Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A Clever Theft Or A Clever Thief ???

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I just read an interesting article on MacSlash


The post involes a macslash reader asking for help on how to obtain a serial number for PowerBook he had stolen ... apparently Apple wouldn't give it to him.

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Here is the original post:

Cloudscout writes "The office I share with a friend in Orlando was broken into last night. They stole his PowerBook. The problem is, he doesn't have the serial number written down. I'm thinking, no problem... he bought AppleCare on it so Apple should have no problem helping him out by giving him the serial number so he can report it to the police and his insurance company, right? Wrong. They refuse to help unless the request comes directly from law enforcement. Is there any way to find out the serial number of a product you have purchased AppleCare on? It's not like he's asking them to replace the computer, he just wants to know the serial number."

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And here is a very interesting and perceptive reply:

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Not that he did, mind you, but, just for a moment, for the sake of discussion, suppose that he did. (Notice that I'm also supposing that Cloudscout is male.)


He could play the part of "helpful guy" and solicit ideas from MacSlash contributors as to how to get the serial number. Along the way, he would be discouraging police involvement. Once he helped his friend get the SN, he would probably also know it. He could then conveniently use the SN to register a change in ownership, I guess, and then his friend would not get the kind of serial-number-related notices that has helped track down units in the past. Of course then Apple would have Cloudscout's real name... assuming that Cs didn't turn right around and sell the PB to someone else, whose name Cs would have conveniently associated with the SN.


At this point, the only other supposition I could make (and this one is far more likely) is that Cloudscout will share with his friend at work the excellent advice already offered -- that of getting the police involved.


In other words, Apple's policy sure makes sense to me...


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I see what this post is trying to get at. If the original owner had the serial number, he could buy a tracking program, enter the number in and track the laptop. Therefore, if Cloudscout was the thief, he would be busted. So, it's in his best interest that Apple policy be as it is, and to also solicit help from the Mac Community to make it appear like "he's hunting for the killer just like OJ"

Just something to think about.

See these Jackwhispers articles on theft of Macs:

Scamming Scammers & The Scheming Scammers Who Scam Them Back

Stealing Macs Just Got A Lot Harder

World's Craziest Mac Crimes Caught On Camera

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