Shine went to the Apple Store on August 20 because his MacBook Pro with Retina Display was acting up--specifically, a problem with the laptop's trackpad. So he booked a Genius Bar appointment for that evening.
Arriving at the store early, Shine told Macworld that he remembered that he "needed a pair of headphones, so I picked up a pair of Bose headphones that I wanted. I scanned the bar code with the Apple Store app, put my phone away, asked an employee for a bag for the headphones, went over to the Genius Bar for my appointment, and when I went to leave the store, they stopped me."
It was an undercover Apple security employee and a store manager who stopped Shine, accusing him of possessing stolen property. "I pulled out my iPhone, and realized it still showed the Pay Now button, and not the receipt," Shine said. "I told them I had no intent of stealing; I've been in the store for an hour, and I'm still willing to purchase the headphones."
That didn't satisfy the Apple Store staff. "They said, they see this all the time, and that they knew I had the intent to steal, and this was an easy excuse," said Shine, who pointed out to the manager that he had asked for--and received--a bag from an Apple Store employee for the headphones. When you successfully complete a transaction, the Apple Store app clearly states that, to get a bag, "just show a specialist your receipt." Shine says the Apple Store employee he spoke to didn't ask to see his receipt, compounding his own error with the app.
The store manager called the police, who took Shine to a nearby precinct, keeping the 18-year-old college student overnight in a holding cell. That was partly logistical: Shine is from New Jersey, and says that as an out-of-state resident, the legal system's process for ensuring he didn't skip his court date makes things a bit stricter.
Shine says that he was given the chance to accept one day of community service and a class on larceny in exchange for having the charges against him reduced to a petty larceny misdemeanor. He declined--"I didn't try to steal anything," he told Macworld--and will face larceny charges in a court case scheduled for mid-October.
Regardless of how that trial turns out, Shine faces one other consequence for his August 20 visit to the Apple Store: "I'm not ever allowed to step foot back into the Fifth Avenue store," he said. "That is especially annoying, since I have an application to work over there."
He's currently hoping to get the charges dropped. If he's successful, or if he wins his case, he says "I do think pursuing Apple [in a civil suit] is going to happen, because I spent the night in jail. That's ridiculous."