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Thieves reject Android because they wanted iPhone

An Android smartphone and an iPhone
An Android smartphone and an iPhone

An armed robbery of an Uber Eats driver ended unexpectedly, with the thieves handing back the victim's Android smartphone because they wanted an iPhone instead.

An Android smartphone and an iPhone

Smartphones are often taken in thefts, typically because of the high value of the device. In one unusual robbery, thieves rejected the smartphone, because it didn't suit their taste.

A man in Northwest Washington D.C. parked his car before heading to his apartment early in the morning, according to his wife in an interview with ABC7. Wishing not to be identified, the wife recounted what happened in the November 30 incident.

Two masked and armed men approached and robbed the victim after he had parked the car, in the 2400 block of 14th Street NW. While one walked up to the victim, the other drove in a black BMW.

The thieves were thorough, taking "everything he had in his pockets, took the keys to my truck and got in and pulled off," said the wife. While they did take everything from the man, they did change their mind about the smartphone, and handed it back.

"They basically looked at that phone and was like Oh, that's an Android? We don't want this. I thought it was an iPhone," the woman continued.

The decision was an oddity for a harrowing situation, which deeply impacted the couple. "That was my income," the woman said. "That was the way I made money. I did Uber Eats and Instacart so, that was our livelihood."

The theft of an item like an iPhone can often involve a gang using sophisticated techniques to earn money from the devices, such as by shipping it to China to be used for parts.

The choice to actually hand back the Android smartphone because it wasn't an iPhone seems to indicate the robbery wasn't by a gang interested in smartphones to begin with. Given they were more interested in everything else, including a vehicle, they probably had other priorities.

The robbery coincidentally took place on the same day as a public hearing on a surge in crime and a proposed bill to fight it. During the event, D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith saw some promising changes, including a 7% reduction in car jackings since July, 6% fewer instances of assault with a dangerous weapon, and an 11% reduction in vehicle theft.