Is there a way to tell if a laptop is stolen?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mikelong622, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. mikelong622 macrumors 6502

    Sep 29, 2006
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Ok here's the situation:

    There are seven brand new sealed in box 17 inch 2.4 ghz Macbook Pros for sale on Craigslist in my area. I'd like to buy one seeing as how the price is only $1400 dollars. Of course my first thought is, "dang, these might be stolen." Is there a way to check? Is it possible to take the serial number and check it with Apple to see if it has been flagged yet?
  2. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    On the Support page there is a place to insert a serial number to check the warranty status, that should tell you if it was reported stolen.
  3. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Yup. Ask for the serial ahead of time, and let them know why--so you can verify its warranty status. If they refuse to let you have the number, that should raise a red flag.
  4. DannyBres macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2007
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Half price for new 17" MacBook Pros ... hmmm, smell a scam or dumping stolen merchandise.

    Most likely it is liquidating merchandise obtained via credit card fraud.
  6. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    ...and get arrested the moment you take it into an Apple Store. From there, have fun tracking down the "guy who sold it to me" and proving your innocence.
  7. eman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2007
    In the great white north
    Wow, Apple employees have that kind of power now.
  8. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    There is no way you could be arrested for merely possessing a stolen laptop.

    Refusal of support and service, maybe, but not criminal charges.
  9. Bobioden macrumors 68000


    Sep 23, 2007
    I think it is a SCAM. There are lots of them in the Denver Craigslist also. There are going for $1400, or $1700. I inquired about one and was told he was overseas and I needed to send money to an offline account. I would beware if I were you.
  10. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Well, they'd likely have to call the police or mall security first (although it would be rather impressive if an Apple Store were like a national embassy). In either case, as Ricky Ricardo would say, you'd have some 'splainin' to do! I guess it simply depends on whether you'd rather find out your gear was stolen over the internet from the comfort of your living room without dropping a penny, or in front of a dozen hipsters and prospective buyers, with every one of them viewing you as either a thief, or a fool (or both). Unless you never have a problem requiring professional help to fix, sooner or later, that number's going to be run. If you're interested in buying a legally acquired laptop, I'm not sure why you'd be afraid to ask for the serial number.

    Are you sure?
  11. weg macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2004
    When my Powerbook was stolen I called Apple and asked them to enter my serial number into that list. Nobody at Apple had ever heard of it, and they told me that they can't do anything for me.
  12. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    A general common law theory is that to be convicted for something, there has to be some level of mental culpability.

    Very rarely do states pass laws where possession of stolen goods without any knowledge that they were stolen is criminalized.

    If those folks are being arrested, there's no way to actually charge them with anything. (although in the situations mentioned where they were trying to reset system passwords, there's more likely a chance that this person was the actual thief).
  13. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    If they are stolen, which I suspect they are at that price, you could lose
    all you money and the laptop when the police come a calling. Or the
    first time you have your machine serviced and it shows as stolen-poof,
    its gone. Ask the seller if they mind if you can have the serial number and check with the police first. You'll know based on the reaction.

    Do not support thieves just because its a good deal. That other respondent
    who said just buy it is just plain wrong. People need to try and do the right thing.
  14. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2006
    For that price they'll probably beat the **** out of you and take your money, then bounce.
  15. Type121 macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2004
    There are no laptops. I almost guarantee that after some sob story about why the seller is asking for less than the market price, you'll be asked to wire some money overseas, after which you get mailed a brick, if anything.
  16. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Someone has their thinking cap on:rolleyes:;)

    Yes, this is what I think as well.
    I'm pretty sure it's a scam, but I'm not sure it's this type of scam. I think it's more likely to be some kind of by-product of fraud. Since there are many of them, it just doesn't seem like a sob story can come out of it.
  17. tuneman07 macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2007
    Assuming these weren't stolen from someone's house (new in box and several of them) I would just buy it and get the sweet deal. Stealing from multizillion dollar corporations doesn't bother me :D That goes for the credit card companies too (who take the hit when fraud happens- not the cardholder) Hey they steal from people all the time. And before someone goes on about how wrong it is, where did you get your underwear? Cuz I bet there is a starving kid somewhere making pennies so you can have your precious undies for cheap.
  18. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    Its a scam, or more likely, its someone trying to harvest email addresses. You send an email, they catch your email and then send you spam about Macbook Pro's, and it has a higher likelihood of converting, and they make more $$$.

    Its actually a very prevalent business.
  19. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Not that we need to get into a discussion of morality here, but how do you figure that credit card companies and underwear manufacturers are in the same league as defrauders?

    Either way, the point is that the computers are not "kosher" and should be stayed away from. Forget about them OP and move on. They're not worth it.
  20. myztikal47 macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2007
    Yea it's all a scam like someone else said. They always say "I'm located in the United Kingdom" and will give you some company name who you have to send money to and bla bla bla. Basically, you'll get screwed because it's obviously too good to be true.
  21. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    I wonder if the seller happens to live in the UK. :rolleyes:
  22. iMan G5 macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Definitely a scam. Saw a nice one just like this in craigslist and I emailed them to find them in the UK.

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