Caught Stealing an iPhone in Florida?

iPhones are a hot commodity in the United States today, drawing hundreds out to literally camp outside for the release days in advance or pay hundreds above face value online on websites like eBay. This is exactly the reason they’ve become the primary target for thieves in bars and clubs where iPhone carriers are less likely to notice their desirable smartphones have been swiped. Because the iPhone is an Apple product, the crime trend has been sardonically named “Apple-Picking.”

The Umansky Law Firm is among the law firms in central Florida defending individuals accused of criminal charges such as theft, working with individuals that have stolen anything from small electronics to vehicles. Depending on the version of the iPhone, an individual caught stealing an iPhone will be charged with theft if it’s retail value is worth less than $300 and grand theft if it is more than $300, which drastically increases the potential fines, penalties, and jail time associated with the crime. Multiple offenses of theft further augment the penalties.

The crime trend of Apple-Picking has begun to pick up in Orlando, Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinel article on August 19th, 2013. Not only are they eventually being sold, but they are also being used to make expensive foreign calls. In the United States,113 smartphones are stolen or lost every minute, according to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s “Secure our Smartphones” initiative. That means an underground market for illegally obtained smartphones is expanding. Police are attempting to use social media to assist in finding smartphone thieves in town, as well as spreading awareness to residents along the lines of “if you see something, say something.”

William Umansky, founder of The Umansky Law Firm, also considers the additional potential charges associated with stealing an iPhone — though concerns have been typically centered around thieves selling smartphones to secondary markets and making long distance calls, he acknowledges that some of these Apple-Pickers have far more nefarious intentions.

To explain, Attorney William Umansky said, “These days, smart phones are a highly desirable theft item to steal given the vast amount of information stored on them. Information regarding your bank account and credit cards are at someone’s fingertips once they get a hold of your phone. While you should always be diligent to protect your belongings, guarding your smartphone is of particular importance given the potential damage a criminal can do once they have it.”

Apple-pickers that are caught have been facing charges such as petty theft, grand theft, and conspiracy to commit grand theft. Sometimes they’re working in pairs, where one individual will do the “picking” while the other holds onto all of the items.

Police have many suggestions for keeping your iPhone or other smartphone safe while you’re out, such as solid password protection, finding a reputable security app for your phone, and backing up any important information to your computer or another device.

Recent Criminal
Case Results

Grand Theft ($300-$5000)

Nolle Prosequi-Case Dropped

CT-Driving Under the Influence Car (M1)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

CT- Driving under the influence car

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

Grand Theft Third Degree

Adjudicated Guilty; One day jail/one day time serve; Restitution fees; Court Cost

Petit Theft < 300

We negotiated an agreement that entailed the State dropping the charge after our client completed a Pre-Trial Diversion Program. The Charge was dropped via a Nolle Prosequi.

Unlawful Speeding

Withhold of Adjudication; No points on license; Paid fine and clerk cost; 8 hour aggressive driver class; 90 days to satisfy fine and class

Shoot/Throw Missile Into Dwell/Struct/Veh; Child Abuse; Criminal Mischief; Battery (Domestic Violence)

No Information Notice - Charges Dropped

Attach Tag/Lic Plate To Unassigned Vehicle (M2)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

DUI with Minor In Car or BAL of .20 or Higher

Pled No Contest, 1 Year Probation, 10 day Car Impound, Community Service

Motion to Modify Probation

Motion Granted in 48 hours

Petit Theft

Adjudication Withheld, 4 Months probation, Costs/Fines, Impulse Control Class

Petit Theft of $100 or MORE (M1)

Nolle Prosequi

Refuse To Submit To DUI Test (M1)

Case Dropped

Battery on Law Enforcement Officer (F3); Disorderly Conduct (M2)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped


Charges Dropped

Scheme to Defraud(F3); Grand Theft(F3)

Motion to Terminate Probation Granted

Unlawful Speed


Failed to Yield at Intersection

Not Guilty

Leave Scene Of A Crash W/Property Damage (M2)

Case Dropped

Motion to Modify and Impose a Withhold of Adjudication


Attempted Burglary of a Conveyance

Charges dropped

Possession of Cannabis (less than 20 grams)

Charges dropped


Reduced to reckless driving

Possession of Alcohol Under the Age of 21

Charges dropped

Driving Under the Influence

Reduced to Reckless Driving

Violation of Probation

Case Dismissed

More Cases

Recent Personal
Injury Settlements


Scooter Accident


Car Accident


Car Accident


Government Liability Case


Back Injury

More Settlements