The iPhone in 2010 wasn't just topping headlines for color defects and faulty phone connections. Apple's smartphone also had a seedy underbelly over the past 12 months filled with robberies, muggings, murder and assault. Numerous criminals tried to get away with iPhone-related schemes this year, but were often foiled thanks to the handset's numerous capabilities such as GPS, Wi-Fi and video capture.
A run-in with the iPhone may also have led one man to violence, and almost put a news editor in jail. Police busted up an organized crime ring in 2010 that had a certain fondness for Apple's iDevice, and two people were identified as criminals through their iPhone.
Here's a look at the 10 strangest iPhone-related crimes from 2010.
A senior citizen allegedly punched a teenager in the arm during a Southwest Airlines flight headed for Las Vegas on Tuesday. Russell Miller, a 68-year-old resident of Boise, Idaho apparently became enraged that his 15 year-old seat companion refused to shut off his iPhone in preparation for the plane's landing, according to KBOI2 News. Miller has been charged with misdemeanor battery.
The cops in Australia won't hesitate to bring in the big guns to take down smartphone felons who run off with someone's iPhone. In mid-December, a 16-year-old thief stole a woman's iPhone from a Melbourne area hospital and fled the scene on a bicycle, according to the Australian daily The Age . Unfortunately for the young iPhone nabber, the police had a helicopter nearby. The cops used the iPhone's GPS coordinates to follow the thief as he made his getaway. Police on the ground arrested the young iBandit shortly thereafter.
Caught on Webcam
A Denver resident spotted a thief ransacking her apartment on Tuesday while remotely viewing a Webcam video feed through her iPhone, according to 9News. Claire, whose last name has not been released, had intended to check in on her dog using an app called iCam that lets you remotely access Webcams in your home. Imagine Claire's surprise when, instead of seeing her faithful companion, she saw a man going through her stuff. The thief escaped with several hundred dollars worth of electronics, but the burglar was arrested on Wednesday after his face appeared on 9News' evening newscast.
iPhone Knife Fight
Jerome Taylor, 20, tried to rob a New London, Connecticut restaurant with an iPhone last Thursday. The cooks at the restaurant sprung into action grabbing their kitchen knives to confront the would-be robber mistaking the iPhone for a gun, according to MSNBC. Taylor soon backed off and left the scene before the police arrived. He was later arrested.
Foiled By Military Grade GPS
A thief in San Francisco stole an iPhone in July by snatching it out of a woman's hands while riding by on a bicycle, according to ABC News. Unfortunately for the would-be thief, the woman was using the phone to demonstrate a GPS application created by Covia Labs--a software company specializing in solutions for police, emergency responders and the military. The company was able to guide the police to the thief's location in real-time in under 9 minutes. Horatio Toure, the alleged thief, was later charged with theft and possession of stolen property, according to the Telegraph.