Apple disables and tracks looted iPhones

Apple, which has seen its stores in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland and Washington, D.C. broken into and looted, isn’t letting stolen property such as iPhones go so easily.

Looted iPhones. Image: Apple's iPhone 11 Pro Max
Apple’s current flagship smartphone, the iPhone 11 Pro Max

Nicole Lyn Pesce for MarketWatch:

Images of stolen iPhones are circulating on Reddit and Twitter showing a message that warns that the phone has been disabled and is now being tracked. The most viral image shows a device allegedly stolen from a Philadelphia store, with an alert reading: “Please return to Apple Walnut Street. This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted.”

Apple has been using proximity software since 2016 that disables any demo devices from working outside of the Apple store, except for responding to the “Find my iPhone” geolocation service that can track a lost or stolen device. So the company has the ability to disable and track any stolen device.

Apple had just started reopening more than 100 stores across the country after closing them due to the coronavirus pandemic, but began temporarily shuttering many retail locations again this week after stores were vandalized or looted over the weekend.

MacDailyNews Take: More proof that criminals aren’t the brightest bulbs in the pack.


  1. I think I lost it when I watched Melrose Mac being destroyed and looted. When I first started consulting back in 2001, they helped me out. Found me clients. Helped me finance gear and equipment for clients, all based on nothing more than my signature. Over the years they’ve always been helpful, the area experts in digital video and music. There has to be retribution for this. I don’t know what, I don’t know how, but the animals destroying businesses and property must be punished.

    1. Some pretty fine cars and clothes on display there. Thank you Antifa and Geo. Sore-ass for this gift of destruction and mayhem. They are both terrorists. Watch Lara Loomer’s report from two days ago and you’ll understand how dangerous.

      1. American cities burn because a drug addict counterfeiter (fentanyl, morphine, and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death) with severe heart conditions (severe multifocal arteriosclerosis heart disease as well as hypertensive heart disease) couldn’t withstand typical restraint that the MINNEAPOLIS POLICE HANDBOOK expressly advises police officers to perform for 9 measly minutes.

        BTW: Let those cities, and their polling places, burn to ash.

    2. Marvin—Vanessa and I met you through Melrose Mac, a fortuitous occurrence if there ever was one since your help was so important to the success of our two businesses. Even though we no longer live in LA, we watched the destruction on TV, so close to our former house, and were sick. We didn’t realise that the good guys at Melrose Mac were victimised. What a tragedy by a bunch of lowlife creeps—hopefully they will be caught, prosecuted and serve long, unpleasant prison sentences, preferably in a small cage where they can’t straighten their legs. Erik

  2. That was a long time ago. It’s time to hook up with them again.

    Dear Melrose Clients,

    As many of you have seen in the news, our flagship store was severely looted and damaged. Our headquarters sustained severe fire damage and is not habitable. Most importantly our entire staff is safe and healthy.

    We are assessing the damage and working through next steps. We are still available for sales and engineering. Our service and store front operations are currently not available. If you had a device in our Hollywood Service Department, please know that we are working diligently to identify the missing/damaged items and will be reaching out shortly.

    For this week, we will determine our hours of operation, and whether or not we will be open to the public, on a day by day basis, based on the circumstances and safety of the city.
    As such, we ask that you please reach out to us via phone or email to confirm we are open and able to serve you that day. We thank you for your compassion and understanding during this time.

    We wanted to take this time to send our sincerest appreciation for everyone who has reached out with support. To the community, we can not thank you enough for coming on Sunday and helping us start to rebuild.

    Our offices might be shattered but we are not broken. We will get through this like we do everything at Melrose – TOGETHER.

    Thank you,

    The entire Melrose Family

  3. Some white supremacists have been caught looting and setting things on fire in black neighborhoods. Other looters are indeed who we thought they were. It is vital not to tar ANY political group or position with the crimes of the looters. To dismiss the peaceful voices of so many due to the actions of others can only enflame the situation.

    1. I agree that the paramount need right now is not to allow our righteous indignation at the looters spill over into rejection of the peaceful protestors and their message. Since you all disbelieve that I am a conservative constitutionalist, I will quote somebody you might find harder to reject, General James Mattis, USMC (Ret.), the former head of United States Central Command (our forces in the Middle East and Central Asia) and President Trump’s first Secretary of Defense:
      I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.

      When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

      We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.

      James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.

      Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.

      Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

      We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.

      Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.

      1. Mattis is a globalist reading a script that was written for him, the fake “Mad Dog” nickname didn’t fool anyone, just another PC diversity worshiper totally irrelevant to most Americans.

        1. Nick … do you have some truth-checked information you wish to share?
          Or are you just following the meandering rants of a Draft Dodger?
          Please, document you aspersion or apologize.
          Lies and calumnies are not acceptable in a reputable forum.

  4. White Supremacists. You people need to learn a new song. This one note bullshit is really getting old. Only “white supremacists” I see are leftists who think what they say and do makes any difference in the lives or opinions of black people.

    1. holy crap. you are seriously the worst person. unbelievable. i hope one day you wake up from your self centered stupor and realize what a complete and utter fool you have been.

      not likely i suppose. too much litterbox sand in your mouth breather face hole.

    2. The 49 Americans killed by white supremicists in 2018 (100% of those who died in terror attacks that year) might disagree with you.

      In the first two years after the Charlottesville rally, 73 Americans were killed by members of white nationalist groups.

      If you don’t believe white supremicist groups exist… what Joe said.

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