Police Arrest 141 New York City Merchants in Stolen iPhone Sting

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    The New York Post reports that a sting conducted by the New York Police Department last week targeting vendors suspected of selling stolen iPhones resulted in 141 arrests as the city works to cut down the market feeding on such thefts. According to the report, undercover officers approached workers at over 600 locations suspected of participating in sales of stolen iPhones and offered the devices to workers at low prices while stating that they had been stolen from their owners.
    iPhones are popular targets for thieves in New York and elsewhere, with an officer in one New York precinct reporting that in some months more than half of the reported robberies involve an iPhone.

    The popularity of Apple's devices has not only driven an active market in thefts and resales of the stolen property, but also in counterfeiting. Apple has been targeting vendors selling counterfeit Apple products in New York City and elsewhere, seeking to shut down those companies making unauthorized profits on Apple's name with knockoff products.

    Article Link: Police Arrest 141 New York City Merchants in Stolen iPhone Sting
  2. Kaibelf Suspended


    Apr 29, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Good. I know 3 people who were robbed, 2 at gunpoint, because these filthy people wanted their phones. Enough is enough. :mad:
  3. Rondue macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2008
    Stealing is wrong, but how is this not entrapment.
  4. Caliber26 macrumors 68000


    Sep 25, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    This is awesome news. It's not just NYC but everywhere. There have been people MURDERED over an iPhone here in Orlando. I hope these people receive the maximum penalty allowed by law.
  5. trainwrecka macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2007
    Cop: I have a stolen iPhone to sell you.

    Criminal: That's fine, I'll take it to make money.
  6. Caliber26 macrumors 68000


    Sep 25, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    I don't know why some people are appalled by the idea of entrapment. Yeah, I know there are a few states in which entrapment is prohibited but the bottom line is, if you're not effing up, entrapment shouldn't be an issue. These people were made aware that the items were stolen and moved forward with the transaction anyway. In my opinion, entrapment is fully justified and acceptable. They got what they deserved.
  7. SongEmu macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2008
    If you're a store owner, you have every right to turn down the offer. Tell me. If you were a merchant and some shady dude offered to slip you an iPhone for cash, would you do it?

    If you answered no, then congrats, you're an honorable person who won't go to jail for it, *and* you're not supporting an ecosystem of thugs! YAY!
  8. gnasher729, Dec 19, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011

    gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Showing someone an opportunity to commit a crime is not entrapment. It becomes entrapment when the police officer convinces a person to commit a crime who otherwise wouldn't have committed it. Ask yourself: Would these people have bought the phones off a thief?

    "That guy has a nice watch" - not entrapment. "That guy has a nice watch. He won't put up much of a fight if you take it off him. What, are you a coward? " - entrapment.

    Entrapment isn't fine, but this is most likely not entrapment. There is a fine line, and you would hope that a police officer would know how to stay on the right side of that line. Being clever in catching criminals is not entrapment.
  9. jcb10 macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    Exactly. Entrapment is only the forcing of people to commit a crime they would not otherwise commit. This is not a bait and switch.
  10. shareef777 macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    For those arguing it's entrapment, here's the definition from wikipedia:

    In criminal law, entrapment is conduct by a law enforcement agent inducing a person to commit an offense that the person would otherwise have been unlikely to commit.[1] In many jurisdictions, entrapment is a possible defense against criminal liability. However, there is no entrapment where a person is ready and willing to break the law and the government agents merely provide what appears to be a favorable opportunity for the person to commit the crime.

    Essentially, these 'businesses' buy stolen goods regardless of wether the officer would provide it or not. The police in this situation just proved what was already happening and therefore it is LEGAL.
  11. nick_elt macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    How can you defend these shop owners? They are giving ppl a reason to steal so they are just as guilty. This was no way entrapment hope they throw the book at them. Muggings are so low
  12. cal6n macrumors 68000


    Jul 25, 2004
    Gloucester, UK
    I'd say it goes even further:

    If you're a store owner, you have an obligation under law to turn down the offer. To accept is to become a willing accessory to the robbery.
  13. zoetmb macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2007
    It's not entrapment if the person was willing and ready to break the law and the agents merely provided the opportunity. However, if the undercover agents used forceful and repeated persuasion to convince someone to break the law or they lied and said that the units were not stolen, then the person charged has a case that they were entrapped.

    The overall NYC crime rate is very low (especially for a large city). It surprises me that they the rate of these types of crimes is apparently quite high. I ride the subway 6 days a week (at least). I've never seen such a crime happen. No one I know has had this type of crime happen to them. But I don't ride the trains at 2am. I suspect most of these crimes happen late at night.
  14. Fazzy macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    check the tracking device
    Similar story here in the UK. Its frightening to know how far people can go to rob you.
  15. Frankie4Fingers macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2011
    Yep. Stake out the local "Barbershop" and start canvasing those Supermarkets. For god's sake... doesn't the NYPD have anything better to do?
  16. btpayson macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2011
    Kill the market for stolen phones

    It is time to create a law in the U.S. that is common in some (not sure how many) develop countries to eliminate the market for stolen phones. Currently in the US, when a phone is stolen, it is only deactivated and blocked by your carrier. If it were deactivated and blocked by all US carriers, then it would immediately collapse the market for stolen phones as the thief just wouldn't be able to sell for as rich a price. Eliminate the price premium and the thieves will not have as much an incentive to steal phones.

    Just think how much money is invested into the law enforcement, reporting, and investigating into stolen phones. If the market for stolen phones can effectively be made unattractive, then all that law enforcement costs drop or can be applied to more important matters for society.

    Australia does it pretty effectively and this is save consumers a tremendous amount of money because the number of phones stolen is dropping a staggering rates.
  17. doubletap macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2009
    and why don't carriers blacklist stolen devices? they should be held accountable as well for allowing the cycle to perpetuate even though they have the means to put an end to it - or least put a dent in it.

  18. ferrous macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2007
    Repoblikan'i Madagasikara
    I hope

    I hope this will prevent someone from stealing my iPhone. I grew up with the notion that if you buy a known stolen item it is the same as if you stole it. :cool:
  19. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    So the police should ignore the growing problem of theft of electronic devices and the violence that accompanies it? What would you have the police doing?
  20. Gasu E. macrumors 68040

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    Cop: Hey, I've got some hot iPads I can sell you real cheap.

    Defense Attorney: Mr. xxx, what was your understanding when the officer called the iPads "hot."

    Defendant: Why, I took it to mean extremely popular and fashionable.
  21. Juan007 macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    This is entrapment, no doubt about it. Apple should demand NYPD put a stop to it. It's bad publicity.
  22. JHankwitz macrumors 68000

    Oct 31, 2005
    You've obviously never had your iPhone containing all your personal information stolen. I hope you never do. It's a very terrible event.
  23. nostresshere macrumors 68020

    Dec 30, 2010
    Would agree that one could think it was not the best use of police time, but like many things in life, if you give a few minutes to think it through, it is a good idea.

    If this particular crime goes unabated, and it becomes profitable, it will only grow. As said by another, once the cops can slow this down, then they can spend more time on other stuff.

    As to carriers blacklisting. That sure seems to make sense. They know EXACTLY which phones are out there. If they did not alllow those phones to activate, theft would drop WAY down.
  24. JHankwitz macrumors 68000

    Oct 31, 2005
    No doubt you also think it's OK to steal music over the internet. Shame!
  25. OneMike macrumors 601


    Oct 19, 2005
    If someone is told an item is stolen and they accept it, they deserve to go to jail. End of story. I have absolutely no sympathy for them.

    The thief could've killed the person, hurt them really bad, or just took what someone worked hard to get. And especially a store owner who can face being robbed daily?????? You're going to provide a route for criminals to make money? Hope they are prosecuted to the fullest.

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