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iPads, jewelry, champagne taken from Steve Jobs' home, police say

August 15, 2012 |  7:13 am

A man suspected of burglarizing Steve Jobs' Palo Alto home used a spare key to get inside, police said, before taking items, including Apple gadgets, $60,000 worth of Tiffany & Co. jewelry and Cristal champagne, a kitchen blender and Jobs' wallet.

Apple investigators were able to track down the suspect — identified as Kariem McFarlin, 35 — after he used the stolen devices to connect to the Internet with his own iTunes account, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Police continued to investigate and searched McFarlin's Alameda apartment, where they found many of the items stolen July 17. The burglary was discovered the next day but not reported until July 20, police said.

McFarlin confessed to the burglary, the newspaper reported, and wrote an apology letter to Jobs' widow. The Apple co-founder died last year at age 56.

The Silicon Valley home was under construction at the time. According to a police report obtained by the Mercury News, McFarlin told investigators he was sleeping in his car and desperate for cash when he hopped a six-foot fence surrounding Jobs' home.

McFarlin is believed to have picked the house at random, Santa Clara County Deputy Dist. Atty. Tom Flattery told the newspaper. But once inside, police said, he saw a letter addressed to Jobs and realized whose house he was in.

The list of stolen items, police said, includes Jobs' wallet — credit cards, his driver's license and a single dollar inside — a key to a Mercedes-Benz, headphones and several Apple products, including iPads, iPhones and a "demo-sized" MacBook.

Nearly all the stolen goods were recovered, including two iPads McFarlin is accused of giving to his daughter and a friend. McFarlin, who police said admitted to other home burglaries in San Francisco, is due in court Monday.

"What an idiot," McFarlin's former boss, Ross Rankin, told the Mercury News. "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."


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-- Kate Mather

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Photo: Steve Jobs at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco in June 2010. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press