Toronto Lawyer Sues Apple After His MacBook Gets Stolen-Is Apple Responsible?

Toronto lawyer Michael Deverett purchased a MacBook Pro and iPod touch back in 2009. As he returned to his vehicle after stopping at a convenience store, his rear window had been smashed and his Apple goodies stolen. As the Toronto Star reports, Deverett ended up suing Apple:

Deverett sued Apple, claiming that theft rings in the U.S. had been targeting Apple store customers in the same way and Apple had a duty of care to warn store customers of the danger. Apple also serviced Deverett’s stolen computer for someone else even after Deverett called to tell them it was stolen.

In the end, Deverett settled for a $2,300 store credit from Apple and legal costs of $345, but he is not alone in asking whether manufacturers of expensive and coveted merchandise could be doing more to protect customers.

A similar incident revolves around the growing trend of stolen iPhones and iPod touch units at bus stops and around public places. A university professor in Toronto had her iPhone snatched from her hands at a TTC station. Sali Tagliamonte was disappointed with Apple:

She filled out a police report. She suspended her service with Fido and called Apple to report the theft. Although staff at both companies seemed to her to be practiced at offering condolences: “We’re very sorry your phone was stolen,” she was told more than once, they didn’t offer anything else.

In the end, she paid more than $600 for another iPhone.

She complained to Apple: “It’s your civic duty to do something about this,” she told them. She received no response.

In both of these cases, should Apple be held responsible when our precious devices are stolen? When does Apple’s responsibility begin and end for customers? Well, here’s their response to the Deverett’s case, as seen from the statement filed by Apple Canada:

“Apple Canada does not owe a duty of care to customers once they have left its retail store…

It would be next to impossible to warn each customer that, depending on what part of town they may drive to next, they may be the target of a theft. Apple Canada does not owe a duty of care regarding stolen products, in particular if it is not notified by the owner. Apple Canada cannot reasonably foresee any risk of harm to customers when it does not know the product’s intended user or destination.”

I have to agree with Apple here, as much as it hurts to have something stolen from you, regardless of what it is. If your car is stolen, do you blame the auto manufacturer? What do you think? Is Apple responsible for your stolen goods?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Matthewsclee

    So, can I sue him for wasting tax payer money?

  • Anything is possible!

  • lol. Use find my mac/find my iPhone? Duh?
    Apple has done ALOT by implementing those features. Can’t blame them for anything.

  • Calliope

    I agree with Apple except in the case of them servicing the first guy’s stolen computer after he reported it stolen. WTF?

  • Pc

    Apple should do something when servicing a device that is reported in there database as a stolen device. That is one reason why we are paying the Apple tax no ?

  • Yeah, that part is messed.

    Also the report about the battery being ‘removed’ from the iPhone. More likely the phone was just turned off.

  • Flaxx

    Although it’s not the cellphone company or Apple’s fault for a stolen device, they definitely should have systems in place to flag a product as stolen and if that phone’s IMEI comes up on a network or the product is brought into an Apple store, it should be confiscated and returned to the rightful owner and the thief should be arrested.

    They keep track of this information anyway, implementing this sort of system would not be a difficult task. This would discourage people from steeling items as they’d be only good for parts (and only certain parts at that).

  • Anon

    Of course I’d want Apple to be responsible for my stolen Apple products.  That way, I can get FREE apple products whenever someone supposedly ‘steals’ it.  LMAO!

  • rvs007

    So does the Toronto lawyer think that he can sue Honda if his Civic gets stolen because it’s high on the most-stolen vehicle list?  Unreal…

  • Kraken

    Given the fact that the lawyer reported his Macbook Pro stolen to Apple, and that Apple had retrieved it afterwards, serviced it, then gave to back the thief.  I think in that case, the lawyer was justified in suing Apple, due to Apple’s incompetence.

  • Hank

    Did he sue the car maker for the broken window? Only a lawyer…

  • Guest

    Explain this to me Kraken… Sorry I don’t understand your logic.

  • Ronee2009

    we should have insurance for our devices.  that’s my solution.

  • This is te most foolish thing I’ve ever heard… So does this mean if I go buy a mustang, ford needs to buy me a new car if it gets stolen? Pure bull and shame on Deverette for suing apple over this

  • Eriksher

    how did he find out that his stolen mac was serviced?

  • rvs007

    Well, if the devices were stolen from the home, it would be covered under home insurance.

  • Anonymous

    I think if a stolen Apple product such as an iPhone is brought in to an Apple store for servicing by the thief, there should be a way to flag that device as stolen for store employee’s to see. Every device has it’s own unique serial number, and this information is tracked by Apple when you register your device after purchasing it. So why doesn’t Apple have a system setup to deal with this?

    Ideally I should be able to call in to Apple, or go on my iTunes account and have my device flagged as stolen, and the next time it’s activated on a network, or brought into a store, the flagged device is reported to the authorities who can then deal with the thief.

    I’m not asking Apple to play police and try to seize my stolen hardware back, but by doing nothing and servicing goods they are aware of being stolen, they are in fact breaking the law by not notifying the authorities. I think it’s called “accessory after the fact”, or “possession of stolen goods”.

  • Anonymous

    Apple’s treatment of stolen devices is really a joke.  Find My (whatever) should be enabled by default, and it should be setup to survive a restore or format or whatever.  They control the hardware, so it should be trivial for them to implement it across the board…the fact that they have chosen not to do so speaks volumes.  They could even put a 3G modem in every Macbook, solely for this purpose (not exposed or accessible to the user, and certainly not charged by the month, but available for the purposes of locating and/or remote wiping a stolen device).  They simply don’t want to.

  • Anonymous

    I just want to add too that some of you don’t get it. It’s not Apple’s responsibility to police stolen products. BUT if Apple has be notified by the customer that their device has been stolen, it should be their responsibility to act accordingly if the stolen device is activated on a carrier, or if it’s brought in for repair. If Apple has no knowledge of the device being stolen then ya, no fault. But knowing an item in your possession is stolen, and not returning it to the rightful owner but to the thief instead is the problem here.

    If my iPhone 4 was stolen I wouldn’t expect Apple to give me a new iPhone 4 for free, I’d have to buy a new one and I’d be fine with that. But if I reported it stolen to Apple, then 2 months later the device is brought into the store for servicing and Apple repairs the device and gives it back to the person that brought it in, instead of confiscating it and returning it to me, the rightful owner. Then ya, I’d have a case to sue.

  • Anonymous

    You don’t get it. If your car is stolen you report it to your insurance company. Everyone needs to have insurance to drive the vehicle, and all cars have a unique VIN number. So if the thief tries to insure the car it’ll come up as stolen and they’ll get arrested. We’re only saying Apple should do something similar. Only return stolen products if they come into possession of them or know who has them, not to replace a product when it’s stolen.

  • Anonymous

    There was a case of something similar not too long ago. A guy had his iPhone 4 stolen. He got a call from the Genius Bar confirming an appointment to have the stolen phone serviced, an appointment he didn’t make. He realized the thief must have made the appointment. He called the store, but they refused to help him, saying it’s not their position to deal with stolen items. They replaced the stolen phone with a brand new one, and activated it on a carrier for the thief.

  • Ex

    His car window was broken. Does the whiney lawyer sue the car company now?

  • O I get it, I just think that people are too selfish yoday to take responsibility for their stuff.. Always passing the buck… If you make apple o it, every company has to do it… Clothing companies… Heck, jackets get stolen all the time… Does that mean that burton has to put a tracker in my jacket just in case someone steals my jacket? Or is it just big expensive stuff? But who decides the line? My $200 jacket might be easy for me to replace, but the guy down the street saved for 3 years for his jacket.. So it’s super valuable to him.. Who decides what products need to be tacked and what ones don’t?

    Take some damn responsibility for your stuff… It you buy a MacBook put it in your trunk or under your seat if you are going into a store… Don’t blame apple because they make good products… If they made sub par products, people wouldn’t steal them, but we also wouldn’t buy them… And they’d go out of business…

  • Guest

    what  is there not to understand? although its a bit of a stretch, if apple receives a computer they know was purchased from them, reported stolen, yet will still service it, something is wrong there… they sure should have some sort of flagging system to not repair it, hold the device, or return it to the owner… 

  • Ed Lau

    Sort of weird that Apple would service a stolen laptop but otherwise, they are not responsible for your property being stolen. That’s just silly.

  • BugNo2

    Give me a break. How much combined service delay time will it cost us all to have Apple check if we have a stolen device every time we come for repairs, questions…? I don’t want to have to submit a DNA sample at the door for every time I come into Apple store.

  • Anonymous

    Sooo, do you think Samsung, HP, Asus would do anything at all? Right.

  • Ksmit

    with these people suing for their “lack of care” apple should just provide a military protection service where an armed guard just follows your apple products around all day and night to protect them from being stolen

  • BugNo2

    Why stop just at confiscation? Shoot the old lady on the spot. Just BECAUSE she bought a heavily discounted phone on Kijiji she should die! Come on man, what company has a system in place like you suggest? If they make one, they pass the bill to us… 

  • BugNo2

    More delays, more costs, more confusion and embarrassment for those who buy 2nd hand gear… 

  • Anonymous

    Ridiculous.

  • BugNo2

    So you set up a new server bank just to house serial numbers of stolen devices and check when they come into the store? Ok, fine, let them make that and I will pay an extra buck or two because everything costs money and Apple is not giving things away for free. BUT if I get embarrassed like a she-dog and my phone gets confiscated in front of my gf, 100s of people in the store just because I bought it on eBay, I will sue you! Deal?

  • Anonymous

    That’s exactly what I would expect a thief to say.

  • Kevinlee22

    Most products under warranty still require proof of purchase. Apple is one of the very few that doesn’t. I’m siding with Kraken. Really, we’re talking seconds to validate a non-stolen item. In fact, this may reduce the number of repairs, thus reducing wait times.

  • BugNo2

    That would be the only perk if I ever became a lawyer–threat of civil litigation and gamble that judge is not in the bad mood when the day comes. It’s actually not against law to threat to take someone to court and bolster it by the fact that you are trained to carry the threat out.

  • Anonymous

    For devices getting stolen, Apple has no responsibility or duty to do anything about. The device that was serviced under them, I believe they should have a system in place to flag this. However, I don’t believe it is their responsibility in this case to do anything more than contact the police that they have a received a reportedly stolen device. For all Apple knows, the person who took it in to get serviced purchased it off of Kijiji, eBay or elsewhere. 

    Apple is not the police, and they are not our mommy’s. Lookout for yourself, don’t expect multi-billion dollar corporations to babysit you. It is really that simple. If this is anyone’s duty it is the citizen, and in some cases the police’s responsibility to investigate.

  • Anonymous

    This seems like a better use of tax payer money than the initial case!

  • Anonymous

    You really don’t understand what’s going on here. Poor you, I feel bad that you don’t realize it was reported stolen and apple didnt take it when it was brought in to the apple store. Anyone that agrees apple is right on this one is fucking stupid. I understand not giving the girl a new iPhone. But when a thief takes a stolen product back to a store, and the store doesn’t stop him, thats just rediculous

  • BugNo2

    That is ONLY if you can prove that I knowingly bought something stolen. What if I buy it on eBay/Kijiji and you embarrass the shit out of me in front of 100s of people at the store? Can I sue you then? 

  • BugNo2

    Once you file for lawsuit, you are given full disclosure by the other side. If they don’t disclose the smallest detail–big trouble.

  • Anonymous

    Funny you should mention those three…all three of them have products which support LoJack on the BIOS level.  
    http://absolute.com/en/company/bios-compatibility.aspx

    Looks like Apple is the odd one out.

  • Anonymous

    Apple would get themselves into a world of shit confiscating stolen devices. That is not how our legal system works. However, I do believe it is their duty to contact the police, as police have that authority and is their job to investigate. If I bought a used iPhone 4 on kijiji and brought it in to get services, if it was confiscated by Apple because it was stolen, that’d be pretty shitty. I’d much rather deal with the police so that I could at least track down the actual thief.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. He also sat on the glass, cut himself, and now requires $3,000,000 for emotional damages and plastic surgery. 

  • BugNo2

    Agree but the logic is out of the window the moment he actually filed lawsuit. He gambled on it too. The moment he served them, they went into $/Damage Control… It’s good to be a lawyer I imagine… 

  • Anonymous

    Clearly you don’t understand the whole story. I agree apple has done a lot. And the girl doesn’t deserve a new iPhone. But when apple gave the stolen MacBook back to the thief when it was reported stolen, that’s just retarded.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed they are not responsible, but really, should have they given the stolen laptop back to the thief?

  • BugNo2

    Now you are going overboard. What about the sympathy for the guy whose car got broken into. Some say it makes you feel very vulnerable, hurt… So, he decided to help himself… It’s a complex world we live in… 

  • BugNo2

    Lloyds of London insure Barbara Straisend’s nose! And that’s a fact, my man! Call me on it! You just have to pay the premium and you will get the insurance for anything… 

  • Haha. iMilitary iBodyguards. Find my Body.

  • BugNo2

    Enough with the car analogies, please people–the car is taken care of by the insurance! 

  • BugNo2

    Gary, what if an old lady buys an iPhone on Kijiji for her grand daughter and Apple embarrasses the crap out of them at the store when they come for repair, by confiscating the phone, calling cops? 

    Come on! Apple figured pros and cons of those actions–it’s not about the tech, it’s about resale value of 2nd hand Apple products. Love the site BTW, check it daily… 

  • BugNo2

    What about the embarrassment factor? I do buy Apple stuff on eBay and have no way of knowing if it’s stolen or not. However, if you confiscate it from me at the store and embarrass me in public, can I sue you and your BigBrother system? 

  • BugNo2

    No Sir, you don’t get it. You don’t get the bigger picture. The thief is not going to Apple for repairs. Someone who bought the MacBook on eBay and has no way of knowing it’s stolen DOES go to Apple store for repairs. Apple is not going to embarrass a nice old lady who bought a comp for her granddaughter in front of 100s of witnesses, because then they can be in real legal trouble… 

  • Anonymous

    Crazy people are crazy

  • BugNo2

    Thief didn’t go to Apple for service. The thief knows what Apple is capable, thus the theft. Come on. It was somebody completely else, who bought the thing on eBay and had no clue. I image it to be an old lady on pension. 

  • JA

    Apple doesn’t have a flagging system for stolen products. You report the theft to the police and the police handle it. It’s up to the police to speak to Apple Retail Stores and authorized resellers if they want them to contact the police when/if the stolen device is brought in.

  • Anonymous

    Lojack may help YOU find your laptop, but the question is what would those vendors do to help you? Asus would hang up on you.

  • BugNo2

    I can go either way if they have the tech to detect stolen devices or not. It’s not the tech, but the fact that the thief would not go to Apple store for repairs. Whoever came, bought the stolen laptop off Kijiji/eBay. And Apple knows this. You can’t stop someone on suspicion and make an arrest or confiscate property (even if you know it’s stolen). You have to know beyond shadow of doubt that they knowingly bought stolen goods. There are 100s people in the store, let the gramma go home and if the lawyer really sues us, we give him a store credit–it’s the most profitable move

  • Anonymous

    I agree with the ebay thing, but what about the person that had their laptop stolen in the first place? You’re saying he should be out 2 grand because some old lady at a store shouldn’t be told that she purchased a stolen laptop? No, apple should contact the police, then ask her to help locate who she purchased it from. Then they will help her get a refund from the ebay seller. And honestly are you really that worried about what other people think of you at an apple store? Man if you go youre whole life worried about what people think of you in public, youre gonna do a lot more work than you need to. Who care what people think, especially if the employees dont make a big fuss and just tell you, not the whole store, which is what they would do. They wouldn’t be like “hey everyone this guy is a crook, point and laugh that he got caught!” especially when there’s no proof he/she stole it like in the situation you described.

  • Yes, until we learn more about that Genius Bar situation, we cannot assume.

    Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Anonymous

    If you bought it from ebay or kijiji or craigslist w/e, and it’s a stolen item, you can still be charged with possession of stolen property. Your best bet at that point would be to claim innocence and turn over any info regarding the seller you have to the police and let them deal with it. And you’re probably right, having store employee’s confiscate the phone would be embarrassing. But the store should at least turn over contact info for the person that came in with the stolen device to the cops then.

  • BugNo2

    There is no privacy of that kind at Apple store. That is 1
    2) Just by telling me the device is stolen insinuates.
    3) You saw the lawyer getting his way? Well defamation of character lawsuit could be my meal ticket… No? So how do you deal with this better than to turn a blind eye?
    4) Yes, I worry what people think of me–I live amongst people and reputation actually makes or breaks deals, opens or closes doors…

    I KNOW that the tech got a red flag as soon as he scanned the serial number. Then he called the manager. The manager then saw an old lady and made an executive decision to do nothing. I am certain that is what happened. I would do the same if I was the floor manager.

  • BugNo2

    Here is what I believe happened:
    I KNOW that the technician got a red flag as soon as he scanned the serial number. Then he called the manager. The manager then saw an old lady and made an executive decision to do nothing. What can you do? Insult the lady by suggesting she bought a stolen product and is in clear violation of statue? In front of 100s people? Lawyers might be among the crowd, they could tell her she can settle big… I am certain that is what happened. I would do the same if I was the floor manager. Theft under $10,000 is NOT an indictable offense but only a summary offense. So don’t even call the cops, or do, but after the lady leaves–nothing in front of her. So why turn nothing into a defamation of character lawsuit?

  • BugNo2

    After the person leaves the store! Yes, they can do that if they want to see cops who will be annoyed that they are even called for something like this. 

    More over, I can get charged as an associate of The Soprano family, but God help everybody involved when the judge finds me innocent due to lack of evidence! 

    Then I call Mr. Deverett and we subpoena EVERYBODY involved for $40… Agree?

  • Anonymous

    Well yes but its not too often that you’re looking for job oppertunities when you’re visiting an apple store about a broken product. And how do you know she didn’t steal it? thats just being prejudice. Are you implying that if it was a teenage black man in the same situation and you were floor manager you’d let the old lady go but not the young man? Old ladies can be cons too 😉 and there is most definitely enough privacy for them to tell you something like that. All it takes is “ma’am, can i have a word with you over there?” (in a corner where there is no one within a foot or two)

  • TheLaw

    – Possession of stolen goods is illegal, regardless of whether you know they’re stolen.
    – The police confiscate the stolen property and return the stolen property to the orginal owner.
    – If you don’t know the person you’re buying your second-hand goods from, you’re taking a risk.
    – If a product has a serial number, it’s rightful owner can be found.

  • Ex

    Hahahaa,I think I’m going to become a lawyer. Sounds like an easy pay day.

    Slam your face into a door and sue everyone! Win!

  • BugNo2

    There are no corners where people are not waiting for something. Apple stores are busy man! 

    No, regardless of what or who it is, I would do nothing. There could of been a Captn. Jack Sparrow standing right in front of me with, shouting: “I AM GLAD I DID IT AND WILL DO IT AGAIN, RAAAR!” and I would still fix his laptop and wish him a good day.

  • Ex

    LOL!

    Maybe in Wonderland.

  • Ex

    +1

  • BugNo2

    Disagree: “Possession of stolen goods is illegal, regardless of whether you know they’re stolen.” That is not the case. You have to prove that I knowingly bought stolen property. Ask eBay lawyers!

  • Ex

    Who cares about the person who got their stuff stolen. It’s a lesson he’ll never forget. If you’re stupid enough to leave valuable stuff in the open, you deserve to suffer.

  • GetReal

    If the risk of embarrassment over being found with stolen goods is so great, and if you’re too lazy to check to see if the second-hand goods you’re buying from complete strangers are stolen, as your attorney, I suggest you purchase your goods from reputable and verifiable sources from now on.

  • Ex

    No it’s not retarded. It’s not Apple’s responsibility to confiscate stolen property. Plus, maybe the item was purchased by someone and they don’t know it’s stolen. Apple employees will NEVER insinuate that someone has stolen property.

  • Draziguy

    Watch a documentary called “Hot Coffee” and then reconsider this statement. Most of the time, the system works quite well, and the times that we think it didn’t, we often do not have all of the facts.

  • BugNo2

    You Sir, win the Internet! I agree with you 100%

  • Ex

    Okay I admit it. It was me. I stole the laptop so that I could give Gary a late Christmas gift. 🙁

  • BugNo2

    You just got served with the lawsuit and if you ignore it, court finds it in favor of plaintiff.
    How do you do nothing??? Just explain that to me?

  • Ex

    Thus far, I’ve agreed with all of your comments. You are A+.

    Based on some of your comments, you seem to be a person that may know what GCRM is. Correct?

  • Turns out that MacBook Pro you gave me was really a Dell Inspiron with an Apple sticker over the logo. Thanks bud.

  • Ex

    😀

  • BugNo2

    Funny that, because I talked to eBay legal team and they told me a different story. Also I talked to Apple marketing team and they told me Apple products have gigantic resale value on sites just like eBay.
     Besides your suggestion is “post factum”, I hired you to defend my character in court of civil litigation. Are you saying I would not have the case? Ok, give me my retainer back and have a good no-pay-day Sir!

  • BugNo2

    Yes Sir, I frequent Glasgow Centre for Reproductive Medicine Fertility IVF Clinic. I am well aware of them. 

    P.S. Swear to God thats the first thing that popped in Google 
    😀

  • My goodness, it seems you and BugNo2 have really hit it off with your knowledge of this secret society lingo. You guys are lighting up the comments. 

    BugNo2, you win the unofficial commenter of the day award! 🙂

  • ThatGuy

    A credit card can be flagged stolen within seconds of the customer calling, once swiped it will be declined, how will it take any longer? They have the serial number and owner information on file, would it really be that hard or time consuming to enter a serial number (which I’m sure they already do) and hold it and contact the registered owner? Really?

  • BugNo2

    Gary, thank you for the “The person most likely never to get laid again” award. It’s what I always wanted.

    😀

  • BugNo2

    Thats because a CC doesn’t belong to me, but the CC company.
    You take my laptop which rightfully paid for AND you accuse me of being in possession of stolen goods and we have a serious problem if one of 100,000 lawyers in this city thinks I have a case. I imagine not having to interview more than ONE.

  • Ex

    Hahaha not quite.

  • Anonymous

    Can we go back to basis here: if you leave your stuff in plain view in your car, then YOU’RE faulty. That’s that. Now the lady: of course life is not fair… somebody stole the iPhone she was proudly showing off while walking… It’s sooo sad… 
    Grow up people and stop whining

  • Common_Sense

    Before anything, why the hell you leave a $2000+ Macbook Pro inside the car in the first place?

    You are asking for anyone to break in your car. The lawyer should be sued for his stupidity.

  • +1

    It’s like if your kid leaves their iPhone 4S in plain sight at school and someone steals it–it’s the kid’s fault for not being responsible and protecting his/her belongings. You wouldn’t suddenly blame Apple!

  • Kevinroach

    1. It’s not Apple’s fault if your slow in the head
    2. Seriously? We are Canadian, act like a mature adult and go through car insurance
    3. A lawyer? Bill a few more hours and buy another computer.
    4. Seriously?

  • Anonymous

    I agree that whoever is stupid enough to do that (especially a lawyer, you’d think they’d be smart enough) doesn’t deserve anything by apple, but when the stolen laptop comes into an apple store you’d think they’d at least be a bit suspicious aha. When it comes down to it, ultimately I agree that its the person who lost its fault. But apple should help a little bit when it comes into their store and its FLAGGED.

  • Papineau

    Lets not overcomplicate the issue: According to basic rule of law: One is innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, apple has no authority to confiscate the given device as it cannot beyond doubt prove that the person present stole it or bought it online from the given criminal.
    The most that apple should do would be to deny service to the suspected device.

  • Anon

    Delay time?  LMAO!  We are talking milliseconds to scan a database of stolen serial numbers.

  • Anon

    @BugNo2.  You need to read up on Canadian criminal code.  Particularly the section on “possession of stolen property”. 

  • Anon

    @BugNo2.  You should be more concerned about getting the money back from the a-hole that sold you the stolen goods.  Point is, you are in possession of a stolen property, and legally it isn’t yours whether you purchased it or not. 

  • Anon

    If you can prove you unknowingly purchased the stolen goods, then you won’t get charged.  But regardless, the police can and will confiscate the stolen property.  And doesn’t matter if you purchased it.  Stolen goods are stolen goods, and the onus is on you to get the money back from the prick that sold you it.

  • Anonymous

    BugNo2: if you have bought stolen goods unknowingly, you won’t be charged.  But that stolen goods is NOT yours, even you “paid” for it (and definitely NOT “rightfully paid” as you claimed, since the seller was committing a fraud).   In this case, you can only go after the ebay seller.

    Embarrassment?  Well, you have bought stolen goods after all, haven’t you?  Take it as a lesson learned and be wiser next time…. [shrug]

  • Anon

    @BugNo2.  You are a thief’s wet dream.  Let all ‘turn a blind eye’ to stolen goods.  Idiot.

  • Imkman

    These guys should of stolen his whole car!

    Lawyer is as A-hole… 

  • Anon

    Exactly.  Contacting the police is what they should of done.  Instead they did nothing.

  • BugNo2

    @64563cce04b64140ea1308117221eb07:disqus  AnonPlease, I know the law very well. But only a cop can take the stolen merchandise away from people. Not an Apple store staff.

    @nosnoop:disqus 
    Agree with everything other than last part. Apple will not touch anyone who brings in computers marked stolen! They know their rights. They can call cops after I leave the store and give them my info. Cops can follow up. Nothing happens at the store.
    I have no way of knowing if my iPhone from Australia is stolen or not. Agree? So to avoid embarrassment I should not buy it? You can’t live in fear public humiliation and forsake buying 2nd hand equipment. eBay would go broke.

  • BugNo2

    In what parallel universe, Sir? 
    Ever had you phone unlocked by store staff, after you brought your broken but originally unlocked one and apple suggested you pay to have it “refreshed” (swapped)? That too should take seconds? Well in this universe that takes half an hour.

  • BugNo2

    @4cc96b2e68d5744607b77bf5709ad4c7:disqus I did, particularly 494 which says I can only be arrested by non-police on absolute certainty! Only cops can arrest and question anyone on suspicion. 

  • BugNo2

    AGAIN! In what parallel universe is the burden of proof on me? 

  • Kraken

    No.  They give back your stolen device.  Tell you (in private) that the device was reported stolen.  They report it to the police.  You (now knowing the device is stolen), contact the seller and get your money back (or sue) as well as  co-operate with the police to return stolen property back the owner.  That would be the ‘right’ thing to do.

  • BugNo2

    @4cc96b2e68d5744607b77bf5709ad4c7:disqus 
    Really? Name calling is still a form of debate for you? 

  • BugNo2

    +1 
    We need more common sense like this! Ty Sir!

  • BugNo2

    No but I would understand if the kid grows up to be a lawyer and then file lawsuit and get his way because Apple decided that the most profitable course of action is to settle. I would say: “Well played, kid!”
    And why would I hope he wins?
    1) He did nothing wrong by enjoying his phone any way he saw fit.
    2) Because we don’t blame victims of crime for trying their best to help themselves when cops come and tell them: “You should of been more careful” and everybody else nods and says: “Thats for flashing you latest iPhone”.
    Sorry, but I like what the lawyer did here–he got his way and we could not because it would not be profitable for us. A lawyer could cost $3,000 if I hired him to do the same for me. This guy was his own lawyer, so it was free…

  • Frankie

    If you go to Apple website, under support, there is a section where a person can type the serial number of the device and get the confirmation for valid purchase, warranty expiry date and other support related info. When a person is buying a second hand Apple device, they can check there to see if it was purchased legally. Equally, Apple can update the same page if a product is reported stolen. It will and can protect the original owner and the second hand new buyer and can flag the police if a stolen product turns up.

  • Kraken

    Or better yet.  Apple reports it to the police.  Police confiscates it while in Apple’s possession.  Then the police contacts you, and you deal with them.

  • BugNo2

    And I would just sit there and wait for 3 days for cops to come? You cannot think think cops will drop everything they are doing and rush to the store to retrieve stolen laptop? Please tell me you understand theft under $10,000 is no jail time even if you did it38 times. 

    You cannot take my laptop and call cops thinking I knew it was stolen. Only cops can do that. That would be the only breach I could of have done and Apple cannot possible know that beyond doubt. 

    You have another legal obstacle. The legal concept known as “the reasonable man”. In this case goes like this: No reasonable man would suspect me of knowing the laptop was stolen, because I would not come into the store and ask for service if I knew it was stolen when I bought it. Agree?

  • BugNo2

    I do agree cops would and SHOULD confiscate the laptop due to it being stolen. But Apple is not going to stop me from leaving the store, they have no rights under which to do that. Canadian Criminal Code 494 does not apply since they don’t know: 
    1) I stole it
    2) I knew it was stolen when I bought it
    The powers of arrest on reasonable suspicion are for the police only. Not civilians and I include security guards in civilians.

  • BugNo2

    Granted; however, I am not legally obligated to do that. Just because I didn’t run the serial, doesn’t mean I knowingly bought stolen property. Agree? 

  • BugNo2

    Unfortunately he could not get sued for stupidity. It’s not against the law (yet).
    More over, why can’t I leave my laptop in my car? It’s a free country and we have law enforcement to protect the weak. 
    It’s not cool to blame a victim of crime for being careless. You would not dare tell a rape victim she had it coming for dressing like a slut?
    Come on people, show some mercy… 

  • BugNo2

    I am not legally obligated to do so.
    I am also not legally obligated to be not-stupid.
    Ofcourse it can be taken away from me, but only by legally empowered individuals, which were not involved in the servicing of stolen property episode.
    Apple staffers != cops

  • Anonymous

    Your right! Stupidity is not a crime. On that note. One could use a tiny bit of common sence and not leave valuables in a car. Ask any officer of the law and they will tell you the same thing. I think what really happened is that lawyer realized he could get something out of apple because of apples policies to settle out of cort where possible.

  • Kraken

    Right, and I agree.  The chances of police taking any kind of immediate response, especially in a big city, is next to nil.  As well, the person who brought in the laptop for repair most likely won’t be the actual thief, but someone else who isn’t aware.

    But with that said, just the action of reporting it to the police as well as informing the person who brought in the laptop (discreatly), shows that at least they are trying to do something about it.  If the police don’t do anything about, at least you’d be aware and you can take action.

  • BugNo2

    Sorry and again, leaving something in your car is also not against law. 
    Exercising common sense is not a legal obligation.
    Do those same cops say to rape victims: “It’s your fault for dressing sexy”?
    Tell those same cops to do their jobs and keep their opinions to themselves and this would not happen.

  • BugNo2

    Reporting it yes, but telling the person might be tricky. Look what this lawyer did and he got his way. What if you tell me my laptop is stolen and I interpret it as if you accused me in public of theft, therefore defaming me in public, so I sue you for slander? If I did that, don’t you think Apple would also settle? Apple has these scenarios all figured out. They would never tell. Besides if an Apple emp tells me I am in possession–that is not actually a legal obligation for me to do anything, so I probably wouldn’t. Let Apple call cops after I leave, and let the cops follow up. They have legal right to investigate on suspicion. Nobody else.

  • BugNo2

    The decision got overturned but only after an appeal. Fine, that would happen in this scenario, too; however how much money was spent by McD for hot coffee being spilled by an old lady nonsense?

    This guy asked Apple to reimburse him for stolen laptop and after he actually filed the lawsuit, Apple figured it way cheaper to comply than to go to court then maybe lose, then maybe win on an appeal. Agree? 

  • Anonymous

    This is more like the rape victim suing the the maker of her mini-skirt.

  • Brian

    The reason Apple can’t do anything in this situation is because there is no title to the product. I’m from the US and I don’t know how cars/titles work in Canada, but a computer is not like a car where there is some database of ownership and no title to prove ownership. How does someone prove they were the rightful owner and that the product was stolen from them? What if the person sells the computer, then reports it stolen? They get it back for free? Or what if someone gets your SN and reports it stolen? It gets taken from you? The point I’m making is that determining ownership and policing products is not Apple’s business. This “flag stolen products” idea is not as simple as it may sound.

  • TheLaw

    The proof that you purchased stolen property only needs to be provided in order to charge you with a crime.  Without that proof, the police will simply relieve you of the stolen goods and return them to the rightful owner.

  • GetReal

    Without knowing what you asked the eBay legal team, I cannot comment on their response.  Are you telling me that if Gizmodo bought the stolen iPhone4 prototype on eBay, they wouldn’t have had to return it to Apple?
    Want to know how to get even more gigantic resale value?  Prove the item isn’t stolen.
    The advice was provided gratis.  I wanted you out of my office asap before someone with your lack of scruples lifted my pen (which is worth more than you iOS device).

  • GetReal

    You can’t sue someone for exposing the truth, no matter how embarrassing it may be to you.

    You were in possession of stolen property.  That’s the truth and although it may hurt, it was you decission to be in possession of the stolen property.

  • Kraken

    Like I said, it would have to be done ‘discreatly’, obviously not announce it in store with a in front of customers.  This easily can be done via private 1 on 1 phone call, or even in a form of a registered letter, mailed afterwards.  This would be done with tact, and clearly convey that it’s simply been ‘reported as stolen’.  Any competent person would understand that.  Even if it wasn’t a legal obligation for me to do anything, I for one, would certainly not want to be in possession of stolen property, and would want to have it returned to the owner.

  • Common_Sense

    How will Apple know that the lawyer hasn’t sold the laptop in cash to the person that later sent it for repair? How did he find out that the machine was repaired by Apple? Why didn’t he report it to police? Why didn’t he go for insurance claim with his car insurance? Why didn’t he sue the convenience store as it was stolen from their lot? Why didn’t he check the surveillance camera’s at the store to find who snatched it or report it immediately? Based on facts there is always a chance that he sold the laptop to someone and got double bonanza by getting paid from apple 🙂

  • Guest

    How will Apple know that the lawyer hasn’t sold the laptop in cash to the person that later sent it for repair? How did he find out that the machine was repaired by Apple? Why didn’t he report it to police? Why didn’t he go for insurance claim with his car insurance? Why didn’t he sue the convenience store as it was stolen from their lot? Why didn’t he check the surveillance camera’s at the store to find who snatched it or report it immediately? Based on facts there is always a chance that he sold the laptop to someone and got double bonanza by getting paid from apple 🙂

  • ARB

    I apologize if I am making a point already rasied, but I haven’t read all the posts. Ipohone or any smart phones for that matter reported stolen as evidenced by a police  report should be  prohibited by the carriers from  re-activation.

    It is the carriers I hold culpable for perpetuating crimes related to phone theft and they are in my mind virtually an accessory to a crime. All of these devices have ESN numbers assigned to them that when reported stolen (not lost) can  be flagged as stolen and therefore unable to activate.

    Their argument is “how do we know the phone is stolen and not just a fraud between seller and buyer”? I would suggest the same way in Canada it works for all stolen goods. if I have a garage full of goods reported stolen, the police don’t just say, too bad to the previous owners, you you actually sold those goods to the person and you just want them back.

    I would love to see a class action suit in canada that pressures the carriers not to activate stolen phones! you would be surpirsed how fast the market and activity for stollen phones would virtually cease.

  • spoons

    thank you!

  • spoons

    “So you set up a new server bank just to house serial numbers of stolen devices and check when they come into the store?”  idk aout you northerners, but every major carrier in the US has a server to house the ESN’s of stolen phones.  they cant take the phone from you if ou show up with it, but they will tell you it is marked lost or stolen and that they wont activate it.  they will also tell you in the case of a stolen phone that they are going to notify the police and that it is in your best interest to notify them as well if you bought the phone from someone.  i know this because i made the mistake of buying a stolen droid from someone on craigslist.  luckily, the thief was stupid enough to use his actual info to make his cl account and was soon caught and after a few months of court i got my money back, and was able to return the phone to its rightful owner.  apple most likely already has these servers in place.  whether they keep them updated correctly or if employees at service centers actually follow policy and check devices before servicing is another story.  

  • spoons

    an apple employee doesnt have the authority to retain a customer unless they commit a crime in the apple store (shoplifting).  at least, this is how it works in the US.  If apple notices the device is stolen and knows theres an open case on said device they could try to contact the police and get them to the store in time to question the customer or make an arrest if evidence warrants.  the problem is, if the customer is the thief and notices that the apple employee is stalling or acting fishy in anyway, he can just take the device and leave,  no one can legally stop him for this besides the police.  the prolem for the employees arises when they have no clue whether this person is the actual thief or an innocent victim who unknowingly bought a stolen item.  is the employee willing to cause severe embarrassment to the vicitm or should he try to be kind and tell the person “this device has been reported stolen, i have to report to the police that it was brought in to the store and i have to give them whatever info i have.  if you bought this device without knowing it was stolen, it would be in your best interest to wait for the police and do whatever you can to help so that you can get your money back.”  but of course, if that person is the actual thief, he’s going to leave.

  • Apple Canada does not owe the stolen products, especially to take care of, if not notified by the employer obligations. Apple Canada can not reasonably foreseeable risk of any damage to customers, it does not know the target user of the product or destination.

  • And lawyers wonder why people hate them?

  • Greg

    I’m considering a lawsuit against Apple. Their current warranty policy makes customers of Apple products targets for thieves. Any thief knows he or she can take a stolen device to Apple and exchange it for a new device, a device with a new clean serial number and in the case of an iPhone, an unblocked IMEI. Apple needs to acknowledge that they are a major part to this problem and make some changes.