Police arrested a 19-year-old man early Friday morning at Johnny O’s Sports Lounge for stealing patrons’ cell phones, a crime commonly referred to as “apple picking.”
Apple picking is a term coined by police as the act of stealing Apple cell phones. The popular Apple brand of phones is a common target for thieves, giving the crime its title. Karim Ibrahim was allegedly collecting phones from patrons at the sports lounge, located at 620 University Ave., when staff members first noticed and attempted to confront him, according to the police report by Madison Police Department spokesperson Joel DeSpain.
Ibrahim avoided bouncers at the bar and tried to appease Madison city policemen upon their arrival with “friendly gestures,” the report said. Staff members at the bar informed the police that Ibrahim was, in fact, the suspect they were looking for before Ibrahim attempted to flee the scene.
Ibrahim was caught and arrested with a few cell phones and an American Express card that did not belong to him, the report said. One of the cell phones in Ibrahim’s possession displayed a text warning that the phone was stolen, giving police evidence that Ibrahim was committing theft, according to the report.
Later, Ibrahim claimed he was framed and the phones were planted in his pockets, the report said.
The case against Ibrahim was later dismissed.