The Los Angeles Times is reporting that an area man who picked up vanloads of homeless people from local shelters and hired them to wait in line to help him buy the new iPhone 5s in bulk was taken away by police after fights broke out when he refused to pay them.
As if that weren't bad enough, the jilted hirees were left stranded in Pasadena, California, some of whom had been picked up from a downtown Los Angeles shelter. The Pasadena Apple store is more than 10 miles away from downtown Los Angeles.
"They need to bring him back ... to pick up the people that he brought here," 49-year-old Vivian Fields told the Times. “We have no way to get home.”
Witnesses told the Times that fights broke out after some of the people who were unpaid confronted the man who had failed to honor his agreement. Police escorted the man from the scene shortly thereafter.
The local CBS affiliate published a brief video interview with the man who hired the homeless people (embedded below). Though he refused to release his name, he admitted that he pays each person $20 for each voucher for a purchase claimed before waiting in line, and provides them with food and cigarettes as they wait. Once he purchases the phones, he sells them overseas for more $1,000 each.
That report claims the Apple store employees caught onto his plan and put a limit on his purchases, after which the people whom he had hired "became unruly."