Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Fitting Keys for Repo Cars

Last week one of my regular ‘note lot’ dealerships called needing keys for several vehicles.  Prior to working on a GMC Yukon the inventory manager approached and asked, “You were a cop, right?”  

“Yes; but I retired over 20 years ago; why, is there something I should know?”  That’s an interesting way to start a conversation so he had my undivided attention.

“This Yukon came in as a repo and while going through the personal items I found this iPad; but look what’s on it.”  I waited while he went through its start up menu and here’s what came up:

Activate iPad

This iPad is currently linked to an Apple ID (b*****@r*****.com).  Sign in
With the Apple ID that was used to set up this iPad.

Message from Owner:
This iPad has been connected to a homicide investigation with HPD please
Call 832- 931-**** for Det. Torres ( 832- 931- ****)

Apple ID       example@icloud.com
Password       Required

When I retired from the Department there were no iPads or any of the information devices we take for granted today.  I found it more than a little interesting that a prompter screen like this could be generated; but not beyond the technical abilities of a company like Apple as they might wish to work in concert with a local police homicide investigation.   

I decided to take a picture of the message screen as a means of documenting his desire to be in compliance with whatever investigation was in progress.

My job wasn’t to investigate a homicide; my purpose for being there was to generate a key so I left it to him to find out what was going on while my attention turned to making a key.  It turns out this particular vehicle had my mark in the glove box so that part would be easy. 

A few minutes later, after calling the phone number supplied, it turns out there was no homicide investigation and no Det. Torres.   

The message screen was a fabrication placed on the iPad, apparently with the assistance of Apple Customer Service, to scare the begebbers out of anyone trying to log onto the device; more particularly, the former boy friend who in all probability had ‘stolen’ (walked away with) personal items, to include the 1999 GMC Yukon.   The phone number wasn’t to the police department’s homicide division; but was the owner’s cell phone (redacted for obvious reasons).  A large box in the back of the vehicle had many of the items described over the phone.

Just another day cutting keys…

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.


Eugene Tan said...

Amazing! I want to do that to my own iPad too!

T. F. Stern said...

@ Eugene Tan...Nice to see a familiar name pop up in the comment section. How have you been?