Jobs' home burglar receives seven-year sentence

Kariem McFarlin was arrested last year for burglarizing home of famed Apple co-founder

Kariem McFarlin, the man who burglarized the home of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, was sentenced to seven years in state prison by a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge, according to the deputy district attorney in charge of the case.

McFarlin, 35, of Alameda, was arrested last year after he entered the residence on Waverley Street on July 17. Jobs had lived in the home until his death from cancer on Oct. 5, 2011. At the time of the burglary, the home was under renovation and Jobs' wife was not living in the residence.

McFarlin stole a key hidden in a storage shed that was used by the contractor to gain access to the home. He took at least two Apple computers, an iPad, a host of other electronic equipment, Tiffany jewelry and other personal items, including Jobs' wallet and driver's license.

According to a police report, McFarlin told investigators that he threw several furniture cushions over the cyclone fence installed around the house because of renovations and dropped the stolen property on to the cushions to protect the items from breaking.

He was arrested Aug. 2, 2012, after Palo Alto officers and investigators from the regional Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) Task Force used data obtained from Apple and AT&T to track the stolen computers, which were connecting to the Internet and Apple servers from McFarlin's home in Alameda, according to a report from REACT Agent Marshall Norton.

McFarlin is a former San Jose State University football player. He admitted to burglarizing the Jobs residence and to being involved in several other burglaries of private residences in San Francisco, according to a police report.

He explained during the interview that he had been homeless and was living in his car, according to the report. He said he targeted the house because it appeared to be under construction and dark inside. He parked the car on a side street, approached on foot and climbed the scaffolding to get over the fence surrounding the house.

McFarlin pleaded no contest to the charges on Nov. 21. He did not dispute his involvement in a four-county burglary spree that included four other homes in the city of San Francisco and Marin and Alameda counties, according to Deputy District Attorney Thomas Flattery.

McFarlin admitted that he kept "hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property from those burglaries" at his home and storage locker in Alameda. His cache of stolen items included computers, jewelry, furniture and a solid silver bar.

In addition to the seven-year sentence, McFarlin must pay restitution to all of his victims in what Flattery called "a substantial sum," although he did not recall the exact figure. McFarlin will receive 169 days of credit, and he could see his sentence cut to 3.5 years for good behavior after which he could be paroled, Flattery said.


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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 18, 2013 at 10:28 am

Wait, was he homeless & living in his car or did he have "hundreds of thousands of dollars" worth of stuff at his house in Alameda? Those statements are contradictory.

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Posted by stretch
a resident of another community
on Jan 18, 2013 at 10:49 am

It said that he HAD been homeless - in the past. He made a nice little living by driving to Palo Alto and ripping people off, apparently. Does this mean he will have to get a job to make restitution? What a novel idea!

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Posted by Cynthia
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 18, 2013 at 10:51 am

Wow! That seems like a long time. With all the residential burglaries around here, are others serving these types of sentences, or is it because he robbed the wrong house?

Any word on the many many other burglars and whether the PAPD has been as determined to catch them, as to catch the one who robbed the Jobs' home?

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Posted by stretch
a resident of another community
on Jan 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

Cynthia - do you actually think that this guy only robbed the Jobs home to get all that loot? He's obviously a serial burglar and could be responsible for "many, many" of the other robberies in Palo Alto! Plus, doesn't sound like he'll be spending anything close to 7 years in prison.

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Posted by mpcyclist
a resident of another community
on Jan 18, 2013 at 11:31 am

Just goes to show. You've got to think BIG! It's not that he doesn't deserve what he got but what about the guys who ripped off the whole country and, except for the bail-outs at taxpayer expense, would have caused the economy to collapse? They have not been prosecuted or even charged. They are still free and collecting huge bonuses and benefits. Mr. McFarlin will also benefit at taxpayer expense ($50,000 per year) by getting free room and board, clothing, medical, recreational facilities, etc. but at least he won't be burglarizing anyone soon. As for the ones who thought big ... well, they've only gotten bigger and are still ripping us off. Go figure.

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Posted by Larry
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

Why did he bother to live in Alameda? He could have been homeless in Palo Alto, living in his car, and he would have been fine. Closer to his potential loot, too.

We don't have as many issues in Menlo Park, because we don't allow overnight car camping. If Palo Alto wants to commit social suicide, it can decide to continue to do what it already does.

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Posted by lockit
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 18, 2013 at 11:57 am

Does PAPD learns anything from people like him regarding to its "Lock it or Lose it" policy.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Crime certainly pays, if you can live with your conscience.

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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 19, 2013 at 6:10 am

I'm glad this guy is in jail, but the fact that not even one high financier, who through astonishingly unethical, reckless and scandalous speculations created a meltdown of our financial markets, a near depression and enormous suffering for so many, while they were bailed out by the very same people they hurt so much and are now richer than ever, went to jail. As much as I oppose the death penalty, I would actually support now the death penalty for high finance chicanery.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I've never worried about a high financier, or any financier, breaking into my house.

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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 19, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Too bad the guy wasnt a cop. Then the arresting officer would conveniently be unable to testify and he would walk.

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