Inside the stolen iPhone trade

Lee approaches a heavy-set man standing outside the red awning of a Carl’s Jr. burger restaurant. The man wears glasses and a black pinstripe suit. He inspects the iPhone and offers $100. Lee takes the cash, hands over the phone and gives the signal. Four officers swoop in and place the man in handcuffs, notching another arrest in the intensifying cat-and-mouse game playing out here and in other major American cities between law enforcement and criminals looking to profit from the burgeoning trade in stolen mobile devices.

Interesting look at how people on the street are buying and selling stolen iPhones, and how the cops are trying to stop them.



  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1042792179 Brian M. Monroe

    This is a good thing. We need the cops to crack down on people buying and selling stolen goods. I do hope thought they do spend more time trying to go after the thieves that are mugging people and breaking in to cars to steal their portable computers and devices.

  • def4

    That’s a rather lazy and extremely indirect way of trying to address the problem.

    It also has the side effect of putting perfectly honest but somewhat greedy and stupid people behind bars. It stinks.

    Bottom line is that the only clear winner is the police department.

    • kibbles

      lazy? indirect? whatever. it isnt the police’s job to prevent human nature…municipal law enforcement can respond to crime, thats about it.

      • def4

        So how many robbers did they catch?

        That’s right, creating victimless criminals out of innocent bystanders is lazy and stupid.

        It only serves the need to do something, anything, no matter how misguided and stupid and to pad arrest records. Oh and to destroy people’s lives by throwing them into the criminal justice system meat grinder for hurting noone.

        But I can see your point considering you’re so perfect that you never did anything illegal and nobody could ever talk you into doing anything.

  • chjode

    I eagerly await the HuffPo’s coverage of the stolen Android phone trade.

  • Devin

    Isn’t that entrapment?

    • NSSnark

      Entrapment is when the police convince someone to do something illegal that they would not have done absent that encouragement. If this guy only inspected a hot iPhone and made an offer for it in cash on the spot because an undercover officer got in his face, told him to do it, and wouldn’t take no for an answer, then a case could be made for entrapment. Otherwise, it’s just a boring routine sting operation.