The iPhone thief has been discovered. His name is Brian J. Hogan, and he's a miserable thief:
The person who found and sold an Apple iPhone prototype says he regrets not doing more to return the device to its owner, according to a statement provided by his attorney Thursday in response to queries from Wired.com.
Make no mistake, he regrets getting caught:
According to the statement from his lawyer, Hogan was in the bar with friends when another patron handed him the phone after finding it on a nearby stool. The patron asked Hogan if the phone belonged to him, and then left the bar. Hogan asked others sitting nearby if the phone belonged to them, and when no one claimed it, he and his friends left the bar with the device.
I've found cell phones twice. The first time, I called the first number I saw in the address book. The second time, I sent a text to "Mom." That's because I wanted to return their phones.
Hogan didn’t know what he had until he removed a fake cover from the device and realized it must be a prototype of Apple’s upcoming next-generation iPhone, according to Gizmodo’s account of the find.
several journalists were offered a look at the device. Wired.com received an e-mail March 28 — not from Hogan — offering access to the iPhone, but did not follow up on the exchange after the tipster made a thinly veiled request for money. Gizmodo then paid $5,000 in cash for it.
He's only 21. Give him a break. Maybe. Maybe not:
The owners of the bar told reporters that Hogan didn’t notify anyone who worked at the bar about the phone. They also said Powell returned several times after losing the phone to see if anyone had found it and turned it in.
Most criminality starts young. Sociopaths start torturing animals at 8-years old. Show me a 50-year old who is cooking your books, and I'll show you someone who was stealing cell phones in his 20s.
In fact, this person's age belies his criminal sophistication. At the young age of 21, he knew the iPhone was a prototype. He knew that journalists would be interested in the phone. He knew quite a bit for being a humble man-child who merely exercised "poor judgment."
A good prosecutor will charge this case properly. Hopefully Hogan doesn't face felony charges. A misdemeanor diversion plea that would allow him to clear his record after behaving for a year, should be enough of a lesson. Don't ruin his life.
His name, however, deserves to be plastered all over the Internet. If someone wants to hire someone who was selling stolen iPhones in his 20s, go for it. But at least be fully informed about it.
And, heck, the kid has pluck. How many of us would have been able to sell an iPhone for five grand? If I had intended to steal the phone and found it non-workable, I'd have tossed it. This kid had the entrepreneurial spirit to recognize value in stolen property.
In fact, Brian Hogan would fit in nicely at Goldman Sachs. Brian, Goldman's PR people check in here regularly. Do attach a resume, as you'd fit in perfectly.