Grab-and-run thieves plague multiple Apple Stores

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Thieves grab MacBooks from an Apple Store
Two brazen thieves grabbed thousands of dollars worth of MacBooks from a California Apple Store.
Screenshot: Apple

Four teens in hoodies brazenly snatched a bunch of MacBooks and iPhones from an Apple Store in California this weekend. The crime is very similar to one committed in New York last week.

The brazen thefts took place so close together it’s not impossible the second was inspired by the first.

During the grab-and-run theft on Saturday in Fresno, surveillance video clearly shows two young men stacking up at least eight MacBooks in a few seconds before heading for the door. Meanwhile, two others grabbed multiple iPhones.

Fresno police said the perps got away with $27,000 worth of loot.

Apple Store employees make no attempt to stop them, though a random shopper did.

“One customer stood by the door to prevent them from leaving but was knocked out of the way,” said Lt. Mark Hudson of the Fresno Police Department. “Right now we are looking for four, or five, we believe there was a getaway driver, black males anywhere from 16 to 18 years old.”

The entire crime was caught on tape:

At a different Apple Store…

On Friday, a group of hooded thieves snatched $19,000 worth of iPhones from a New York Apple Store. The M.O. was the same, though this time there were five men in hoodies. After briefly browsing, they snatched 21 iPhone 8 and iPhone X handsets, then fled the scene.

There are no clues to the identity of the men in either crime, even though their actions were caught on tape.

With large numbers of very expensive computers sitting openly on tables, it’s not a surprise that Apple Stores are temping to thieves. It would be unfortunate if such crimes became common, though. Apple could be considering increasing its security presence.

However, Apple typically uses special versions of its software on all demo devices that make them useless if stolen from a store. They might be good for parts, but that’s about it.