Photo by Heather Middleton
By Kathy Jefcoats
Morrow police are working with other jurisdictions in identifying victims of a scam involving the sale of counterfeit Apple merchandise.
Authorities are withholding the release of the mugshots and names of the two men arrested Thursday at Southlake Mall because other agencies are putting together photo line-ups of the pair, according to Capt. James Callaway.
Police caught up with the duo after they allegedly sold two fake Apple iPhone 4s to an Atlanta man as authentic. When the man opened the box, which was sealed in plastic wrap, he discovered the fraud and demanded his $400 back.
Police said the alleged victim chased down the pair, attracting the attention of Morrow officers working nearby.
When police searched the men's car, they found 16 more counterfeit Apple products, including MacBook Pros, iPads, iPods and iPhones.
"The investigation revealed that this pair would show a real iPad or MacBook Pro to a potential victim," said Callaway. "They would then give them a sealed box that contained a floor tile to simulate the weight of the items."
Police arrested the two and seized the car, taking in a large amount of cash they believe to be proceeds from the fraudulent sales. They are both charged with selling forged goods and theft by deception.
One of the men, a 45-year-old from Ellenwood, bonded out of the Clayton County Jail Friday afternoon. The other, a 47-year-old from Lithonia, made bond over the weekend.
Callaway said he is working with other jurisdictions to determine whether the pair sold the counterfeit items to other people. Police said the men were using craigslist.com to advertise the merchandise, and meeting customers in various locations.
"We are also working closely with Apple, which holds the trademark for the items," he said.
According to the Apple Store web site, the MacBook Pro laptop starts at $1,199; the iPad at $499; iPods range $49-$249, depending on the model, and iPhones start at $49 for a 3G model and $199 for the iPhone 4. Prices vary depending on the features added by the buyer.
Anyone with information about the fraudulent sales should contact a local law enforcement agency or the Morrow Police Department at (770) 961-4006.