Arrest in Thefts of Apple Products

Fairfax County Police Department
Public Information Office
4100 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Va. 22030
703-246-2253. TTY 703-204-2264. Fax 703-246-4253
News Release:/13/155/0101/(7)LHC
June 4, 2013

Arrest in Thefts of Apple Products

            West Springfield Police District – Police arrested a 31-year-old Dumfries man and charged him with embezzlement of  more than 60 Apple electronic products from unopened shipping packages at his worksite.

            Fairfax County Police detectives received complaints from security at the United Parcel Service (UPS) facility at 8200 Alban Road in Springfield in November 2012. Security staff reported that large quantities of Apple products were disappearing from the facility. Thefts were reportedly taking place in batches since September 2012, and included such items as Macbooks, iPhones, iPods and iPads all being shipped directly from Apple to new customers. UPS became suspicious when customers started calling to inquire or complain that they had not received their products.

            Detectives worked with company security, and after six months of scrutiny, court orders, and a complex investigation, they uncovered the sophisticated scam that involved primarily online buyers and sellers across the D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia region.

            Stephen A. Owens, a UPS sorter, was arrested May 3, 2013 and charged with embezzlement. Police believe Owens was reportedly taking the unopened Apple products, stuffing them into his pants or otherwise concealing them and then working with others to sell them at bargain prices for holiday shoppers.

            Police remind consumers, whether online or in person, to make sure they are not purchasing items that may have been stolen. Shop from trusted, reliable vendors to ensure the quality and authenticity of the product you are seeking. If an online listing price seems extremely low, the purchaser should be wary. Knowingly purchasing stolen items is a violation of law in Virginia: § 18.2-108. Receiving, etc., stolen goods.

      1. If any person buys or receives from another person, or aids in concealing, any stolen goods or other thing, knowing the same to have been stolen, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny thereof, and may be proceeded against, although the principal offender is not convicted.
      2. If any person buys or receives any goods or other thing, used in the course of a criminal investigation by law enforcement that such person believes to have been stolen, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny thereof.

                    (Code 1950, § 18.1-107; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 2008, c. 578.)


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