Steve Jobs home burglary suspect accused of stealing wallet, driver's license ... - San Jose Mercury News
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The Palo Alto home of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs is pictured on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 in this file photo. Police said a burglar stole $60,000 worth of computers and personal items on July 17. Jobs died in October 2011 after a long battle with cancer.
PALO ALTO -- The burglar who broke into Steve Jobs' house stole some of the gadgets the late Apple (AAPL) co-founder brought the world: iPads, iPhones, a Mac Mini, an iMac, iPods.
He also took $60,000 worth of Tiffany necklaces, Cristal champagne -- and perhaps most shockingly of all -- Jobs' wallet and driver's license, according to a police report obtained Tuesday.
Ultimately, it was Jobs' company's own technology that allowed Apple and a special Silicon Valley task force to track down the The Palo Alto home of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs is pictured on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 in this file photo. Police said a burglar stole $60,000 worth of computers and personal items on July 17. Jobs died in October 2011 after a long battle with cancer. ((Kirstina Sangsahachart/ Daily News))
alleged burglar. When Kariem McFarlin, 35, used the stolen devices to connect to the Internet with his iTunes account following the July 17 heist, police swarmed his Alameda apartment and found many of the items he allegedly ransacked from the Palo Alto home. Then, he confessed, and wrote a letter of apology to Jobs' widow, police said."What an idiot," McFarlin's former boss, Ross Rankin, told this newspaper Tuesday, the morning after news first broke of the burglary at one of Silicon Valley's most famous residences. "There's certain things you don't do, and burglary is one of them, but burglarizing an icon like that, that just puts yourself pretty much in the deep hole."
A 36-page police report shows in unbelievable detail how
McFarlin allegedly burglarized the Waverley Street home of Jobs sometime after 5 p.m. on July 17 and before 8 a.m. the next day. He was arrested on Aug. 2 and is in jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.Hisattorney at the public defender's office did not return calls requesting comment. McFarlin told investigators he was down on his luck, even sleeping in cars, and was desperate.
The report says McFarlin pulled up to the curb and hopped a six-foot fence by climbing the scaffolding around the house after construction crews renovating the home had gone home for the day. He walked into the global icon's open garage workshop, found a key and walked through the house door, the report said.
"Kariem McFarlin explained he crept around the house because he was scared someone might be home," the report said. Eventually, he figured out he was alone -- then it dawned on him whose home he was in after seeing a letter addressed to Jobs.
McFarlin, who also told police he had burglarized San Francisco homes, is a former San Jose State football player who friends described as a high school nerd and "good guy."
"The best we can tell is it was totally random," prosecutor Tom Flattery said for why he chose the Jobs home. The house, a mecca which tourists have been flocking to for years on Silicon Valley pilgrimages, was under construction for a renovation at the time and Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, was staying nearby. A spokesperson for Powell Jobs declined comment.
A manifest of items stolen at the Jobs residence gives a rare peek into the world of the notoriously reclusive entrepreneur who helped create one of most successful and secretive companies in history.
Also listed as stolen: an iMac and a Mac Mini specially installed for Jobs by an Apple engineer; three iPads including a white device and a iPad 2, three iPods, two iPhones, a small demo-sized Macbook and an Apple TV computer. McFarlin allegedly gave one of the iPads to his daughter and another one to a friend.
In Jobs' swiped black leather wallet were his California driver's license, an Apple corporate American Express card, a Titanium Black American Express card and a Bank of America Visa credit card. Jobs, one of the richest people in the world before he died on Oct. 5, had $1 in the wallet.
A key to the Mercedes at the home was taken, but not the car.
Also nabbed from the house were goods bought from the Tiffany's at Stanford Shopping Center during the 2001 and 2002 holiday seasons: a $33,000 platinum and aqua marine-beads necklace, a platinum diamond necklace with 247 round brilliant diamonds weighing 5 karats, with nine carved aqua marine drops, valued at $28,500, and a $2,950 pair of earrings.
More stolen goods: Monster Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, a Ninja Blender, a Sodastream soda maker, SanDisk media storage device, a single key on a blue key chain that he apparently used to enter and burglarize the home, and a 750 ml bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal champagne.
McFarlin allegedly told police he used luggage found in the house to cart the items away. He took cushions from the patio furniture, tossed them over the scaffolding and lowered the luggage onto the cushions for a soft landing, then drove away with the goods.
Later, he Googled how to sell jewelry and shipped some of the stolen goods to a jeweler in Pennsylvania who has since agreed to ship back the items.
Police, working with Apple investigators, had been tracking the IP addresses and iTunes accounts of the people using the stolen devices before confronting McFarlin with a search warrant on Aug. 2.
The general contractor in charge of the home renovation project, Michael Donecho, was apparently first to find the door ajar and key missing the next morning. He alerted the house manager, who told Jobs' widow. But they didn't report the crime to Palo Alto police until the next day. Police then involved the Santa Clara County high technology REACT task force and Apple investigators.
The house was dark and no alarm sounded when the burglar entered. It's unclear why there was no security there.
McFarlin was arraigned on Aug. 7 His next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 20.
McFarlin played defensive back for San Jose State in 1998, the university said. He says on his Facebook page that he graduated with a kinesiology degree in 2002.
Life-long friend Joe Tenorio said McFarlin grew up in the projects -- records show his birth certificate was issued in New York -- but was helped by a loving mother and step-father.
"I'd call him a nerd in high school," Tenorio said. "He didn't hang out with the cliques that were robbing people."
He had a kid as a young adult, briefly coached high school football and also sold medical supply goods.
Rankin, president of Santa Ynez-based medical supply firm Representatives LLC, said McFarlin was with the company for only a few months more than a year ago.
"It did not work out well at all," Rankin said. "It just wasn't a positive relationship. He was not particularly motivated."
Rankin said he gives iPhones -- the game-changing device Jobs helped create -- to all his sales representatives, but after leaving the company McFarlin had to give his back.
Staff writer Robert Salonga contributed to this report. Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705 or email@example.com. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/rosenberg17