Thieves walk in and take $27,000 worth of merchandise from California Apple Store

By Cal Jeffrey · 13 replies
Jul 12, 2018
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  1. Surveillance footage of the crime shows four individuals entering the store and quickly removing MacBooks, iPods, iPhones, and iPads from their displays. The crooks were not violent but were aggressive as they pushed people out of the way to get to the devices. The entire crime took less than 30 seconds.

    “They were going through people and just grabbing stuff,” Fresno Police Lt. Rob Beckwith told local CBS affiliate KGPE. “It was a sort of takeover-style theft.”

    The Fresno Police Department is offering a cash reward for any information leading to the arrest of the thieves. They suspect that the incident may be connected to another Apple Store robbery that occurred a few weeks ago in the coastal city of San Luis Obispo, CA.

    Unfortunately for the crooks, they will be disappointed to learn that as soon as those valuable display items are outside the range of the Apple Store's wifi, they become bricked.

    According to former Apple employee Amy Wilks, "Apple [display] products [have] an inbuilt security system that will cause an alarm to go off in the product and disable the [it] once it leaves the store’s wifi. You will be unable to use the product; it will be dead, worth nothing."

    Stealing from Apple Stores is not hard. Apple is secretive about the numbers, so it is hard to say whether shoplifting has increased since the company instituted EasyPay using an iPhone and your iTunes account, but it would make sense if it did.

    Walk-in robbery is also very prevalent with the shops’ open environments and with everything being on display secured only by thin cables that are easily cut or ripped away. Just last April we reported on a walk-in robbery at the Apple Store in Kansas City. Two years ago a high-profile theft was carried out in a New York Apple Store by thieves posing as Genius Bar personnel.

    What’s more, Wilks says Apple has an internal store policy forbidding employees from intervening with any theft including shoplifting — even if it is witnessed and the perpetrator seems non-threatening. This policy is evidenced in the surveillance video as the employees (in the black shirts) can be seen as remaining calm and only moving into action after the criminals had left the store.

    Instead, Apple relies on recording equipment to capture petty shoplifting and more significant heists like this one on video. Managers promptly notify the authorities and turn over surveillance to police, leaving them to do the dangerous work of apprehension. This policy helps keep their employees and customers safe during situations that inevitably turn ugly when confrontation occurs.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,169   +1,696

    California is pathetic. In most places the first guy (or even woman) who got shoved would lead the holy beatdown of the punks. Chances are these guys know a guy who can quickly swap out the invalidated chip for a still-valid one from a broken Apple device. That's all it usually all it takes to un-brick something.
     
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,982   +2,359

    It gets tricky, need to do another shop, to steal the warranties, or else Apple will rob them next.
     
  4. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 952   +43

    What surprises me, they only have one camera angle covering the store? I mean this isn't exacly a diamond store but if I own such a store I'd want full coverage from the entrance in HD.
     
  5. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,388   +555

    Actually this is probably what would happen at most places in North America. People aren't going to risk getting hurt for apple products they have insurance. If there was a personal robbery and you had some brave people in the crowd maybe.
     
  6. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,209   +330

    One man tried to block the thieves at the door and was knocked down.
     
    Dimitrios likes this.
  7. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Booster Posts: 134   +64

    He was asking them if they wanted job applications lol.
     
    SirChocula likes this.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,782   +3,201

    I'd go as far as telling the police what I saw.

    But risking life and limb to protect $27,000 worth of stuff being stolen, from a company worth close to a trillion dollars, I don't think so.

    I would of course, think enough of Apple to send them a sympathy card:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  9. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 411   +276

    "You forget a thousand things every day, pal. Make sure this is one of 'em."
     
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  10. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Guru Posts: 424   +456

    At Apple's inflated prices it's more like $10,000 'worth'
     
    orondf and SirChocula like this.
  11. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 610   +287

    Or just get better security cable locks on each device.
     
  12. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Addict Posts: 277   +124

    They should've smashed them all in the parking lot and pissed on them honestly.
     
  13. Knot Schure

    Knot Schure TS Member Posts: 68   +21

    They couldn't have used their brains to bring a bag?
     
  14. woofer

    woofer TS Member Posts: 26

    I bet Apple makes sure not let those surveillance recordings be encrypted against police access...
     

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