iPhone scam foiled

Four arrested in plot to steal tech toy
January 21, 2008 5:01:34 PM PST
A clever scam to steal hundreds of apple Iphones is busted by police, and so are four Long Island men. Police say the iPhones were shipped from New York to Hong Kong, but when the boxes arrived overseas, the phones inside were missing. Long Island reporter Emily Smith has more on what happened.

A display of brand new Nike sneakers, a blingy watch and some costume jewelry are just the beginning of what police say Duane Carlos Emanuel, Etienne, and Jarred Thomas bought with a small fortune they made off stealing the tech world's new "it" toy, the iPhone.

The iPhone sells for about $475 dollars.

They also bought, according to police, two used cars which are now impounded for the investigation..

"We also recovered $23,000 in cash from the suspects," Detective Lieutenant John Azzata of the Nassau County Police said during a news conference today. "And I should mention they were going to move to Florida today with their big score."

The suspects, cops say, stole the 300 iPhones last week while working as truck drivers for a company called Driver Courier Transportation. The cargo shipment of phones was supposed to go from a freight warehouse in Valley Stream to JFK Airport then off to Hong Kong.

But police say before dropping the iPhones off at JFK, the men may have spent $100 dollars in a Staples store on Sunrise Highway. They say they bought paper as a filler for the soon-to-be empty iPhones boxes heading to Hong Kong.

"They tried to re-shrink wrap the merchandise," said Azzata today. "And then they delivered it to Cathay Airlines at JFK, police say.

Surveillance video from the iPhone warehouse police say supports the arrests but won't elaborate.

Also arrested, Emil Shamailov. Cops say he bought dozens of the stolen phones from the main suspects and planned to sell them.

In all cops say the alleged thieves made a quick $80,000, spending most of it in less than a week.