Apple’s iPhone is among the most popular gadgets on the planet, and a bizarre iPhone robbery proved this yet again. Two robbers reportedly returned a stolen phone after they found that it wasn’t actually an iPhone.
iPhones are popular among thieves
According to local media reports, two men in the Miami area held a woman at gunpoint for her phone. However, later the duo returned the phone since it was not an iPhone. 7News cited a few witnesses who said they “heard the gun cock back” at the scene in an alley near a gas station. However, the same witness said the thieves returned the phone since it was an Android device.
“They brought it back because it was an Android,” the witness said. “They wanted an iPhone.”
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The thieves ended up getting arrested as the witnesses informed the police after they returned the device.
“They returned it back to her. That’s what made us call the police, because we got the tag when they returned the phone back to us, so that’s when I called the police,” the man told 7News.
Aside from the illegal nature of crime in general, stealing iPhones is also not a good idea due to the encryption and security mechanisms Apple has in place. However, it seems they are not enough to discourage iPhone robbery cases.
Just last week it was reported that four teenagers got arrested after allegedly arranging a fake sale of an iPhone using an online app. According to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s office, a 39-year-old victim fell in the trap when he decided to buy an iPhone through the Let Go app.
The two parties agreed to meet on April 7 at around 12:30 p.m. at the Starbucks located at 3700 Cattleman Road. During the meeting, the seller handed over the phone in exchange for $400 and then tried to snatch it back from the buyer. The seller even pepper-sprayed the victim and hit him in the head before fleeing with the phone in a car.
Multiple witnesses were present at the time of the incident, and detectives soon identified one of the suspects from the Let Go app. After this, the other three allegedly connected to the crime were also identified. All four teenagers reportedly confessed to planning the robbery using a fake phone advertisement.
“We are relieved the victim was not more seriously injured and grateful there were witnesses who helped piece together a timeline of events which put these four people behind bar,” Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight said in a news release.
How to protect yourself from an iPhone robbery
With such iPhone robbery incidents on the rise, iPhone users should always be aware of tips and tricks that will help them recover lost iPhones. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has embedded iPhones with some of the most robust tools to help keep the data safe and the device unusable if it is lost or misplaced.
One such feature is Find My iPhone, which helps locate lost devices, erases all the data or disables them. However, one must not use it unless it is really needed.
Further, to save users the trauma of losing their iPhone and all the data with it, Apple also has in place the Activation Lock feature, which was first introduced with iOS7. The feature does not allow anyone through without the owner’s Apple ID or password. In the event of an iPhone theft, the phone would be rendered useless without the owner’s Apple credentials.
Basically, the Activation Lock renders the phone useless for anyone but you. Apple has integrated Activation Lock with the Find My iPhone feature. Once Find My iPhone is turned on, Activation Lock is also turned on. When setting up the new device, Find My iPhone is activated automatically.
Those who do not want to leave things to chance and want to ensure that Find My iPhone is activated can follow these below steps:
Go to Settings > Profile > iCloud > Find my iPhone. Also make sure you enable “Send Last Location” to double up the security. In a scenario in which the iPhone battery is low, it will send its last known location to Apple.
Apple’s anti-theft feature is so effective that it has led to a new record in which over 66,000 donated iPhones ended up non-usable as the Activation Lock feature was enabled on them. A report by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group cited Wireless Alliance, a nationwide electronics recycling facility, which said one in every four phones they received in 2018 had an activation lock enabled.