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Tiffany necklace, iPads reported stolen from Jobs' home

Original post made on Aug 14, 2012

The home of the late Steve Jobs, Apple's iconic co-founder, became one of Palo Alto's latest burglary targets last month when a man allegedly made off with at least two Apple computers, an iPad, a host of other electronic equipment, jewelry and other personal items from the Waverley Street residence, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 1:02 PM


Posted by to the editor:, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2012 at 11:10 am

Not sure I would have referred to this house as "Steve Jobs' home" since he no longer lives there, alas.

Posted by Dani, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2012 at 11:28 am

Can't we just leave this family ALONE they lost enough this last year. I would check out the people working on this house. Must be an inside job!!!!!

Posted by and another thought, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2012 at 11:49 am


How thoughtful of you to make this home a mark.

I haven't seen you identify by address or name other houses or residents in your coverage of prior Palo Alto burglaries.

Posted by Wow, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Wow, Dani, you missed the part about the person they arrested.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm

What, nobody's clamoring for a mug shot yet?

Posted by Lock it or Lose it???!!!, a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Lock it or Lose it?!! Is anybody else offended by the inference of the name of this program? I mean, are the police really telling us that if we don't lock our doors, we will lose our dearest possessions? Are they proclaiming helplessness? Burglary is the most serious crime occurring in Palo Alto today. All available resources should be assigned to stopping this crime spree and finding and arresting culprits. Maybe the Weekly can do a story on what is being done to combat this plague. As far as I can tell, it's just business as usual for the police. The arrests that have been made appear to have resulted mostly from dumb luck and not from great police work.

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

One less thief is off of the streets. Let's hope that he stays off until he learns his lesson...and can become an efficient member of society.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Bad news, regardless of whoever's home it is. Unless of course we are being told that this home was targeted because of the fact that it was the Jobs' home. Is this the case? Doubt it.

Posted by It's OK, a resident of Professorville
on Aug 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

He apologized, let him go. Palo Altans can certainly afford the occasional robbery of their gilded stuff.

Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm

This is one Palo Altan (Mr. Jobs' widow) who can surely afford topflight security systems/technology and even a private patrol.

Posted by Dan, a resident of Southgate
on Aug 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Please stop publishing the methods used to locate stolen Apple products. If you continue, thieves will develop work-arounds and cases will go unsolved.

Posted by daniel, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm

"One less thief is off of the street":I guess you meant one more thief is off the street. regardless, this thief stole about $33,000 worth of property. Fair enough, he'll get his comeuppance. How many tens of millions, perhaps more, have two unnamed politicians running for the highest office in the land stolen by not paying taxes through offshore accounts and other accounting gimmicks? Where is the outrage?

Posted by Oh MY, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm

One arrest in over 100 residential burglaries this year is quite a statement of our new 2 tier salaried police force. With veteran police officers joining the exodus of city employees, a special thanks go out to the city manager and individual city council members who sold out public safety to create our new unsafe neighborhoods. Quite an accomplishment!

Posted by Helen, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I hope they keep the jack in jail and throw away the key. Everyone is desperate nowadays, however, we don't break into people's homes. He deserves all the punishment allowed by law....

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm

The Jobs Palo Alto home had 4+ security guards 24/7 for many months before and after his death.

It is amazing that they did not have a competent electronic security system in place 24/7--- particularly as the house was vacant during the recent re roofing.

Looks like somebody dropped the ball -very big time.

Home invasion is a very horrible experience for the victims-even if they are not at home.

It is a profound and enduring violation.

Posted by janie, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Throw him in the hammer and toss away the key!!!!

Posted by I paid for mine, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm

McFarlin gave stolen iPads to a friend and to a juvenile daughter? And they didn't know they were stolen?

Perhaps McFarland had the wherewithal to scrub them first?

Posted by DavidSpade, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I'll bet samsung was behind this. Looking for iphone 5 and 6 planes in the hose of Jobs

Posted by Kate, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm

The PAPD revealed far too much information on this case - almost like giving out the football 'playbook' to the opposing team. Why? Was it to make itself look good? If so, it did tell me that the old adage is true - "A slip of the lip can sink a ship'.In other words,don't tell 'shop secrets'......especially in detective work.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 14, 2012 at 7:34 pm


Posted by Skeptical, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 14, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Great that that caught this guy. Bad that they explained how in too much detail. But I'm wondering, if this had been somebody else's home, whether the REACT and other law enforcment officials would respond as massively and effectively as they have in this particular case.

Posted by Wow, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm

If the information they used to find the guy is in the affidavit, it becomes public record. The police don't release this, the press does. I'm sure they do not want us to know this either

Posted by Not too smart, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm

My query is when you're having extensive work done on your house, I think most people would remove anything of value; I know I did when I had workmen in my house. I also removed filing cabinets with sensitive personal information in them as well as sterios, computers etc.

It appear that Steve Job's family left some $50,000 worth of valuables in an open house during renovations.

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2012 at 12:03 am

@ daniel:

Yes, that was a typo. However, why do you feel the need to insert politics into each and every comment that you make? This isn't about politicians, elections or personal political ideology. It is about a crook who broke into someone's home and stole $66,000 worth of items.

Like I said, I hope that this man is off of the streets long enough to learn how to behave...and how to not do it again.

Posted by Bob, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 15, 2012 at 8:55 am

As someone points out above, the police have not released any information on this case.

Everything that has been reported in the press appears to have been taken from the court records that are public once the guy is arrested and arraigned.

I agree that the police shouldn't divulge their investigative secrets but, in this case, they didn't.

Posted by Suzy, a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2012 at 10:27 am

If the police were able to get a warrant to search McFarlin's Alameda home, which this article states is a house - not a car, I don't think the suspect was telling the truth about being homeless and living in his car. Or, was the warrant for someone else's house and it was just mis-reported?

Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2012 at 10:36 am

@Skeptical, the answer is probably no, the response would not have been so great...although my comparison is not quite direct...
We know someone who had an iPhone taken in a strong-arm robbery on public transit and the police did very little (East Bay)though tracking was on (I take it, it necessitates both the victim and police working together to use this system to catch perps)
Since portable high tech gadgets are so prevalent, I think we need better systems (not just for wealthy persons) to protect us when we are out in public or just storing our items at home. Disclaimer: I don't have a lot of such gadgets myself in case anyone reading this is interested...

Posted by Jane, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 15, 2012 at 10:39 am

He knew whose house he was targeting. It is not rocket science to figure that out!!!

Posted by Suzy, a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2012 at 11:05 am

I also think that just because the late Steve Jobs and his family were victims of this crime, they should not be the only ones to receive an apology letter. Apology letters should go out to every single home he broke into and robbed.

Posted by some guy, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 15, 2012 at 11:37 am

"McFarlin admitted to Norton that he had entered about 15 to 20 homes but only stole items from four or five of them."

Does he actually think that because he didnt steal from the other homes its less of a crime, this is a big dude if someone confronted him in the act im willing to bet he could do some damage.

"Kariem McFarlin stated he would like to write a letter of apology and authored a one-page letter identifying that he had burglarized the Jobs' home and stolen their property but had done so because he was desperate," Norton wrote.

In that case lets just let all criminals write a letter of apology and they can go.

A strong healthy young able man desperate?! He must be extremely stupid and incompetent to not be able to find a job and pay his way lawfully.

And on top of that this story is just way to sugarcoated it makes this thief seem more like a victim than what he is, a criminal.

Posted by Just one of the Proletariat, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

How interesting to learn of the ways that stolen items can be tracked down. Were this not the property of Steve Jobs, I doubt so much effort would have been made to locate the burglar, let alone all the stolen property. While it is a good thing he was caught, I wish the police could go to such lengths to help all victims, not just the special ones.

Posted by Corey Levens, a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I would have loved to have had this level of police investigation, support and concern when my house was burglarized. After performing a seemingly thorough investigation on the day of the burglary, nothing happened and we had very limited contact with the PAPD. And, no, we didn't leave our house open or unlocked...a door was kicked in. We locked it and still lost it.

Posted by MzMiranda, a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Shame on you for making it so clear what kinds of things are in this home. It's like putting a neon sign in the neighborhood saying, "great stuff available here." Can't we leave this family alone? A detailed list of each valuable item? This is voyeurism. Not responsible editorial, here. The Editors should have caught this.

Posted by John Galt, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Thanks again to the Press, publishing info on how the police recover stolen property! What, does journalism school remove some of your brain cells? Or just your ethics?
Oh, right, the "public's" need to know trumps every thing else.

Posted by EPA Mom, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm

So much of his story is bunk. He's homeless and living in his car, but he has an iTunes account and a home ... and he has a buyer in Pennsylvania who he already has lined up to ship stolen high end jewelry to ... he went into other homes but didn't take anything but he steals a soda maker and headphones among the higher end items there ... and he didn't know it was Steve Jobs house until he saw his name on a letter - well, he knew while he was still in their home. What a jerk!

And, too bad normal people don't get that kind of tracking when their homes get burglarized.

Posted by mmmmMom, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm

It doesn't matter if you are wealthy, poor, famous or not famous - to be a victim of home robbery is really terrible. And the increasing number of residential break ins should be a concern for ALL of us.

I'm so glad the thief was apprehended, & I hope he goes to jail for the longest possible period.

Posted by another mom, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2012 at 12:04 am

Agreed. I was upset to see Ch7 covering the robbery by advertising all the things found like it was lotto TV, showing the intersection signs and the view of the house, as well as how the robber got in. Seems to me this type of media coverage is the worse home invasion.

Hasn't his widow and kids been through enough? I thought the Weekly coverage was much more informative and sensitive, but agree with the post above that I wish the stories would be a little less explicit for awhile about how the police find the crooks. Let the crooks leave high tech breadcrumbs for awhile.

Posted by Suzy, a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2012 at 10:39 am

I commend the investigative efforts to help the Jobs family. I just want to know: Will PAPD and the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) Task Force help other people get their stolen items back?

Posted by Enough!, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Knock it off with the smart ass comments. I don't care who owns the property, stealing is wrong and this individual is an entitled scumbag. This whole attitude that because someone is wealthy they deserve to be burglarized is appalling.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I don't see people posting that because someone is wealthy they deserve to be burglarized. What I am reading is justifiable upset that so many resources were put toward a property crime because the victims are high profile. This man was caught because he was stupid. The Jobs family was robbed because they were equally stupid re their lack of home security. It's common knowledge that an unoccupied house will attract criminal attention. I'm so glad that this man was caught. Let's hope that the cops AND residents do their jobs to prevent future burglaries.

Posted by Sarah, a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I want to hire those contractors! For months they've had access to the house and not a thing was taken. Bravo.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Most of the investigation was actually done by Apple - not the police department. Stop complaining!