A New Jersey teenager, who was arrested this weekend for allegedly shoplifting a pair of headphones from the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in Manhattan, says he attempted to use EasyPay purchase process to pay for the merchandise, but failed to complete his purchase.
Eric Shine says he scanned the barcode of a pair of Bose headphones, and navigated the EasyPay purchase process to the final screen, but failed to complete his purchase. Upon trying to leave the store, he was stopped by store employees who accused him of shoplifting and called the police to have him arrested.
“I pulled out my iPhone, and realized it still showed the Pay Now button, and not the receipt,” Shine said. “I told them I had no intent of stealing; I’ve been in the store for an hour, and I’m still willing to purchase the headphones.”
The Apple Store staff didn’t buy his story. “They said, they see this all the time, and that they knew I had the intent to steal, and this was an easy excuse,” said Shine. He also says he pointed out to the manager that he asked for, and received, a bag for the headphones from an Apple Store employee, saying the employee did not ask to see his receipt, which simply compounded his own error with the app.
The Apple Store iPhone app was updated last year to include the “EasyPay” feature. It allows customers to purchase products in the retail store without the requirement of any of that icky “human interaction” with a salesperson.
Shine was offered a plea bargain for one day of community service and attending a class on larceny (a how-to class?), in exchange for having the charges reduced. He has declined, saying that he “didn’t try to steal anything” and will instead face larceny charges in October.