Teen Arrested After Selling a Stolen iPad to an EcoATM with His Own ID

Ecoatm Stolen Ipad Credit: Wikimedia / MNPD
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A stolen iPad helped lead to the arrest of a teenager with multiple outstanding warrants in the Nashville area, according to a new report.

Ezekiel Mathis, 19, was arrested earlier this month on a handful of warrants, including one that alleges he sold a stolen iPad to an EcoATM using his own photo ID, according to local news site ScoopNashville.com.

If you’re unfamiliar, EcoATMs are those digital kiosks often set up in shopping malls that allow users to recycle or sell their old devices.

According to the EcoATM website, they’re also one of the worst places for a thief to bring a stolen device.

Back in 2018, Mathis actually sold a stolen iPad to an EcoATM in Antioch, Tennessee. The device actually immediately recognized the iPad’s serial number as stolen. From there, it started to notify the iPad’s owner and the relevant authorities of the transaction.

Interestingly, the EcoATM was able to collect Mathis’ information, a copy of his photo ID card and pictures of him making the transaction. All that data was then provided to the police.

Apple devices are a notoriously poor target for thieves, due to their strong encryption and security features. But while a locked Apple device is nearly useless on the secondary market, that doesn’t stop some thieves from trying to cash in at recycling or scrapping businesses.

Still, EcoATMs are actually well-equipped to deal with this. According to the company, each EcoATM is outfitted with high-resolution cameras, fingerprint authentication and state-of-the-art ID validators. They also scan the serial numbers of valuable devices and cross-check them through the CheckMEND service to confirm a device isn’t stolen or lost.

In addition to the warrant for theft, Mathis was also booked on other outstanding warrants for unlawful weapon possession, auto theft and evading arrest. He’s currently in jail in lieu of a $32,500 bond.

If your Apple device was stolen or lost recently, we highly recommend that you report it as such. That’ll significantly increase the chances that you’ll get your device back.

  • You can read our other tips for increasing the chances of recovering a lost Apple device here.
  • Spear-phishing is also becoming common for owners who have lost their Apple devices, but you can learn to protect yourself here.

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