Officer Finds Fake Apple Products During Traffic Stop

Suspects also may have handed out counterfeit bills to victims

By Omar Villafranca
|  Thursday, Sep 19, 2013  |  Updated 12:25 AM CDT
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A Corinth police officer found dozens of fake iPads, laptops and smartphones when he pulled over a rental car for speeding. Detectives think the men were selling the products in gas station and grocery store parking lots and on Craigslist.

Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News

A Corinth police officer found dozens of fake iPads, laptops and smartphones when he pulled over a rental car for speeding. Detectives think the men were selling the products in gas station and grocery store parking lots and on Craigslist.

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While millions of Apple customers were trying to download iOS7 to their iPads and iPhones, a few unsuspecting North Texas may be upset they paid hundreds for fake products.

A Corinth police officer found fake iPads, laptops and smartphones when he pulled over a rental car on Tuesday for speeding. When he spotted the dozens of electronics boxes, he thought he had stumbled on thousands of dollars in stolen electronics.

"They're thinking, stolen equipment, stolen products, until they open the trunk of the vehicle and they find these glass frames that actually start falling out and breaking on the side of the road," Lt. Jimmie Gregg said.

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The officer then noticed that a few of the glass frames were taped together with duct tape. The frames were also the same size and weight as an iPad. He opened an iPad box and found taped picture frames meant to look and feel like iPads.

The fake tablets were wrapped in bubble wrap and even had markings on them to make them look like real Apple products.

"[It was a product] that looks, has the feel of an iPad, has the look of an iPad, even has the little Apple logo on the back," Gregg said.

In total, officers found 11 iPad boxes, 25 Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphones and several fake MacBook Pro laptops. The boxes were filled with glass frames or glass-cutting boards.

Police arrested Justin Darby, 30; Marquelf Harris, 27; and Byron Tall, 22. The men were traveling from Mississippi in a rental car.

Detectives think the men were selling the products in gas station and grocery store parking lots. The men were also using Craigslist.

Police have other concerns. The men were found with roughly $1,000 in counterfeit bills. Officers believe the men were handing out the bills as change to unsuspecting victims.

Police don't know how many people bought fake products from the men.

Anyone who might have purchased a fake electronic device from the men should contact Corinth police Lt. Jimme Gregg at 940-498-2017.

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