I am assuming you are a teacher but if you do indeed cross reference the serial number with Apple you will be violating his rights to privacy. As it is still his possession that you have confiscated, i am assuming against his wishes and he has not given you permission to do so. I would be very careful with persuing this, if his parents are even mildly legally inclined you will be served by their legal representative. (you could always call them anad ask them for permission or even if they are aware that their son or daughter owns an expensive iPod)
Otherwise this would be like you being forced to leave your keys with a parking attendant and then him running your cars VIN number and your insurance back ground to determine if you have valid insurance.That would be a violation of your right or privacy.
Even if it is stolen you may not be able to have any action taken as you means of ascertaining such is not legally sound. (you could of course explain this to your administration and have them take actions against him in the school system) In all probability it is stolen as these things have an incredibly high desire factor and theft rate to them.
You can of course check serial numbers on Apples web site, in the support section but i suspect if it is indeed stolen that it will not come up. It will merely tell you the date it was purchased. To ascertain wheter it is indeed stolen you would have to call Apple directly and even then they don't alwasy keep stolen s/n on file for their phone support staff. I guess you would just call them up, state your concern and go from there.
You can do this for your own knowledge but speak to yoru district police liason officer before attempting any type of proactive action. (keep a written copy of the serial number for your records if you do indeed do this) I am not sure how the legal rights of privacy work with in the school system but rights to privacy never change.
I just want to give you a heads up, as if this happend to my child with his iPod while at school i personally would persue legal recourse. And apple keeps a log of every call per product serial number while under warranty.
You can of course check serial numbers on Apples web site, in the support section but i suspect if it is indeed stolen that it will not come up.
Apple doesn't have a stolen serial number list. What makes you think it is stolen? Did you overhear the kid saying he stole it? If you have any concrete evidence, call the police and let them deal with it. If it was reported stolen, they will have the serial number on file and can question the kid on where he got it. If you have no evidence and are going on just a hunch, you could end up getting yourself into some trouble as draz explained.
This reminds me of when I was in school years ago. The teacher in our class (grade 10) confiscated a students Discman and refused to give it back at the end of the class. The next day it was all over the school as to what happend next. The kid called his dad and said that he just got his Discman taken away and that the person was still in the school. His dad called the police who came down a couple of hours later to deal with the complant. The kid was called to the office, spoke to the police, described the Discman in detail and was asked to identify the bully/thief. The kid said he knew which classroom the theif was in but didn't know his first name (who knows their teachers first name?). So he gets to the classroom with the police and the vice principle and the kid points to the teacher. After a lot of embarrased discussion with the police, the teacher was directed to return the Discman.
This kid was a smart student and also knew what his rights were (back in 1988). I hope you took this iPod from one of the dumb students.
I confiscated an iPod from a student who I suspect possesses stolen gear. How can I check if the iPod is stolen?
Did you look in the Contacts? The contacts might give a clue about family or friends.
Did you look in Settings > About? The name of the iPod might give a clue (I called mine "Kev's nano").
I won't lecture you about the possible legalities of confiscating student property. I assume that the school board has policies about such things (fingers crossed). Besides, I'm not a lawyer or a teacher.
I did the exact same thing. By law the teacher has to give it back by the end of the day, or else it is theft. You may have some wiggle room if you demand that it be released only to the parents of the child. Otherwise, street-savvy kids can get you into some deep trouble, and remember ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
As for it being stolen itself, I'd try to talk to the parents and see if they bought it. Really it is none of your business but some parents may be inclined to co-operate. If this is a problem in you school, I'd suggest an iPod registry with the students or make them aware that their serial number is what prooves it's theirs and they should keep that on file. Or better yet get it engraved!
If things were different, they wouldn't be the same.