Maryland State Police criminal investigators are warning consumers to beware of what they are buying, after a raid last week led to the seizure of hundreds of fake Apple products that were for sale at two stores in an Anne Arundel County mall.
Members of the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division served search warrants at the Cyberion store and the ST Tech Pros kiosk in Arundel Mills Mall, 7000 Arundel Mills Circle, Hanover, on August 23, 2013. Troopers recovered hundreds of counterfeit Apple products being sold as authentic factory replacements.
A partial list of recovered items includes:
24 counterfeit iPhones;
250 counterfeit iPhone colored fronts;
213 counterfeit iPhone colored backings;
128 sets of counterfeit colored cell phone conversion kits;
121 counterfeit iPhone and iPad covers;
27 counterfeit Apple product ID stickers;
69 counterfeit iPad replacement screens;
300+ various internal iPhone parts.
Also recovered were counterfeit packaging materials, computer equipment used for the design and printing of the packaging material, and computer equipment believed to be used to clone phones.
State Police investigators consulted an Apple representative during the investigation to confirm the counterfeit nature of these items. An estimated value of the counterfeit items recovered by State Police totals more than $89,000.
The investigation began about seven months ago when Maryland State Police investigators were contacted about the possible sale of counterfeit Apple products from these two stores. Items were purchased from both locations and confirmed by Apple experts to be counterfeit.
Based on their investigation into the violation of Maryland’s trademark counterfeiting statute, Criminal Law Article, Section 8-611, State Police criminal investigators applied for and obtained search and seizure warrants for both locations. Investigators will be presenting their investigation to the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office for review regarding potential charges. No arrests have been made at this time.
State Police investigators are warning consumers to be aware of the potential for counterfeit products when buying a wide variety of goods. Often, consumers are tempted by a lower price and believe they are buying an authorized brand name product, simply because it has what appears to be the company logo on it. That is not always the case. Use of a counterfeit product, especially in electronic technology, could void the manufacturer’s warranty and possibly damage the equipment.
Maryland state troopers regularly encounter shipments of counterfeit goods traveling in and through the state. This includes counterfeits that range from DVD movies, athletic shoes, handbags, and watches, to designer clothing.