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Steve Jobs' stolen iPad lands in the hands of 'Kenny the Clown'

An iPad stolen from the home of the late Steve Jobs last month ends up in the possession of a professional clown, who reportedly received the hot device from a friend.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
The late Steve Jobs
The late Steve Jobs Apple

The thief who robbed Steve Jobs' home in July may not have been clowning around. But one of the iPads he stole ended up doing so.

Professional entertainer "Kenny the Clown" reportedly received the hot iPad from a friend, 35-year-old Kariem McFarlin, who has confessed to the crime and is being held in jail in lieu of bail before he appears in court on Monday.

Jobs' Palo Alto home was robbed on July 17 of more than $60,000 in computers and other items, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office revealed on Tuesday. The burglar was caught only after powering up the computers he had snatched, which communicated with Apple servers for updates. That process alerted Apple security people and the local police, who tracked the stolen goods to the source.

Kenny the Clown performs on Market Street in San Francisco. Twitter.com, @kennytheclown

Kenny the Clown, whose real name is Kenneth Kahn, said he had no idea that the iPad was stolen or that it had belonged to Steve Jobs, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Kahn had actually been using the tablet to play songs for kids during his clown performances.

Reportedly, it wasn't until police took custody of the iPad and McFarlin was arrested for the crime that Kahn realized he was using stolen merchandise once owned by the late Apple chief in his act. He said he simply assumed that McFarlin had bought a new iPad and was giving away his old one to a friend, the Mercury News said.

The two men apparently met and became friends more than 10 years ago when Kahn had coached McFarlin on the Encinal High School basketball team in Alameda, Calif. Kahn's Twitter page describes him as a professional clown, mayorial candidate, and substitute school teacher.

However, the story does seem a bit fishy.

After McFarlin was arrested, he reportedly said he robbed the house because he was homeless, in "dire straits," and living out of his car. But why would a supposedly homeless man give away his stolen goods for free? And if the accused McFarlin were homeless, wouldn't Kahn be a tad suspicious after receiving a free iPad from his friend?

McFarlin was also originally scheduled to be represented by a public defender.

But now the defendant reportedly will be represented by a private attorney, who wants to remain anonymous until Monday's hearing, the Mercury News added.

What started out as a seemingly simple robbery seems to be shaping up into something stranger and stranger.