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Police charge criminal offense for alleged hawking of iPhone

Is it illegal to buy Apple cell phones from an authorized Apple retailer and then turn around and sell them for a modest profit? The New York Police Department thinks so. The NYPD arrested a woman who stood in line for days with her husband to buy 12 cell phones at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store. The police arrested her for the criminal offense of operating as an unlicensed vendor, when she allegedly tried to sell one of her phones to an undercover police agent.

 The 51-year-old suspect claims that the undercover cop approached her and asked for a phone, which she refused to sell. She says that the phones were all purchased for gifts or for family members who will reimburse her. The couple apparently paid between $700 and $800 for the phones. Police say they saw her trying to sell a phone for $850 prior to approaching the officer to sell him one.

At the price she paid and the price that she was allegedly asking, she would have made a small profit that was hardly worth staying up several nights in a row to buy the phones at the allowed two-per-customer limit. Her criminal defense attorney told reporters that it was "frightening" to think that the NYPD had its officers sitting outside the Apple store to catch people who might resell phones. He called the arrest a "sham."

He also lamented that fact that the couple had proof that they bought twelve phones, but the New York police inventory only listed 10 confiscated. He said it would be "troubling" if the arresting officers stole the phones after accusing his client of a criminal offense. The women complained that she was held in custody for over seven hours and was denied her asthma medication with water. The police denied that they obstructed the suspect from taking her medicine.

 

Source: New York Daily News, "Woman claims NYPD cops made up story she was reselling iPhones", Shayna Jacobs, Sept. 26, 2014

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