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Apple Store Customer Arrested for Shoplifting Says He Was Trying to Use EasyPay Self-Checkout

A New Jersey teenager was arrested this weekend for allegedly attempting to shoplift a pair of headphones from the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in Manhattan, reports Macworld. Eric Shine says he scanned the barcode of a pair of Bose headphones, and navigated the EasyPay purchase process to the final screen, but failed to complete his purchase. Upon trying to leave the store, he was stopped by store employees who accused him of shoplifting and called the police to have him arrested.

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I pulled out my iPhone, and realized it still showed the Pay Now button, and not the receipt," Shine said. "I told them I had no intent of stealing; I’ve been in the store for an hour, and I’m still willing to purchase the headphones."

That didn’t satisfy the Apple Store staff. "They said, they see this all the time, and that they knew I had the intent to steal, and this was an easy excuse," said Shine, who pointed out to the manager that he had asked for—and received—a bag from an Apple Store employee for the headphones. When you successfully complete a transaction, the Apple Store app clearly states that, to get a bag, "just show a specialist your receipt." Shine says the Apple Store employee he spoke to didn’t ask to see his receipt, compounding his own error with the app.
Last year, the 'Apple Store' iPhone app was updated with a new 'EasyPay' feature that allowed users to purchase products in the retail store without interacting with any salespeople. This benefits both customers and the store by freeing up store employees to deal with customers that need one-on-one attention.

EasyPay has been popular with Apple's more tech-savvy customers, but the risk of misunderstandings like this are easy to foresee. Shine was offered a plea bargain for one day of community service and attending a class on larceny in exchange for having the charges against him reduced, but he declined. He told Macworld that he "didn't try to steal anything" and will instead face larceny charges in October.

Top Rated Comments

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28 months ago
This is exactly why I think EasyPay is a bad idea, it too easy to have major misunderstandings.
Rating: 110 Votes
28 months ago
How do they know he had intent to steal?
Rating: 95 Votes
28 months ago
Isn't this a case of the Apple store employee not doing his or her job, neglecting to ask to see the receipt before providing a bag?
Rating: 92 Votes
28 months ago
Hahah I freaked my girlfriend out one time using easy pay. I walked out of the store with a product in my hands after using easy pay and said "go go go!" she looked so freaked out, it was awesome lol... Glad she can take a joke... :D
Rating: 80 Votes
28 months ago

How do they know he had intent to steal?


They are Geniuses, Duh. :p
Rating: 69 Votes
28 months ago
If he doesn't have a criminal record or hasn't been in trouble with the law before, I would say it was an honest mistake.

On the other hand if he has a history of shoplifting/theft then throw the book at him.
Rating: 46 Votes
28 months ago

How do they know he had intent to steal?


They don't. The problem is, we're supposed live to in a society that is "innocent until proven guilty." In this case, it's guilty, until proven innocent. Ridiculous. Could he be guilty? Sure. But at least hear him out, don't just assume. The saddest fact is, in my mind, if it was an older man or lady, I'm sure their reactions may not have been to immediately assume guilt on his part.

I'd rather we live in a world that is too trusting, and be hurt by that, than live in one where we doubt everyone and everything.
Rating: 41 Votes
28 months ago
That's what happened with me and a 27" iMac.
Rating: 37 Votes
28 months ago
I don't know whether he really intended to steal or not, but I sort of hope he gets off. Apple has to take responsibility for the fact that these problems will come up. It seems they are willing to trade tight control for reduced employees, so they have to deal with the possible ramifications.
Rating: 37 Votes
28 months ago
It's hard to judge intent here, but if it were me, i'd make sure I was damn certain the transaction went through to avoid any accusations of stealing in the first place.
Rating: 33 Votes

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