The man who broke into the Palo Alto, Calif., home of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and stole laptops, iPads and other possessions has been sentenced to seven years in a California state prison.
Kariem McFarlin, 35, was arrested in August last year by officers from the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, a Silicon Valley-based high-tech crime unit formed by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
REACT officers found McFarlin with help from Apple security, which tracked where the stolen devices were being used by matching their serial numbers with connections to Apple iTunes servers. The IP address in use matched a line in McFarlin’s apartment in nearby Alameda that was also being used by an Apple device registered to a member of his family, according to a police report.
The burglary happened between the evening of July 16 and morning of July 17 last year while renovation work was being carried out on the Jobs house, which is now occupied by Jobs’ wife.
McFarlin jumped over a construction fence and entered the house through its garage. Once inside, he stole two iMacs, three iPads, three iPods, one Apple TV box, a diamond necklace and earrings, and several other items.
McFarlin admitted to the burglary under questioning by Palo Alto police and said he had stolen from other homes in the San Francisco Bay Area, including two homes in Marin County, four homes in San Francisco County and one home in Alameda County.
He admitted keeping hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of property from those burglaries at his home and at a storage locker. The property included computers, jewelry, furniture and a solid silver bar, according to the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office.
At the time of his arrest, he apologized for his crimes and said he had taken to crime because he had money problems and was desperate.
He didn’t dispute the charges in court. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims of his crimes.
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Martyn Williams produces technology news and product reviews in text and video for PC World, Macworld, and TechHive from his home outside Washington D.C.. He previously worked for IDG News Service as a correspondent in San Francisco and Tokyo and has reported on technology news from across Asia and Europe.