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Man mobbed by homeless he'd hired to stand in iPhone queue

There were scenes of pandemonium outside the Pasadena Apple Store in the US when the iPhone 5S and 5C launched.

This has got to be a new low in iPhone launch day insanity. One man in L.A., possibly aware the new iPhone 5S was in short supply, wanted to buy a load of them in bulk to sell on for a profit. But he didn't fancy standing in line himself. So he hired homeless people -- as you do -- to queue for him, and buy the devices from the Apple Store in Pasadena, the Los Angeles Times reports. He'd then pay them for their time.

Except he didn't. The queuers were understandably a little peeved, and turned on the man, according to local police. To top it all, that wasn't the only fight that happened on launch day.

The man's crackpot scheme involved going to a downtown homeless shelter to recruit people to queue for him. When the queuers were left out of pocket, they mobbed the man who'd hired them, according to Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson.

Dominoe Moody (great name), 43, told the Los Angeles Times he was just one of a vanload of people driven out to Pasadena to wait in line overnight. He said there were about 70-80 people in on the scheme, all bussed in from L.A. He was promised $40 (£25), but didn't get his money because the man who hired him -- whose name wasn't released -- was taken away by police when the mob turned on him.

The man wasn't charged with an offence, because technically he hadn't done anything illegal, according to Lt. Clawson. Police aren't investigating the incident.

Just a few hours earlier, two men were arrested outside the same branch of Apple Store for fighting.

But it's not just in the US where launch days go awry. In London this week, three teenagers were arrested for allegedly assaulting and robbing a man on his way home from the midnight launch of GTA V. The victim, 23, was hit with a brick and stabbed. His assailants made off with his phone, watch, and his brand new copy of the game.

Have you ever seen the lust for shiny new gadgets drive someone to do something reprehensible? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.