Surrey's Nicolette Olson walked out of this Apple Store at Richmond Centre with a new iPhone4

Apple Store replaces stolen iPhone4 it had refused to turn over to police

It's taken five months, but Surrey's Nicolette Olson's battle to get Apple to replace her stolen iPhone4 finally has a happy ending. On Wednesday afternoon, she walked in to the Richmond Centre Apple Store, which had refused to hand over her iPhone4 to police after it had been stolen from Olson's home last October.

It’s taken five months, but Surrey’s Nicolette Olson’s battle to get Apple to replace her stolen iPhone4 finally has a happy ending.

On Wednesday afternoon, she walked in to the Richmond Centre Apple Store, which had refused to hand over her iPhone4 to police after it had been stolen from Olson’s home last October.

Somebody had brazenly brought in the pricey phone for servicing, and the store had accepted it for warranty-covered repair work, no questions asked.

Olson was alerted via e-mail in February that her phone was ready to be picked up after being repaired.  She enlisted the aid of a Richmond Mountie, who went over to seize it, but the store’s manager refused to hand it over.

But Olson was all smiles as she strolled out of the store this week, carrying an unpackaged, unlocked, shiny new iPhone4.

Apple Inc.’s Steve Perry, senior manager of loss prevention, wrote in an e-mail to Olson that Apple wasn’t admitting it did anything wrong.

“Apple Retail is not admitting fault in this incident, but I am allowing a one-time exemption from our current policy with regard to stolen units brought into our store,” Perry wrote.

And what exactly is Apple’s stolen goods policy?

Perry refused to provide Olson a link to the policy, but on Apple’s website, the following is mentioned:

“Learn what you can do if your Apple product has been lost or stolen. If you have lost or found an Apple product, please contact your local law enforcement agency to report it.”

And that’s exactly what Olson did, contacting Surrey RCMP to report the stolen phone last fall.

Even when the Apple Store was apprised of the fact it had a stolen item in its possession, it still refused to turn it over to the authorities.

Olson hopes Apple, which has thus far refused to comment about the case, will change the way it services its products.

While “Apple does not have a process to track or flag lost or stolen product” according to Apple’s website, Olson believes a lot of frustration could have been spared if Apple employees simply started checking for identification.

“I was so happy to finally have the phone in hand. It was 5 months to the day that I received the repair email saying my stolen phone was brought in for repair.

Part of me expected as least an apology for the inconvenience and to have received the phone as a complete package,” she said.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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