Just imagine what would you do if your iPhone gets stolen. Obviously you would contact your carrier and get it blocked.
But what can you do if the thief goes to an Apple store and exchanges your iPhone for a replacement. This certainly sounds absurd Apple’s policies on theft facilitate this. This happened to Scott Barkley in Toronto.
Barkley had his coat stolen which had his iPhone 4S, car keys, and wallet inside. He was drinking at a local bar at that time. He later found his coat dumped in a nearby alley. However, his valuables had gone. Barkley filed a report with the police after canceling his credit card and getting his iPhone blocked after making a call to his carrier.
Then much to his surprise as well as shock, Barkley received an email the following afternoon from Apple. In a bid to get the iPhone unblocked, the thief who had taken Barkley’s iPhone had booked an appointment with the Genius Bar at his local Apple store. With the iPhone registered to Barkley, it was he who received the confirmation.
The Toronto Star reported that Barkley then gave a phone call to Apple store for help, but he had little success:
[Barkley] called the store to tell them that the person who showed up for that appointment would probably be carrying his stolen phone.
Perhaps, Barkley asked the clerk on the phone, Apple might want to notify mall security? Barkley was told it is Apple policy not to get involved in such matters.
Obviously it was a shock to Barkley to see Apple allowing the thief to walk into its store, have the iPhone replaced free of charge, and then walk out again without any questions:
Detectives called Barkley to tell him he could pick up his phone at the police station. It turns out someone did come in with the phone – before Barkley and the police arrived – with a story about buying it from a friend of Barkley’s uncle, only to find the phone didn’t work. In fact, it wasn’t working because Barkley had had the service disconnected.
The Apple clerk at the Genius Bar assumed it was a phone malfunction, and seemingly without checking to make sure, handed the man a brand new phone and put Barkley’s stolen phone in the back, to be sent off for servicing.
However, Barkley was lucky. Police successfully obtained his iPhone and returned it to him before it was sent off for servicing. However, the thief is still using his replacement and Apple has lost hundreds of dollars at the end of the day.
One can understand that the company would choose not to intervene because the employee safety is more valuable than an iPhone. The current policy of Apple means that its employees are not required to confront suspected criminals. Apple might have replaced dozens of stolen iPhones due to this policy.
According to Barkley, police detectives were “amazed” Apple store’s refusal to take action.
I think it amused them to do something nice, to get someone’s phone back. I think they were amazed by the whole disinterest.
The thief got their phone, I got mine and because of their own indifference, Apple is out a $500 phone.
Now Apple store can provide police with information and details of the thief that were used to activate the iPhone. Now it might be possible for police to trace the thief now. It remains to be seen what precautions would be adopted by Apple now.
Source: Cult Of Mac