Looters discover that iPhones stolen from Apple stores are locked – BGR

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  • Looters in recent days have reached several Apple retail stores.
  • IPhones and iPads stolen from Apple stores have a kill switch and are essentially locked once they leave Apple's Wi-Fi network.

The mindless murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police has sparked a wave of protests across the country against racial inequality and police violence. Following these protests, some cities have experienced a wave of looting and vandalism. Incidentally, there has been a decent amount of evidence to suggest that much of the looting has been spurred by opportunists seeking to write things down for free and cause trouble rather than peaceful protesters.

Amid all the turmoil, some Apple retail stores in recent days have been attacked and attacked by looters. Some of the affected locations include retail stores in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. However, what is worth noting is that looters who manage to elope with items like stolen iPhones and iPads quickly discover that their journey is worth next to nothing.

At this point, Apple over the years has implemented a series of security measures to discourage potential thieves from breaking into stores and stealing merchandise.

Forbes reports:

It has long been known that Apple operates some form of proximity software that disables a device when it is illegally removed from a store. Until now, however, little of that technology had been seen in action. Well, thanks to social media, we can now see the message that greets a looter who turns on his new device: "This device has been disabled and is being tracked," he says. "Local authorities will be alerted."

We previously reported that iPhone and iPad demo units that line up at Apple retail stores are equipped with a "power switch,quot; that effectively locks devices once they are out of range of Apple's Wi-Fi network. In fact, that's why thieves who sometimes kiss hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stolen Apple products quickly discover it's worth nothing and can't be resold.

If he missed it earlier, Tim Cook addressed the ongoing racial justice protests through an internal note sent to Apple employees over the weekend.

The letter says in part:

At Apple, our mission has been and always will be to create technology that enables people to change the world for the better. We always take advantage of our diversity, we welcome people from all walks of life in our stores around the world, and we strive to build an Apple that is inclusive of everyone.

But together, we must do more. Today, Apple is making donations to various groups, including the Fair Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization committed to challenging racial injustice, ending mass incarceration, and protecting the human rights of the most vulnerable people in American society. For the month of June, and in honor of the June 15 holiday, we will also match two-for-one donations to all employees through Benevity.

To create change, we have to reexamine our own views and actions in light of pain that is felt deeply but often ignored. Questions of human dignity will not be left out. To our colleagues in the black community: we see you. You matter, your lives matter and you are valued here at Apple.

Cook's full comments can be viewed here.

Image Source: Alex Tai / SOPA Images / Shutterstock

Longtime Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry in general for over 6 years. Her writing has appeared on Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and more recently, TUAW. When not writing and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni likes to watch improvisation shows in Chicago, play soccer, and cultivate new addictions to television shows, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.