A Store Robbed with an iPhone App

John Nanut
prMac
Aug 2, 2012

Going back 100 years ago, the thought of being able to talk to someone in real time through something like a telephone would have seemed like a task for the gods. But today, it seems that we now have phones that can do a lot more than just chat with friends and family. Apparently you can use an iPhone to rob a store, yes as absurd as it sounds, it has happened. All you need is a little ingenuity, an iPhone and an app called iRealGun.

With a collection of apps well over 600,000, you should not be surprised to see some of the most unique applications in the iTunes app store. iRealGun is an application for iOS devices that allows you to imitate real gun sounds. Apparently this was enough ammo for a man to use to rob a liquor store in Los Angeles.

This man, Kevin Hitchinson, armed with just his iPhone, went into a liquor store, and approached the clerk. Making threats with the gun cocking sounds he was making with his iPhone, he was able to scare the heck out of the clerk and make demands, which were immediately met out of fear. He tried to make a run for it after the successful robbery, but he could not get far thanks to the Los Angeles Police Department. This man was caught about two blocks away from the scene of the crime. The LAPD were still baffled at how he managed to pull it off, with just an iPhone.

This is a case of mental manipulation. Our technological advances have given us the ability, even to be able to stimulate our brain to think something is there, when it isn't. These things start small, from being able to steer a can in a game by rotating your device, to actual virtual reality gaming. Our thirst for life like simulations is yet to know its bounds. In this case of the robbery, the clerk involved would definitely have been deceived completely by how real the gun sounds made.

I do not see too much fault in falling for such a gimmick. It would have been hard to discern between a real gunshot and something else, especially if the clerk did not have any knowledge of such applications prior to the event. Even if the clerk suspected that there was not an actual gun, trying to push their luck might prove to be a life threatening mistake I'm not sure anyone would want to make.

As for the perpetrator, that was a pretty sly move he tried to pull, and it must have mustered up a bit of bravery as well. Some advances in technology are obviously too dangerous for the average user.