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Genius Bar Fail: Guy Accused of Booking Apple Appointment, Swiping 6 Phones

By Erica Demarest | February 18, 2015 5:39am
 Bilal Matarieh, 25, was charged with felony burglary after the Lincoln Park incident.
Bilal Matarieh, 25, was charged with felony burglary after the Lincoln Park incident.
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Google Earth; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A 25-year-old man swiped six iPhones from the Lincoln Park Apple store after he booked a Genius Bar appointment under a fake name, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The only problem? He showed store employees his real ID before the rip-off, Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said during a bond hearing.

Bilal Matarieh was arrested Monday and charged with felony burglary.

According to a police report, Matarieh made a Feb. 7 appointment at the Lincoln Park store at 801 W. North Ave. under the guise of needing his phone repaired. At one point, he allegedly walked behind a counter, opened a drawer, took six iPhone 6 phones and headed out the front door.

The phones are valued at more than $1,400, the report said.

Matarieh spoke with both an Apple technician and a store manager during his visit, Antonietti said, and showed them an ID with his real name on it.

The entire incident was caught on surveillance footage, court documents show, and Matarieh was arrested at work Monday. His public defender said Matarieh lives with his mother and works in wireless sales for AT&T.

The Ashburn resident, who lives in the 8100 block of South Kildare Avenue, has a pending home invasion case in suburban Bridgeview. Antonietti said he was released on electronic monitoring.

Matarieh also has three felony convictions, Antonietti said, including burglary and criminal damage to property.

Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil on Tuesday ordered Matarieh held in lieu of $75,000 bail.

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