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!