase ;)

The thing I have against this kid is that there's a confirmation screen for your purchase. How can he just assume and walk out the door?


macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2006
How do they know he had intent to steal?
They don't. The problem is, we're supposed live to in a society that is "innocent until proven guilty." In this case, it's guilty, until proven innocent. Ridiculous. Could he be guilty? Sure. But at least hear him out, don't just assume. The saddest fact is, in my mind, if it was an older man or lady, I'm sure their reactions may not have been to immediately assume guilt on his part.

I'd rather we live in a world that is too trusting, and be hurt by that, than live in one where we doubt everyone and everything.


macrumors 601
Aug 31, 2007
Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
This same thing almost happened to me in the 5th ave. store last week. Easy pay was not working (or it did not appear to be) and they were swamped. I left without them- screw it.

I tend to believe this kid, hope he gets off better than samsung.


macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2012
Positive Intent

Apple store employees are suppose to assume positive intent. The last thing they are supposed to do is accuse the customer. It may be a crazy rule, but it's in apple's culture, and I believe in their credo.


macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2008
Good for him

Glad he's taking it to court. Why plead to something like this you know you didn't do? The judge will toss this out.


macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
If he doesn't have a criminal record or has been in trouble with the law before, I would say it was and honest mistake.

On the other hand if he has a history of shoplifting/theft then throw the book at him.
Not sure how much history matters since you have to start somewhere/sometime. Maybe it was his first time but completely intentional.