LAPD hacked into iPhone 5s for murder investigation

The Los Angeles Police Department successfully hacked into a locked iPhone 5s belonging to the slain wife of “The Shield” actor Michael Jace, according to a new report from the Los Angeles Times. Reviewing court papers, The Times discovered that LAPD detectives were able to hire an outside an outside “forensic cellphone expert” who was able to “override the locked iPhone function” and gain access to the data. The case notably involves an iPhone 5s, which has previously been considered more secure than the iPhone 5c involved in the San Bernardino case, although it wasn’t specified which version of iOS the phone was using, or whether Touch ID was enabled.
Michael Jace, known for his work on the American crime drama TV series “The Shield,” was charged with killing his wife, April Jace, at their South L.A. home in 2014. The LAPD obtained a search warrant from the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2015 to gain access to the iPhone 5s belonging to April Jace, with an Apple technician ordered by an L.A. judge to assist police in extracting data from the iPhone — although the technician was clearly unable to do so. The documents go on to note that in late January, an L.A. Country district attorney investigator once again tried unsuccessfully to obtain data from the iPhone in question. A forensic cell phone expert was later able to “override” the security features and provide authorities with access to the iPhone’s content, and the warrant notes that a senior investigator with the district attorney’s office was able to examine the iPhone in April. The search warrant did not provide any information on the method used by the LAPD, the identity of the cellphone expert, the configuration of the iPhone, or the nature of the data that was found on the iPhone.


Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.