July 28, 2015 / 6:20 PM / 4 years ago

Detroit-area teens charged with selling iPhone boxes filled with Play-Doh

DETROIT (Reuters) - Three Detroit-area teenagers have been charged with selling fake new Apple iPhones to a local business that were made of Play-Doh modeling compound, police said on Tuesday.

The three male teenagers, plus a fourth who has not been charged but remains under investigation, on Thursday sold a Metro PCS store owner in Auburn Hills, outside Detroit, what appeared to be brand new iPhones still in the box and sealed with factory plastic, the Auburn Hills Police Department said.

When the owner opened the box, however, they were filled instead with Play-Doh bricks.

Police said the store owner called the teens back and arranged a second sale, and then contacted police. The four men returned to the store on Saturday with “more phones,” but fled before the deal was closed, police said. They were located and arrested shortly after that.

In a search of the teens’ rental car, police found a backpack with phone boxes filled with Play-Doh, about $500 in cash and clothes.

“They were trying to make some dough with some Play-Doh,” Auburn Hills police Lieutenant Jill McDonnell said.

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office charged Tommy Taren Hailey, 19, of Southfield, and Gregory Jumel Allen, 17, of Redford, with larceny by false pretenses - $1,000 to $20,000, and attempted larceny by false pretenses - $1,000 to $20,000.

Kejuan Roy Gordan, 19, of Redford, was charged with attempted larceny by false pretenses - $1,000 to $20,000.

Not guilty pleas were entered on the behalf of the three teens and they are due back in court for a pre-exam conference on Aug. 3, police said. Hailey and Gordon were each given a $15,000 personal bond, and Allen was given a $10,000 personal bond.

Reporting by Serena Maria Daniels in Detroit; Editing by Ben Klayman and Sandra Maler

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