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UPS worker charged with embezzling Apple electronics

Tuesday - 6/4/2013, 3:13pm  ET

WASHINGTON - A United Parcel Service employee faces charges of embezzlement after stealing Apple computers and laptops from a shipping center where he worked and then selling them at bargain prices.

Stephen A. Owens, 31 of Dumfries, was charged and arrested last month. Fairfax County police say Owens stole more than 60 Apple electronics and then worked with other people to sell the iPads, iPhones, iPods and Macbooks.

Owens worked as a sorter at the UPS facility at 8200 Alban Road in Springfield. UPS became suspicious when customers began calling to complain that they had not received products they had ordered directly from Apple.

UPS security staff contacted Fairfax County police in November 2012 to report that batches of Apple products had gone missing from the facility since September 2012. Police say they uncovered a "sophisticated scam that involved primarily online buyers and sellers across the D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia region."

Police warn consumers to be wary of buying stolen merchandise. Consumers should shop from reliable and trusted vendors. And if an online price seems extremely low, it could be a sign of a scam.

Knowingly purchasing or receiving a stolen product is a crime in Virginia.

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