Does anyone remember when the hot part to steal was the rim off a car or its air bag?

Old school, we know.

Well, here in 2011, the new contraband of the criminal realm, it seems, is iPhone parts. (Another sign of nerds triumphant).

Authorities in the San Gabriel Valley said over the weekend they broke up a counterfeit iPhone parts ring worth a staggering …

… quarter-million dollars.

Three people were arrested after sheriff's deputies seized iPhone panels, covers and chargers, said Det. Kay Budge of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Commercial Crimes Bureau.

Sheriff's investigators had to hit five locations, including spots in Walnut, Rowland Heights and Covina, to bust the alleged Apple crooks, they said.

Two men and one woman were collared: They were booked on suspicion of possessing counterfeit parts with intent to sell them.

The suspects were being held in lieu of a healthy $100,000 bail.

The goods, authorities said, were from China (of course, although iPhones themselves are assembled there too).


Detectives…working on information provided by Apple Inc. conducted a three-month investigation into alleged counterfeit iPhone parts being sold on the internet through various auction sites.

You never hear about anyone busting a counterfeit Nokia parts ring, for some reason.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us. Follow us on Twitter, too: @dennisjromero.

LA Weekly