Plea hearing delayed again for Jobs' home break-in suspect

The suspect is accused of stealing electronic devices from the late Apple CEO's Palo Alto home

The plea hearing for the man accused of breaking into the home of the late Steve Jobs has been delayed by a month on request of his lawyer.

Dressed in an olive-green prison jumpsuit, Kariem McFarlin, 35, stood as his lawyer asked Palo Alto Superior Court Judge Thang Nguyen Barrett for more time. The judge accepted the request. At a hearing last month, the lawyer won a similar extension.

"More information is available," James Kellenberger, McFarlin's lawyer, told reporters outside of the courtroom. "The DA [district attorney] is reviewing the case with other DAs and we are considering all his options."

Police allege that on the evening of July 17, McFarlin broke into the Palo Alto, California, home of the late Jobs. The house was unoccupied at the time as it was undergoing renovation.

McFarlin stole iPads, iPods, iMac computers and a number of other objects including a wristwatch, jewelry and Jobs' wallet, which contained the late Apple CEO's driver's license, according to police.

McFarlin was arrested in early August after the stolen devices were tracked to an apartment in Alameda, near Oakland on the other side of the San Francisco Bay. McFarlin was living in the apartment at the time.

Detectives from the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT), a San Jose-based organization formed by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that specializes in computer-related crimes, had managed to pinpoint the location of the devices with help from Apple, which monitored them when they connected to iTunes servers.

The Internet connection the stolen devices used was traced to the Alameda address, according to the police.

Police say McFarlin admitted during questioning to breaking into the home by climbing over the builders' scaffolding and finding a spare key for the house in the garage.

In explaining his actions, investigators say McFarlin said he had money problems and had taken to breaking into houses. He wrote a single-page letter of apology admitting he had burglarized Steve Jobs' house and stolen property, but had done so because he was desperate.

He is scheduled to appear again in court on Nov. 21.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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Martyn Williams

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