Mohammed Hosein, left, and Wen Jie Qin have been charged with felony retail theft.
In the sixth such incident reported at an Apple Store in Deer Park dating back to July, Lake County Sheriff’s Police said Friday that two men were charged with felony retail theft this week after being found in possession of more than 100 iPhones that investigators allege were obtained fraudulently.
According to a statement released by Sgt. Christopher Covelli, a sheriff’s deputy conducted a traffic stop Tuesday on a vehicle in the area of the Deer Park Town Center on Route 12 north of Lake Cook Road, where the sheriff’s office has conducted increased patrols due to the Apple Store thefts.
The statement added that the driver of the car, Mohammed Hosein, 23, of Detroit, said he and his passenger, Wen Jie Qin, 21, of San Francisco, just left the Apple Store after exchanging broken iPhones.
"The alert sheriff’s deputy, knowing there have been a number of fraudulent purchases at the Deer Park Apple Store, conducted additional investigation," the statement added. "After further investigation by sheriff’s deputies and detectives, it was determined Hosein and Qin traveled to numerous Apple Stores across the United States and fraudulently obtained possession of numerous Apple iPhones. Over 100 Apple iPhones were recovered from Qin and Hosein, which they obtained fraudulently."
Hosein was charged with felony charges of burglary and retail theft along with traffic-related offenses, police said, adding that he was held Friday morning in Lake County Jail on $50,000 bail pending a March 27 appearance in court.
The statement added that Qin was also charged with felony charges of burglary and retail theft, and he was also held Friday in Lake County Jail on $50,000 bail with the same scheduled court date.
With the arrests of Hosein and Qin, a total of 12 suspects have charged with fraudulently obtaining merchandise at the Deer Park store in 2016 and 2017, according to the sheriff’s office. The total includes seven suspects from New York state and two from Michigan.
"All of those arrested have been involved in committing high-value thefts through deceptive means at Apple stores," the statement reads. "Lake County Sheriff’s Detectives continue to work with authorities locally and regionally to ensure those responsible are identified and arrested."