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Crime Iphone The Courts Apple

Should Snatching an iPhone Be a Felony? 607

Posted by Soulskill
from the only-if-it's-not-jailbroken dept.
theodp writes "English comedian Russell Brand could be facing a felony conviction for snatching an iPhone from a would-be paparazzi and tossing it through a window. Singer/parolee Chris Brown also found himself in iPhone hot water after being charged with 'robbery by snatching' in a similar DIY-paparazzi-thwarting incident, which could be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value placed on an iPhone. But in the world-of-crazy-pricing created by phone makers and wireless providers ($899 Nokia Windows Phone, anyone?), where the quoted price of an iPhone varies by a factor of 376 from the same company, should one really be charged with a felony for snatching an iPhone, especially when an iPad 2 can be had for $399 retail?"
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Should Snatching an iPhone Be a Felony?

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  • Why not? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:17AM (#39394141)

    This is no different than pick pocketing someone.

    Usually stealing something directly from someone's person is a serious offense no matter how worthless it is.

    Hell, if force is used it becomes robbery.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

    • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:34AM (#39394211)
      I think the summary is just using the story as real-life example of the ludicrous nature of mobile phone pricing structures. No-one is questioning the right/wrong of the offence, but it appears US law determines the seriousness of the offence based on the value of the goods. The question becomes how much is your free/subsidised phone worth? A question only clouded by the lack of transparency in the pricing models of phone companies/manufacturers.

      Personally, I believe the ideal of weighting the seriousness of a crime on the monetary value of the goods stolen is inherently flawed. Which is worse - tossing the phone of a paparazzi? Or stealing a sandwich from a homeless guy? It appears that US law may consider damaging a wealthy man's toy to be worthy of a greater punishment than depriving a poor man of his food for a day.
      • That's why I always carry black PVC tape and super glue. Stick it on and give it back. Not that I'm a celeb mind you.....
        • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by xenobyte (446878) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @08:29AM (#39394989)

          That's why I always carry black PVC tape and super glue. Stick it on and give it back. Not that I'm a celeb mind you.....

          That stupid. I'm assuming you're placing the tape where it obstructs the function of the device?

          What you're doing is vandalism, not to mention the damage you'd do to the livelihood if we're talking a paparazzi here.

          Now, let's just get this straight - celebrities have no extended right to privacy. If they're out in public you can snap pictures and film them to your hearts content, the same as if the subject had been anyone else. There are rules for private property and rules for publication, but not for the actual recording in public. Anyone can photograph and film anyone in public. It's that simple.

          Then the celebrities whine about their privacy and how they hate having their pictures taken but at the same time they have no qualms spending days posing for publicity pictures (which they get paid for) or in general collecting more or less obscene paychecks for 8-10 weeks of work. They enjoy VIP treatment and privileges at clubs and restaurants, not to mention award shows and similar. They wanted fame and the perks that come with it, but they don't want the flipside... Well, too bad. It's all or nothing. That's the way life works.

          • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by cynyr (703126) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @09:37AM (#39395297)

            To be fair, if the person taking the pictures is close enough for me to "snatch" the phone from his/her hand, it would seem to me that they are stepping over some line, harassment maybe? How much space around you can you reasonably expect? here in the midwest, I'd say at least an arms length.

            • by whoever57 (658626)

              To be fair, if the person taking the pictures is close enough for me to "snatch" the phone from his/her hand, it would seem to me that they are stepping over some line, harassment maybe?

              Yes, clearly. The article I read said that the person taking the photo was in a car driving past, so, now, who was it that stepped over a line? Who committed the harrasment?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:26AM (#39394367)

        The interesting thing here is that the iPhone may have enough value to make this a felony, but his privacy has no value at all. Paparazzi can follow and harass him all they like and he can do nothing about it. Now you might not have sympathy for celebs, but they do the same thing to mothers of murder victims and others. A (British) paparazzi only today followed the mother of one of the dead Belgium schoolchildren (coach crash in Switzerland) to get 'sad mother' shot.

        IMHO, throwing a paparazzi camera out of a window should have no more value than the damage to the phone. It was NOT THEFT, he can go get his phone, it was not assault, he did not hit the Paparazzi. It was not a mugging, no threat of violence was used. I don't even rank this the same as taking a normal persons phone and throwing it out the window because the Paparazzi was the person who came into close proximity and shoved the camea phone in his face.

        He didn't go seek out the Paparazzi, the reason they're in conflict is entirely the Paparazzi actions.

        So it's a misdemeanor since it's paparazzi, or possibly a 'jolley jape'.

        • by blane.bramble (133160) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @06:50AM (#39394555) Homepage

          IMHO, throwing a paparazzi camera out of a window

          You are all doing it wrong. You throw the paparazzi out of the window.

          • by iocat (572367)
            RTFA. Chris Brown kept the phone. He grabbed it from someone's hand and drove away.

            His privacy doesn't have value because he's a celebrity. That's settled law. The iPhone has value because some lady purchased it. Also settled law.

            You can whine about how it's not right all you want, but then I'd counter with whining about how it's not right that a woman-beating piece of garbage like Chris Brown [ibtimes.com] is still a celebrity.

            And I'd further argue that only his celebrity kept him out of jail after that incident,

        • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @08:18AM (#39394931)

          Indeed it can be argued that Lady DIana Spencer would not have died were it not for the Paparazzi's actions. For sure it appears her driver was drunk. But the speed at which he drove appears to have been due to the pursuit by paparazzi.

          The law is the law. But in terms of real justice I think that paparazzis should take the occasional smashed camera or phone or punch in the mouth as part of the job. They take the job on, usually freelance, in the full knowledge that they are harassing people, and from time to time those harassed people will will snap and strike back. It seems to be adding insult to injury to go running to the police and pressing charges. But what else can one expect from such scum?

          • by Lunzo (1065904)

            I think the real scum are the readers of tabloids and gossip magazines. If there wasn't a demand for compromising photos of celebrities, the paparazzi wouldn't exist. They're giving people what they want to see.

    • by TheLink (130905)
      Taking it out of someone's hands involves a lot more force (and less skill) than pick pocketing someone.

      That said, intention is important too. To me (not the courts) it is whether he intended to permanently deprive the person of the item. Since he threw it through a window my guess is yes, but it was more a "destruction of private property" act.

      But if someone was trying to take pictures of you and you knocked the phone/camera away and out of their hands, to me that's not robbery or theft. But still an offen
    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      Well, the charges change with the degree of force, and other factors.

      A pick pocket won't have made any physical threat. Ideally, they would have the job started and finished before the mark knew what was happening.

      From the article, there appears to be a physical threat, destruction of private property, and disturbing the peace. In cases like this, pick a side, they're both probably just as guilty of some of those charges and more.

      Taking someone's phon

      • by Z00L00K (682162)

        You forget the possible value of the contents on the device.

        So bring the offender to court on a felony charge regardless of if it was a pick pocket or robbery. If someone takes inappropriate pictures - then charge them with that instead.

    • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by snowgirl (978879) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:24AM (#39394357) Journal

      Hell, if force is used it becomes robbery.

      Snatching anything out of anyone's hand is legally considered force, and is thus automatically a robbery. (Just like civil battery is the same tort of "battery" regardless of if it results in grievous bodily injury or is just an ear flick, or a poke.)

      The difference is most people let a lot of misdemeanors and/or torts go by, because doing something about it would cost more than the harm done.

      I learned about this because I actually had a piece of evidence snatched out of my hands in the halls of a court house. Pissed me off to no end, and the cops didn't understand what criminal act could have been committed. It wasn't until much later that I learned that it was technically robbery. (Same guy later went on to break into our apartment and steal more evidence, and my netbook just 2 days before the hearing about my protection order against him.)

    • Re:Why not? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by physicsphairy (720718) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:41AM (#39394417) Homepage

      Yes, so we've established this is a crime. That's not disputed.

      But there are underlying reason why it was a crime, why that crime is assigned the penalty it has been, and why the legislators implement a price breakdown in the first place. If the specific law does not continue to correspond accurately with those intentions, it probably is being misapplied and/or needs to be modified.

      One major function of the penalty (if not the only function) is to act as a deterrent. This means it needs to offset the potential gain to the offender in a way that accounts for his probability of being caught. In this case, a "robbery" charge is silly: robbers get a financial payoff and generally operate so as to escape penalty. Publically tossing someone's property obviously should involve assessing a different penalty because there is no financial reward and the chances of getting away with it are minimal.

      Another key difference is where the perpetrator does not understand the value of the property. If someone grabs an unknown electronic item from you and damages it, how important is the price to whether he should be allowed to vote or made to spend significant time in prison? Seems to me that as long as he is required to make full restitution for the cost of the item, the additional criminal penalty should be roughly the same for most cases.

      Consider, why did the legislators include a price breakdown at all? One reason may have been increased deterrence for major heists, another may have simply been to target particularly egregious offenses. Neither of which seems to me like something which should depend on whether it was an iPhone or a Nokia.

      • by bsane (148894)

        Another key difference is where the perpetrator does not understand the value of the property. If someone grabs an unknown electronic item from you and damages it, how important is the price to whether he should be allowed to vote or made to spend significant time in prison? Seems to me that as long as he is required to make full restitution for the cost of the item, the additional criminal penalty should be roughly the same for most cases.

        So as long as a rich person eventually pays for it- he can forcibly take anything he wants and destroy it, and suffer no criminal consequences?

        I realize people cynically(?) claim this happens now, but I haven't seen too many people actually argue for it.

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      Why not?

      Sheesh, this takes fanboism to a whole new level. Stealing is one thing, but being charged with a felony because you picked up the wrong f#cking phone (all iphones look the same) off the bar is just wrong.

      If you get robbed/pwned/mugged/beaten it shouldn't matter what was taken. Let's not go making iLaws for christ sakes.

    • by Tom (822)

      This is no different than pick pocketing someone.

      Actually, it is. The law makes a difference between taking something from someone with the intent of keeping it for yourself, and just taking it out of their hands and immediately dumping it somewhere else. If you smoke in a non-smoking zone and I take the damn cigarette out of your hands and toss it on the floor, that is legally not a theft. You could probably sue me for the 20 cents or so it is worth (though the counter-suit for smoking in a non-smoking area would spoil your victory). Ok, in the USA you c

    • by polymeris (902231)

      Hell, if force is used it becomes robbery.

      Forced was used if the guy snatched it out of the paparazzo's hands.

      IANAL, but I see three issues here:
      - The destruction (or damage, at least) of the $500 phone and possibly its contents.
      - The use of force.
      - The obstruction of a perfectly lawful action - taking a photograph in a public place.

      As a guy who enjoys shooting and looking at street photography, IMO the last one is the most severe offense. A few hundred bucks and a scare is nothing in comparison to the potential erosion to artistic and journalistic

  • It already is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MindPrison (864299) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:17AM (#39394143) Journal

    It's already a felony in basically every democratic city in the world to snatch whatever private property someone else owns, and tossing it away like that (out the window).

    It's not yours, so you can't snatch it, it's that simple. Nothing complex about it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Indeed. The only question the story raises - why is Russel Brand considered a comedian?

      Being cocky and a loud mouth makes you funny now? I'm glad he moved over to the states, he should fit right in over there. We were already really sick of him.

    • Re:It already is (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:28AM (#39394181)

      It is certainly a crime, but should it be a *felony*? Basically, should you have your gun ownership, voting, working, and a host of other rights nullified for tossing someone else's iPhone?

      • Re:It already is (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheLink (130905) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:51AM (#39394263) Journal
        I don't think people should even lose their voting rights unless one of their crimes was to screw with the election system or results.

        Doesn't matter even if they're a convicted murderer. They should still be allowed to vote. Maybe even from prison (unless we don't trust the prisons to not tamper with or influence the votes).
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I don't think people should even lose their voting rights unless one of their crimes was to screw with the election system or results.

          Doesn't matter even if they're a convicted murderer. They should still be allowed to vote. Maybe even from prison (unless we don't trust the prisons to not tamper with or influence the votes).

          Wait, what? Why would I want my democracy's rules to be determined by the same people who've proven they don't care about the rules?

          They already did vote. Their vote said "I'm special, the our rules don't apply to me because I'm strong or smart enough to game the system." Well, guess they were overruled on that one.

          "Voting is a right", some may say, but democracy is a fragile privilege defended only by mutual agreement between citizens of a society. When a citizen decides to break that agreement for his he

          • by Hatta (162192)

            Because the people who make the rules engineer them in order to disenfranchise large portions of the population as a way of securing power. They work the system so that they can get away with much, much worse behavior than what would be criminal if we did it. Congress is full of people who think the rules don't apply to them because they're strong or smart enough to game the system. And in most cases they're right. Those are the people we really have to worry about. A felon with the right to vote is

          • Why would I want my democracy's rules to be determined by the same people who've proven they don't care about the rules?

            Because perhaps they care more about the rules than some other people [wikipedia.org]. Let me guess: you would have approved of taking away someone's right to vote for having smuggled slaves out of the South into Canada in pre-1860s United States.

            Unless you're rich enough to write your own undemocratic laws

            The following does not apply to phone theft or vandalism, but would you approve of taking away someone's right to vote for having violated an undemocratic law that was written by someone who was rich enough?

          • Re:It already is (Score:5, Insightful)

            by N1AK (864906) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @11:51AM (#39396207) Homepage

            democracy is a fragile privilege

            Any country that treats involvement in its democracy as a 'privilege' doesn't have a democracy. Otherwise a monarchy is just a democracy with fewer privileged individuals. Removing people's right to vote for any reason fundamentally undermines the legitimacy of a democracy and it doesn't even have any benefits. No one decides not to commit a crime because of voting rights. In return being excluded by society from involvement in democracy is hardly likely to make them value democracy and the rule of law any more than they originally did.

      • by couchslug (175151)

        It's the act that's punished. Consequences hurt? Don't fucking do the act, that being the point. If your self-control is that poor, you don't need access to firearms. (I say this as a staunch Second Amendment advocate.)

        If the perp grabbed wallet full of that amount of cash instead, it wouldn't even be interesting and certainly wouldn't make Slashdot.

    • Re:It already is (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gnasher719 (869701) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:47AM (#39394247)

      It's already a felony in basically every democratic city in the world to snatch whatever private property someone else owns, and tossing it away like that (out the window).

      In Germany, it isn't theft, when you are not trying to enrich yourself. Next, in the case of killing a person, there are distinctions being made between pre-meditated or spontaneous cases, or whether the death of the person was intented. In this particular case, there was no intent that the paparazzi would lose their phone, the intent was to protect someone's privacy.

      • If I steal your car and throw it down a mountain I will not have profitted from it, yet it would be a crime.

        Even more, if I do not enter your car but I douse it with gas and lit, that would be another crime (yes, not theft but arson). Even if you were using that car to follow me and keep harassing me.

        Now, we can discuss if the guy can claim that he was under pressure by the paparazzi as a way to soften the sentence. But that does not change that it was indeed a crime.

        And for paparazzi, I think the same than

    • by Babbster (107076)
      I could be wrong but isn't there an assault here as well? It's obviously a violent act to grab something out of another person's hand against their will and then there's the second violent act of throwing the phone through a window. If that happened to me, I'd certainly be in fear of further violence against me. Thus, it would seem to rise to the level of assault.

      Of course, an assault can still be a misdemeanor but there would seem to be the potential for multiple charges arising from the incident.

      One
    • Apparently felony was abolished in the Criminal Law Act 1967 [wikipedia.org] in England and Wales "which made all felonies (except treason) misdemeanours". Arrestable offences were abolished in 2006. [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:It already is (Score:5, Informative)

      by julesh (229690) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:44AM (#39394421)

      It's already a felony in basically every democratic city in the world to snatch whatever private property someone else owns, and tossing it away like that (out the window).

      There's an awful lot wrong with this statement.

      1. The word "felony" is a technical word from US law that has a very specific meaning, and one which refers to a distinction most other countries do not (any longer) make. We have criminal offenses, which have varying scales of punishments, but we do not have the notion of different categories of offence like this. In the UK, for example, we have only a distinction between "indictable" and "summary" offences, which determines whether a jury trial is required (only for indictable offences) and whether a punishment of more than 12 months imprisonment is available (also only for indictable offenses). A felony corresponds most closely to an indictable offence, but the distinction is not really the same at all.

      2. At least here in the UK, this would not be considered either theft or robbery. Theft is defined as "taking someone else's property with the intent to permanently deprive them of its use". Robbery is "taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear." As there was no intent to permanently deprive, neither offense occurred.

      It may or may not be another offense. If contact was made with the holder of the phone, it may be battery, a summary offense carrying a maximum term of 6 months imprisonment in the UK. Note that battery is a less serious offence in the UK than in the US as it does not require harm to be caused. If no contact was made, but a reasonable person would have feared violence in the situation, it may be common assault, which carries a similar penalty. If neither of these occurred, but the phone was damaged, it may be criminal damage, which is also a summary offence with a maximum penalty of only 3 months imprisonment. In the event there was no touching, no threat of violence, and no damage to the phone, it isn't clear to me that any offence would have occurred at all had this happened in the UK. In any event, none of these offences are considered especially serious, and so are not in the category that we would most commonly consider as parallel to a felony.

      • Hmmm... Since you didn't use the IANAL defence, and have posted a well-informed comment, I'm going to have to assume that YAAL.

        Quick everyone - mod this patent-loving, blood-sucker down!

        /kidding
      • by hellop2 (1271166)
        I agree with you. I don't understand why so many other posters think this is a robbery.

        Shouldn't a crime require intent? If not, people should be charged with theft whenever they move a chair at a restaurant. This is property damage/vandalism. Nothing to see here, move along...
  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by acehole (174372) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:17AM (#39394145) Homepage

    Maybe. When I mean 'maybe' I mean maybe when I'm pissing off random thieves on the street by shoving my phone in their face repeatedly until I get a reaction.

    Maybe then.

  • by phoebusQ (539940) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:19AM (#39394151)
    Why is this a question?
  • by MRe_nl (306212) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:20AM (#39394153)

    Might as well punch the paparazzi in the face...

  • by giminy (94188) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:21AM (#39394159) Homepage Journal

    See http://www.ted.com/talks/rob_reid_the_8_billion_ipod.html [ted.com] . Perhaps the iPhone is worth $8 billion (I mean, you are technically stealing every song on the iPhone as well as the phone itself).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    1. Wear something copyrighted.
    2. Sue the paparazzi for copyright infringement.
    3. PROFIT!!!!

  • by Elbart (1233584) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:30AM (#39394189)
    This is not about an iPhone being thrown around, it's about someone else's property being damaged in excess of $500 and that being a felony in Louisiana. Whoopdeedoo, big deal.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:44AM (#39394233)

      This is actually a story about two things, paparazzi invading people's private lives, and a prison industrial complex that encourages and indeed forces the criminal justice system to impose multi-year prison terms for petty offences for the sake of profit.

      Only on slashdot could a bunch of autistic dolts think it's about "mobile phone pricing structures".

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by snowgirl (978879)

        ... and a prison industrial complex that encourages and indeed forces the criminal justice system to impose multi-year prison terms for petty offences for the sake of profit.

        .

        While I agree that the prison-industrial complex is out of hand. If someone snatched a Fabergé egg out of someone's hand and threw it, no one would be doubting if it were a felonious act. It's clearly an expensive object, taken by force, and then damaged.

        As others have noted, it's not about excessive criminal sentences for snatching and damaging another's expensive property, it's about gauging the proper value of an "overpriced electronic toy".

        • If someone snatched a Fabergé egg out of someone's hand and threw it, no one would be doubting if it were a felonious act

          I don't think I entirely agree. What was the situation? Why did the person snatch the faberge egg? If I snuck into security in a museum showing the egg, and I intentionally destroyed it because I didn't like the person who owned the egg, I would expect to be charged with *something*. If a mentally ill person did it suddenly for no apparent reason, then I might question the need to charge him, and whether some action might make more sense.

          If, however, the owner of the egg snuck up on someone and started

    • Yes, but I think the summary is intended to provoke discussion on whether the property is worth in excess of $500 or whether the prices just reflect an industry desire to tie consumers to expensive contracts with the promise of huge discounts/savings on handsets.
      • by Trecares (416205) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:38AM (#39394403)

        Shouldn't consideration be given to the "replacement" cost? I mean, Apple or any other cellphone maker/seller isn't going to replace a phone damaged by another person's mischief. Insurance, if applicable probably does not cover such cases directly.

        On top of that, the prosecutor usually goes for the maximum applicable charge. That way they don't look soft on crime, and it gives them the option of a plea agreement. It's all about intimidation. 60 days of jail plus a fine or whatever sounds a hell lot better than 10 years or whatever it comes out to; as opposed to them offering you 60 days at the onset.

  • Felony, no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bersl2 (689221) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:31AM (#39394193) Journal

    There is already too much crime. Civil liability should be enough. If it's unprovoked, simple battery might be in order. But felony?

    Stop being so damn blood-thirsty. Breaking somebody's device because they shove it in your face should not ruin lives and occupations.

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      If it's unprovoked, simple battery might be in order.

      Except snatching something is robbery. If the value of the object is small enough, then it's a misdemeanor robbery, if it's expensive enough, it's a felony robbery.

      No one seems to have difficulty understanding that if you steal a candy bar, that it's a misdemeanor, while if you steal an expensive television it's a felony... so, why does anyone have trouble differentiating misdemeanor vs felony robbery?

  • by kanto (1851816) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:41AM (#39394221)

    Are the paparazzi carrying the accessories of that bundle? [microsoftstore.com] Individually bought the Purity HD headset is about 150-200$ and the Play360 speaker maybe 100-150$. Slantdot editing at it's finest.

  • by Green Salad (705185) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @04:43AM (#39394231) Homepage

    The price of the phone is not what makes it valuable or its loss dangerous. That's like considering the price of the paper to determine the severity of the offense of the hold-up note to a bank teller.

  • In the style of the worst newspapers, the Daily Mail start with the result they want and steer all discourse towards it, even if it means twisting and lying along the path. They will just make it up if they need to do so, and there have been a lot of cases where this has happened!
  • People worked hard for many hours to buy their iPhone... to just dismiss this as a trivial offense is shocking to me.
  • then vote with your wallet, i have never owned an iphone or any other brand of smartphone for exactly that reason, i refuse to spend as much on a cellphone as i would a desktop or laptop computer, i opted to buy a cheap Tracfone for for around 29 bucks and buy a pre-paid card to program it with by three months at a time, that way if my phone gets lost or stolen or broken i have not lost much on it
    • by MrKaos (858439)

      then vote with your wallet, i have never owned an iphone or any other brand of smartphone for exactly that reason, i refuse to spend as much on a cellphone as i would a desktop or laptop computer, i opted to buy a cheap Tracfone for for around 29 bucks and buy a pre-paid card to program it with by three months at a time, that way if my phone gets lost or stolen or broken i have not lost much on it

      but you miss out on having live location and status feeds of you anus posed to facebook and twitter

      That's WHY they are called 'updates'

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2012 @05:46AM (#39394423)

    Maybe it should be considered an act of sacrilege.

  • $399? The iPad2 is priced at $1055.28 for the cheap non-3G one over here! *sits in a corner and grumbles about rich countries getting the lowest prices*

  • sHOULD IpHONING A sNATCH bE A fELONY?
  • by gweihir (88907) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @06:14AM (#39394473)

    Obviously, stopping a paparazzi is in public interest. Freeing somebody from an iPhone clearly is too. So IMO, this should result in a public commendation, and if needed in a psych-eval for the former iPhone owner to determine whether there is any residual damage that could mandate putting them into a closed psychiatric facility to protect the public.

  • The problem with this suggestion of a felony conviction over questionable MSRP pricing structures is where do you draw the line? What happens next month when someone snatches a Coach purse, or some other obscenely overpriced piece of shit that we Americans seem to love to waste money on?

    Start questioning one overpriced product, and it tends to lead you down a very dark path that NO retailer or manufacturer wants people screwing with.

  • by mbstone (457308) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @06:34AM (#39394511)

    Stealing an item of personal property is larceny. Add the use of force or fear and it's robbery. Robbery is always a felony because of the inherent risk that someone could be injured or killed. That's why Jerry Dewayne Williams is serving 25-to-life for stealing a slice of pizza. [latimes.com]

  • My thinking... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msobkow (48369) on Sunday March 18, 2012 @06:58AM (#39394593) Homepage Journal

    Avoid the theft/snatching charge.

    Just punch the papparazi in the face and deal with the misdemeanor assault charge.

  • He didn't steal the phone for any good reasons (ie to feed his family) he did it to be an ass. His largest crime though is going around calling himself a comedian when he clearly isn't one. Just do society a favour and castrate the ex-junkie.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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