August 18, 2012
How Clowns And High-Tech Investigators Helped Locate Steve Jobs’ Stolen iPad
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
An iPad stolen from the home of the late Steve Jobs last month has been recovered by police, who found the pilfered tablet in the possession of a real clown.
According to the Associated Press (AP) the iPad was discovered in the possession of 47-year-old Kenneth Kahn, also known as "Kenny the Clown." Kahn told officers and reporters that he had received the iPad from a friend and had no idea the device had been stolen.
That friend, 35-year-old Kariem McFarlin of Alameda, California, was arrested on August 2 and charged with breaking and entering at the Jobs' home in Palo Alto. An estimated $60,000 worth of computers, jewelry, and personal items were taken from the Apple founder's residence on July 17.
Reportedly, Kahn and McFarlin has been planning a trip to Hawaii, but when their travel plans went array, McFarlin offered his friend the device to repay borrowed money.
“He owed me $300 for the plane tickets, so he said he had an Apple computer that he wasn´t using anymore," Kahn told the AP on Friday. "I said fine, not having any clue what the hell was going on."
Kahn, described by the wire service as "a well-known local street performer who has also made unsuccessful bids to become mayor of Alameda and San Francisco," said that he did not know where the 64GB iPad had come from, and used it primarily for music during his performance routines.
"It was silver; it looked normal. I was basically using it like an iPod," Kahn, who described himself as a big fan of Jobs, told Mike Rosenberg of MercuryNews.com."It would be like getting a football from Joe Montana that was stolen out of his house“¦ It's bizarre; it's really bizarre."
McFarlin is currently in a county jail on a $500,000 bail. He could face a maximum sentence of seven years and eight months, as well as one additional year due to the excessive amount of property involved in the crime, according to reports. McFarlin is currently scheduled to return to court on Monday in order to enter his plea.
Palo Alto police, Apple investigators, and specialists from the San Jose-based Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) were able to track down the whereabouts of the stolen property by one of the stolen iPads, according to Martyn Williams of IDG News.
They discovered that the device was attempting to reinstall its operating system and used the information to track down McFarlin's IP address and iTunes account. After ensuring that McFarlin's internet connection was secure and that a third-party had not been using it without permission, they shifted the focus of their investigation to him.
"On August 2 police entered McFarlin's apartment and discovered one of the stolen iMac computers on his kitchen table, according to the police report," Williams reported on Friday. "The other iPads were recovered from people associated with McFarlin, the police say. To get rid of stolen jewelry, McFarlin told police, he had Googled selling jewelry and found a dealer in Pennsylvania. Police say they found e-mail messages in McFarlin's phone indicating the sale and were able to recover the stolen jewelry by contacting the broker."
"In a subsequent interview with McFarlin, police say he admitted breaking into the home by climbing over the builders' scaffolding and finding a spare key for the house in the garage. He said he stole two iMacs, three iPads, three iPods, one Apple TV, a diamond necklace and earrings, and several other items," he added. "In explaining his actions, investigators say McFarlin said he had money problems and had taken to breaking into houses. He wrote a single page letter of apology admitting he had burglarized Steve Jobs' house and stolen property, but had done so because he was desperate."