A Brooklyn college student says he was the victim of an NYPD sting operation when he was duped him into buying a new iPhone for $20 and then arrested. According to Rob Tester, 19, the man selling the device said he needed the cash for Christmas and never mentioned it was stolen. After he handed over the money, FOUR undercover cops swooped in to make the bust.
“[The guy working with police] never said it was a stolen phone, he said that he bought it from an Apple store the day before, but now he needed the money for his wife,” said a newsstand clerk in the area who backed up the teenager’s story after witnessing a similar arrest.
Tester’s father is furious over the tactics used and said he plans on suing the city. Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile is also peeved about the incident and wrote a letter to Commissioner Ray Kelly:
Trying to root out merchants who are known dealers in stolen electronics is one matter. Luring unsuspecting and otherwise law-abiding teenagers to ‘buy’ goods from undercover officers is another matter entirely.
The pol was referring to the NYPD’s citywide crackdown dubbed Operation Take Back, which used iPhones and iPads to ensnare over 140 people since it launched several weeks ago, including an old man who works at a bodega in my neighborhood.
He’s from Yemen and doesn’t speak English very well, but explained that cops busted him after he bought an iPad for $140. Similarly, he says the undercover officer never uttered the word “stolen,” but since he was an immigrant, was too scared to fight the charges and accepted an acquittal in contemplation of dismissal.