Apple Disables Every Looted iPhone While Tracking the Stolen Devices

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An Apple Store is completely cleared out by looters on Walnut Street in Philadelphia.

One of the iPhones looted from the Walnut Street location.
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One of the iPhones looted from the Walnut Street location.
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One of the iPhones looted from the Walnut Street location.

After witnessing nearly every one of its Apple Stores getting cleared out by looters, Apple has proactively disabled every stolen iPhone and connected device.

Apple quickly disabled all of the iPhones swiped from its numerous Apple Stores nationwide, while informing every looter that their devices were being tracked.  The only message looters can view is a warning to return the device to the trashed Apple Store, and that the authorities have been notified.

“Please return to Apple Walnut Street,” one device read (apparently posted by a looter unconcerned with being tracked).  “This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted.”

We’re assuming that other connected devices, including iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches, are being similarly blocked. But we’re also assuming few, if any, of the devices are actually being returned. Instead, looters likely tossed the disabled devices into nearby dumpsters or tried to jailbreak them after discovering they were bricked.

Incidentally, Apple has always offered this anti-theft device lockdown functionality to users. It really came in handy for swiped or missing iPhones — even if it just bricked the device for the thief. This time around, looters have discovered that stealing an iPhone isn’t the best idea.

But that certainly wasn’t top-of-mind during the mass-lootings of Apple Stores nationwide over the past few days. Endless footage depicted the pristine Stores being overrun with thieves, with the gorgeously-architected showrooms almost uniformly trashed and cleaned bare. The final scene of carnage featured smashed glass, empty wooden tables, and some spray-painted justice message to make the look complete.

Sadly, Apple was in the process of reopening its stores nationwide before this happened.

Those plans, of course, are now on permanent pause. Instead, the cleared-out, fully-looted stores are now boarded up indefinitely, and it’s unclear what the tech giant plans to do next.

Like many high-end retailers, the threat of another round of looting remains top-of-mind, and rioting is difficult to protect against without a significant security overhaul. That is causing riot and looting insurance premiums to skyrocket, with many retailers likely to abandon re-openings completely given the serious downside risks.

As the country deteriorated into mass-chaos and looting over the weekend, Apple CEO Tim Cook offered some words of consolation to Apple employees.

“I have heard from so many of you that you feel afraid — afraid in your communities, afraid in your daily lives, and, most cruelly of all, afraid in your own skin,” Cook wrote. “We can have no society worth celebrating unless we can guarantee freedom from fear for every person who gives this country their love, labor and life.”

16 Responses

  1. Ignacio

    Too bad they can’t make the phones blow up in the faces of these stupid fucking looting scumbags.

  2. Colorado

    But nobody’s going to prosecute these looter scumbags. Because they’re the victims of “oppression” after all.

  3. NTR

    Gee I wonder why there’s a bunch of black guys standing there?

    That’s so strange.

  4. Crooks, thieves and arsonists

    It’s very sad and shows a
    disfunctional society. It’s one thing to protest, but another to use it as a smokescreen for criminal and destructive acts against shops, buildings, cars and other peoples property.
    Now staff of the shops are afraid and may not have a job to return to because it’s all trashed.
    Makes me feel sick quite frankly.

    • Betty

      You’re jump to conclusion and lack of education make me sick, quite frankly.

      Every hear of the Boogaloo Movement or Antifa? These are right and left-wing extremist groups who piggyback on peaceful protests to cause mayhem, civil unrest and chaos with the hope that a race war will be created. These groups are well organized and drove in during protests to start things.

      Do your research before posting ignorance.

  5. Anonymous

    this is a company that is sitting on enough cash to buy Greece, that uses cheap Chinese labour to produce their overpriced lifestyle gadgets and does nothing to contribute to society on a meaningful level… and you’re bleating about the impoverished stealing from them.

    • Disgusted

      They’re also employing tens of thousands of hard working Americans (law-abiding, good people) just in their stores which they cannot do anymore. Many of those people are poor or lower-income so they are the new victims (add them to the list).

      But I guess you can justify anything these low-lives do.

      Black Lives Matter right?

    • John

      Are you f**king kidding us?! So, businesses that are wildly successful (which is a direct result of creating products and services that people want) should be punished?

    • Geronimo

      Typical Antifa fuckwit response. They make money so I can steal from them.

      I hope for civil war and I can put a bullet between your eyes.

      • Angelito

        Turn the gun on yourself first, you moron.

  6. Pebah

    Cook: “We can have no society worth celebrating unless we can guarantee freedom from fear for every person who gives this country their love, labor and life.” That’s never going to happen unless you force behavior. And how has that worked in the past? Just how successful has “better American education” been over the last 50 years?

    Indeed, the leaders of today were the demonstrators, rioters, and anarchists of 50 years ago. It’s clear they have ‘sowed to the wind, and have now reaped the whirlwind.’

    Minds won’t change until peoples’ hearts change. We still don’t see that happening, obviously. Maybe Cook has a technological fix for this. “You’re our only hope!”

    • Colorado

      So h much more does America have to do before black people take accountability for their own actions? Blacks aren’t the only group dealing with oppression. Many other groups have experienced far far worse.

  7. Geronimo

    Black Radical Privilege. I offer nothing to society except lawless rioting and looting.