A suspect has been arrested and charged with residential burglary after allegedly stealing more than $60,000 in "computers and personal items" from the Palo Alto home of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Police are currently holding 35-year-old Alameda, California, resident Kariem McFarlin on $500,000 bail and charging him with the July 17th burglary. McFarlin was arrested in Alameda on August 2 "on suspicion of burglarizing the residence and selling stolen property," Santa Clara County Prosectuor Tom Flattery told the Mercury News. McFarlin faces a maximum prison sentence of seven years and eight months, "including a one-year enhancement for 'excessive taking of property.'" A hearing is scheduled for August 20.
Amazingly, Flattery says McFarlin was like unaware of the home's significance, which has made the single instance of burglary national news.
"The best we can tell is it was totally random," Flattery said, according to the Mercury News.
Flattery declined to clarify whether the items stolen had belonged to the late Jobs or to his family members living there, the AP reports. Separately, the Jobs' family home had been undergoing renovations since July, and though no connection between the construction and the robbery has been made by law enforcement or prosecutors familiar with the case, speculation has followed. As MacRumors explained:
The Jobs' home has been undergoing renovation and it is unclear whether the family is currently living in the house while the work is being performed, but the under-renovation status of the home may have served to entice the perpetrator of the crime.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that police in the Bay area have noted "double-digit jumps in burglaries during the first half of the year." In Palo Alto, specifically, police estimate that a 63% increase in crime this year is a result of residents' failures to lock their doors and windows, according to the Mercury News. Police in the city launched a campaign called "Lock It or Lose It" this year, with the aim of encouraging Palo Alto residents to lock up.
To this point, police have made no connection between McFarlin and Samsung, while the Korean manufacturer's ugly patent lawsuit drags on with Apple.