California charges 17 people in connection with Apple store robbery scheme
Copycats could still be lingeringBy Shawn Knight
Bottom line: Law enforcement officials in California are still investigating the matter but already have eight people in custody and have issued arrest warrants for nine others. Given the number of people involved and the frequency of the robberies, it was only a matter of time before the scheme started to unravel.
The string of smash-and-grab style robberies that have targeted Apple retail stores across the state of California this summer has likely come to an end.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday announced that seven adults were arrested and booked in the Alameda County jail on September 25. Another suspect is in custody in Sonoma County and arrest warrants have been issued for nine additional suspects, we're told. Suspects weren't named in the release; charges are for conspiracy to commit grand theft.
The investigation into the robbery scheme remains ongoing.
The alleged crimes took place across 19 counties dating back to May with several of the incidents having been captured on surveillance video and by bystanders with their phones. Some stores were hit multiple times. During one of the most recent thefts, a suspect was apprehended by mall security and shoppers.
The robberies have resulted in the loss of over $1 million in goods.
Becerra said organized retail thefts cost California business owners millions and expose them to copycat criminals. Ultimately, he said consumers are the ones that pay the cost of merchandise hijacking.