Daniel Parker (left) and Harold Parker (Prince George's County Police)
PALMER PARK, Md. -
Prince George's County Police have arrested a Capitol Heights man and his 25-year-old son for selling counterfeit iPhones.
These fake Apple products were designed and packaged to look like the real thing and cops said they were even fooled.
The counterfeit iPhone, at first glance, looks legit - right down to the packaging and design. But anyone really familiar with the phone would know they had been scammed as soon as you take it out of the box.
Apple iPhones are unique - the design unmistakable. Even the packaging is immediately recognizable. But the phones confiscated by Prince George's County Police are nothing more than fakes. Very clever fakes.
Power it up and you will see there is something not quite right. And then, turn it over. The back comes off and there's a battery inside.
Have you tried to take the back off a real iPhone? Won't happen.
So where did the phones come from?
"They (the men charged) gave us several stories," said Sgt. Aubrey Thompson of Prince George's County Police. "They said they got it from a guy in New York, then a guy in Philadelphia, then they said they ordered them online."
According to the charging documents, police said Daniel Parker and his son Harold were selling the phones for $250 in a Lanham shopping center on Martin Luther King Jr. Highway.
They told potential buyers the phones were new in the box and true Apple products. And they were willing to bargain, agreeing to sell one phone to an undercover officer for $120. The phones retail for over $700.
"When we contacted the Apple representative, they said they have been seeing an increase in people coming in with these fraudulent phones trying to get them activated, so obviously they've been purchasing them on the street," said Sgt. Thompson.
Daniel Parker declined an on-camera interview, but told us by phone he purchased the fake iPhones in New York knowing they were knockoffs.
Parker told us when he found a potential buyer, he was honest. He admitted the phones were fake - even taking off the backs and inserting a SIM card to show the phone would work.
But police said Parker never mentioned anything about knockoffs with the undercover officer and admitted he had found plenty of buyers.
"Prior to them finding out we were police officers, they said they had sold 15, and after they were arrested, he said he only sold seven that day," Sgt. Thompson said.
Sgt. Thompson described the knockoffs as junk worth little more than $20.
His advice? Don't buy an iPhone off the street.
Parker and his son, who he says is a professional boxer and not involved in the knockoff sales, are both facing theft and vending without a license charges.
They were turned in by people at the shopping center who thought they were selling stolen phones.