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Apple Replaces Stolen iPad For Thief, Refuses To Help Victim

Apple Replaces Stolen iPad For Thief, Refuses To Help Victim

In an interesting take on the classic “stolen Apple device” story, a clever thief, after stealing an iPad 2, convinced the Apple to replace it for a new device. Since the new iPad 2 had a different serial number, Apple reportedly refused to help the victim of the crime.

Our source has received a report in which a man claims that he purchased a black 64GB iPad 2 (with 3G, no less) from the Tyson’s Corner Apple Store in May, only to have the device stolen a few days later. After filing a police report, he was told that the iPad’s serial number would show up as a stolen item if it was sold to a pawn shop.

On June 6, some time after the theft, Chang used the Apple Support website to check his iPad’s serial number, and received this message: “We’re sorry, but this is a serial number for a product that has been replaced… If your information is correct, you may need to contact us.”

Chang dutifully followed the instructions, contacted Apple Customer Service, and provided his serial number. Apple confirmed that the device had been replaced on a battery-related complaint, and instructed Chang to visit the store in person to discuss the situation. When he visited the store, the manager told Chang that she was not responsible for his stolen iPad, and directed him back to customer service.

Chang once again followed the instructions he was given, but this time was told that the iPad had been “recycled” and was no longer traceable, then proceeded to say that neither she nor Apple was responsible for the stolen item, and directed him to contact the police.

In the end, Chang lost out, unable to retrieve his $800 stolen iPad. Chang says he will not replace it, and will not be purchasing any more Apple products – and that if the thief had just taken it to a pawn shop instead of Apple, he might have gotten his iPad back, rather than the Apple Store asking no questions, and providing no assistance to either Chang or the police.

I’m not sure what to make of this. Without a doubt, it sickens me, and I can’t help but think that Apple is at least partially to blame. While I agree that they aren’t responsible for his iPad being stolen, I don’t understand why Apple Customer Service did not, immediately upon hearing about the theft, set the iPad aside, and turn it over to the police for forensic fingerprint and DNA collection. Further, this raises the question of whether Apple should have a system in place for reporting stolen products, which may have assisted in the case. Any way you look at it, it seems as though Apple dropped the ball here.

What are your thoughts? As always, sound off in the comments!

  1. Sounds like Apple was in receipt of stolen goods and therefore the guy that lost it should let the cops sort it out.

  2. Come on Apple, be a little more careful with replacing products. What’s the trouble of checking a serial number before taking it in…..

  3. Surfkevinsurf says:

    Same thing happened to a MacBook pro I used to own a couple years ago. The Apple store even replaced the faulty battery for the theif after I called and told them it was stolen and they said they would flag the serial number for me. Sad part is, I had pictures on there of my wife and I before she died, now they’re gone forever.

  4. Joe J. Haro says:

    Apple should recommend all of their customers to Register their products in their name AS SOON as they take it out of the box and turn it on. That way when repair is needed, they can cross verify that it is the owner requesting repair. If not, they carefully slide the iPad in the back, advise the person who brought it in that their product has been detained because it is not his and that he needs to tell the owner of the device to come pick it up. And Apple will already have the information in their system to contact the guy! 

    1. Ken says:

      But let’s say an individual sold their iPad or whatever to someone on kijiji/craigslist/etc.  Then claimed afterwards it was stolen.  

      What then?  It becomes a case of who to believe…  You don’t get a receipt from when you buy things from others online.  E-mails may not work since different e-mail addresses could be used by the original seller and will deny he/she ever sold it.  

      1. Ipadthief says:

        Ken. YOUR 100% RIGHT. I buy electronics online all the time, you never know once you pay for the electronic item ie; ipad,iphone etc.. the seller will report it stolen. The item could have belonged to his/her relative and trying to f you up..

        1. IpadtheftVictim says:

           I’m sorry but there needs to be federal Laws enforced for this. People are getting beat and robbed all the time just for their cellular devices or iPod/iPads. I have a receipt myself from Best Buy and the device is registered in my name on the apple product page. Ok if I sold this to someone else then they need to prove that paid for it with some form of a sales slip or check etc. If i reported this as stolen and i really sold it someone then there should be a stiff penalty and fine for me doing this. There should be a system in work to help prosecute these people. There are more reasons then just leaving it on the table at a coffee shop ..your car cuold of been broke into .your house ..you could of been beat and had it taken which there has been several cases in all these situations..they need to make it so the device is useless to sell if it is reported stolen and that is to protect there consumer.

          1. Clabou81 says:

            I agree with you. Federal laws could both regulate and assist consumers like those of us who have purchased Apple products and then had them stolen, no fault on our part. And for those making false claims a measurable form of punishment should be enforced as well. In my case, I have receipts for the iPads I purchased and the serial numbers. After contacting Appple customer service and filing a police report here in Russia…Apple did nothing to help us track down our stolen merchandise. offered no replacement and or offered no compensation for our loss. Yet, I read cases of where Apple actually replaced mechandise for apparent thieves…no questions asked. There needs to be a system of protection for those of us who spend our hard earned money to buy our electronic devices from Apple and Apple needs to be held accountable for not providing service and protection for those of us who have been victims of theft. Otherwise, we all need to stop buying Apple products.

      2. Mvlm12 says:

        How about if you have a police report, you have witnesses that saw the guy running out of the mall with your Ipad. How about if you have a tag number, color of car and make of the car the thief got away in.  Been two weeks no Ipad no arrest no interest. This happen to me in Triangle Town Center in Raleigh , NC.

  5. Bob Saxon says:

    Does sure sound like Apple screwed up, cannot say I blame Chang at all.

  6. Weiser878 says:

    Forensic fingerprint and DNA evidence?
    Was someone murdered with the iPad?

    Please watch less CSI

    1. Like it or not, fingerprints and DNA can be lifted off of a great many objects, not just murder weapons…

      1. Betty Clouse says:

        smart one not a dumb democrat!!

    2. Steal-ipads4life says:

      Your wrong Weiser878. Do you think cops have nothing better to do than catch the bad guys that stole your property?? think about it,

    3. Betty Clouse says:

      And you are stupid and evidentally a democrat who cares nothing for the other person loss of ipad right!!

  7. The only help that they can offer is to provide the police with the IMEI of the new iPad so they can trace it over networks.

  8. Ipadthief says:

    If you replace an ipad at a apple store in Canada they ask for one piece of photo ID.

  9. ipadthief says:

    like it or not, the apple store is not responsible for shit. Mr. Chang Wang should have been more careful. It’s your negligent fault for having your ipad stolen. I bet you Mr. Chang Wang was at a Starbucks or other coffee house and left the ipad on the table to take a piss. I see this all the time. Take the ipad with you when you go to the wsshroom.

    1. Betty Clouse says:

      oh yeah and leave the ipad in the bathroom smart idea moron. You are clueless I hope someone steals everything you got democrat and that will adjust your stinking nasty attitude moron!!

  10. Ipadthief says:

    How do we know Mr. Chang Wang’s ipad was even “stolen”?? he could have been in on the scam.!! think about it.

  11. Fuck me says:

    Fuck you

  12. Steve222 says:

    COPS. Can’t even catch a cold.

  13. Weiser878 says:

    Weiser878…you suck

  14. Jettzier285 says:

    i got my stollen and i have no idea what to do

  15. Clabou81 says:

    I agree with you. Federal laws could both regulate and assist consumers like those of us who have purchased Apple products and then had them stolen, no fault on our part. And for those making false claims a measurable form of punishment should be enforced as well. In my case, I have receipts for the iPads I purchased and the serial numbers. After contacting Appple customer service and filing a police report here in Russia…Apple did nothing to help us track down our stolen merchandise. offered no replacement and or offered no compensation for our loss. Yet, I read cases of where Apple actually replaced mechandise for apparent thieves…no questions asked. There needs to be a system of protection for those of us who spend our hard earned money to buy our electronic devices from Apple and Apple needs to be held accountable for not providing service and protection for those of us who have been victims of theft. Otherwise, we all need to stop buying Apple products.

  16. Pete94tsi says:

    I have an iPad 3 that was given to me by a young lady I no longer have any relations with. She is demanding the iPad and there’s Noway I’m giving it up. Normally a big in this situation but she has the receipt and box from it. What should I do to protect myself or how can I change the serial number so that if she does comme back for it I can tell her to get lost. Any help would great.

  17. Pete94tsi says:

    My 1st iPad was from at a McDonald’s. I put it for sale om Craigslist and after several days of correspondence I was comfortable enough that I met hit at a local mcdonald, I my then 4 yr old daughter with me. We were both hungry I ordered food for both her and I. About the time the food came he showed and seemed fairly decent person by appearance. My daughter dropped a fry or straw or something along those lines. As soon as she did I leaned down to help her and the asshat next to grabbed the iPad and took off into some apartments behind the place.
    Now In that case we had him on video coming in and running of the store. The video of him entering was perfect, he stopped and starred right at the camera. Secondly the McDonald’s employees all saw face clearly. And last but not least I had his cell phone number that he continued to answer. The local police said there nothing they could (total b.s.).i even went through with reverse lookup the number and handed over the assholes home address, where he worked and they still refused to look into it. What do we pay police salaries for??????????

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