U.K. cops steal criminal's iPhone to keep it from locking

U.K. cops steal criminal's iPhone to keep it from locking
It's hard to believe that it was just earlier this year when Apple's refusal to unlock a terrorist's iPhone set off a legal battle. The FBI eventually spent some money to unlock the phone (a huge amount if you believe one report) and ended up acquiring no additional information of value. Learning a lesson from the shenanigans that took place in the U.S., the Metropolitan Police in the U.K. decided to take a different tact.

Instead of bringing the battle into the judicial system, the U.K. cops decided to take matters into their own hands by mugging a criminal and taking control of his iPhone before the bad guy had the time to lock his handset. What happened, according to the BBC, was that the cops had been investigating a ring that used stolen credit cards to purchase high-priced products, which were eventually sold for cash. The police learned that the gang communicated by using iPhones, and that there was plenty of evidence to be found on the iPhone belonging to the leader of the gang, a man named Gabriel Yew. The latter was known for having his iPhone locked at all times, except when it was being used to make a phone call.

The Metropolitan Police soon hatched a plan. They would follow the suspect around and once he was on a call, the cops would mug him for the iPhone. The plan worked to perfection with one officer given the task of continuously swiping the screen to prevent the unit from locking.

The operation was a success with Yew's phone revealing that he kept track of his illegal activities in a business-like manner. The evidence showed that he had orders for hundred's of blank credit cards. The mastermind was linked to four other suspects who were convicted. He was also traced to 100 other possible suspects. Yew himself pleaded guilty to fraud and weapons charges and was sentenced to five and half years in jail.

We're not sure if such a scheme would work in the U.S. We can imagine that there would be a number of judges and defense attorneys who might frown on the idea of the cops doing something that they are sworn to try to prevent.

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source: BBC via BGR



1. LilJokr unregistered

Gotta give them.credit there.

3. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I like it lol.

23. TrackPhoneUser

Posts: 256; Member since: Oct 21, 2015

Was that a pun

29. Krjal

Posts: 438; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

Well played

49. frankg

Posts: 173; Member since: May 14, 2014


2. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Thats hilarious.

4. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

Awesome job by the U.K. police!

5. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I can picture a hulking 6ft4 police officer swiping left and right on a tiny iPhone 4S

6. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

That was risky since he could've still made a call through Siri while the phone is locked, or taken a call while it was locked.

7. lyndon420

Posts: 6868; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Oops...should've used a burner flip phone.

8. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

No they did not steal it. They confiscated it. It's law enforcement you sheep.....how stupid can you be to protect criminals, murderers and terrorists, to protect your own pathetic boring lives......

11. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Law enforcement have guidelines and protocols too you idiot.....they can't just take whatever they want, even from criminals. "It's law enforcement you sheep.....how stupid can you be to protect criminals, murderers and terrorists, to protect your own pathetic boring lives......" Law enforcement are public servants. Meaning they SERVE us. You shouldn't deify people...... even those who protect you. That only leads to conflicts of interest between citizens and those who have authority. So tl;dr- they're doing their job....nothing more. Is it a dangerous job? Sure. Do they deserve a little gratitude? Maybe. Are they infallible? Hell no... they are just as human as the rest of us.

32. darkkjedii

Posts: 31538; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Damn good post yo.


Posts: 654; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

Good job to the force. I hope their suspect sues them for stealing his iPhone. It would be awesome to watch the look on his face when the judge denies him any damages and slaps him with the maximum sentence possible as he deserves, being scum of the earth.

25. Bernoulli

Posts: 4362; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Lol you must be American. One can notice that by having 'sue' in a sentence lol

13. blingblingthing

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Sorry to hi-jack the thread. But does anyone have the results from this blind photo comparison? http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-iPhone-6s-Plus-vs-LG-V10-quick-blind-camera-comparison_id78275/comments?post=1563716#post_1563716


Posts: 654; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

Yes. The result is... V10 won by a mile.

18. Tanii

Posts: 132; Member since: Apr 30, 2015

Great work :D

19. patrioticwarrior

Posts: 134; Member since: Nov 09, 2016

why all criminals and terrorist uses iphones. I think from now there should be extreme vetting for the people who wants to buy iphones.

22. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016


33. darkkjedii

Posts: 31538; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You create accounts, just to make dumb ass posts.

24. Xpadder333

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 27, 2016

you can set the screen to never lock on the settings...

28. Phantom1031

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 02, 2014

I wonder who had called him while he was arrested;) as soon as he is released from jail, he will murder that person lol :D

39. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Depends on the crime. A serious crime like this or murder crimes you gave up your rights as soon as you did it.

43. cdm283813

Posts: 424; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

I was thinking that if he had hit the power button quickly it should have locked the phone. Just tried it and it works! It even disconnects the call but I guess that he was not quick enough. But then again if they taser you without warning you're screwed because it looks up your motor function. But wouldn't that be illegal?

46. dmitrilp_

Posts: 330; Member since: Sep 12, 2016

They didn't steal his Iphone because the Iphone technically did not belong to him since it was a product of ilegal activities.

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