UK cops steal criminal’s iPhone and keep swiping through screens to avoid locking
The legal fight that started between the FBI and Apple back in February over iPhone encryption in the U.S. still continues, but this time it is in the UK. For those unfamiliar, Apple had refused to unlock a San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone setting off a legal battle between the Cupertino giant and the FBI. Eventually, the FBI spent some money to unlock the phone and ended up getting no additional valuable information.
To avoid such a situation, the UK Metropolitan Police has adopted a pretty unique way, which is by stealing the phone of unsuspecting criminal while it is in use and then keeping swiping through screens to avoid locking.
According to a report published by the BBC, the UK police had been investigating a crime ring that was involved in stealing credit cards to purchase high-priced products, which were eventually sold for cash. The police found out 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 and he was using a passcode to protect data. He used to unlock it only when he had to make a phone call.
The UK police soon plotted a plan. They would follow the suspect around, waited for him to make a phone call and they mugged him in the middle of a street. Another officer was in charge of preventing the iPhone from getting locked or turning off. He had to essentially keep swiping through screens to keep the device active until the investigators managed to extract all data.
Apparently, the UK police could successfully retrieve evidence, which showed that Yew had orders for hundreds’ of blank credit cards. He was not only linked to four other suspects who were convicted but 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.
Apple has yet to make any official statements on this case.