The United States is experiencing a few days of violent street protests that, in some cases, have ended with the looting of commercial establishments on the streets.
Some of the stores affected by these looting have been Apple Stores, which have seen how some savages have stolen the iPhones that were exposed, as well as other devices.
In response, Apple has been forced to close some of its stores after recently reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic hiatus.
Looters who took home a stolen iPhone or people who have ended up buying those devices as if they were second-hand are taking a surprise: not only are the stolen iPhones not working, but they are being tracked by the authorities.
Some people who have taken iPhones allegedly stolen from Apple stores during looting have found that the phones automatically turn off and display messages like the following on the screen:
Please return it to Apple Walnut Street. This device has been deactivated and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted.
It’s no surprise that Apple uses using special iOS images on iPhones that are on display, and those iPhones seem to have a kind of killer switch that disables phones as soon as they’re out of range of the store’s Wi-Fi network.
In addition, Apple already offers a service to users called Find that allows you to track lost or stolen iPhones through the user’s iCloud account. It seems logical to think that these same tools can be used by Apple itself.
The New York Times has reported that the environment surrounding the protests was more peaceful last night than other recent nights, with fewer cases of looting. However, it is not known when Apple could reopen its stores.