• $100,000 "Prototype Laptop" Stolen From Apple?

    A terse report in a website covering local news in Cupertino, California (the home of Apple, Inc.) has people scratching their heads today. Zirana, a site that claims to be "a digital media platform covering local communities across the globe, reports that sometime between January 1 and December 18 of last year, thieves took off with a "prototype laptop" valued at $100,000 from "Infinite Loop," the address of Apple's main campus. Police apparently found the culprit and the person who received the stolen goods.

    Zirana.com, according to CrunchBase, "provides local news and information about schools, events, real estate, merchants etc." It comes in local versions for 1300 towns in all fifty states of the US, focusing on communities from 25,000 to 250,000 residents, which are often not well served by media outlets. Zirana apparently generates content by picking up and republishing publicly available sources, such as police reports.

    The theft report came as part of a weekly crime summary for Cupertino.

    Trade Secret Theft/Possession of Stolen Property - Infinite Loop
    Between 1/1 and 12/18, unknown suspect(s) took a prototype laptop worth
    about $100,000 from Apple Computers on Infinite Loop using an unknown
    method. The suspect(s) sold it to another suspect. Deputies recovered
    the laptop from the second suspect and he was released pending further
    It's not clear why the report is so vague as to the date, but it may be that certain reports are only released once a year. The fact that the theft was valued so high is not surprising, as the device was likely one-of-a-kind, though, as The Unofficial Apple Weblog notes, it is an interesting coincidence that $100,000 was the exact amount offered by the San Francisco-based Valleywag website to anyone who could let them play with the Apple tablet for an hour. Apple quickly hit Valleywag's parent company Gawker with a cease-and-desist letter.

    If the report is true, it's notable that Apple managed to keep the theft out of the news, and that neither the thief or the person whom the thief sold it to was never charged with any crime. There has as yet been no independent confirmation of the story from any authorities, however.

    image via TUAW
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