The six San Francisco Bay Area Apple Stores targeted by thieves in the past several weeks have one thing in common (besides the iPhones, iPads and Macs on display). They don’t have uniformed police officers on site.
Speaking about the crime spree, San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tony Montoya noted that neither the Marina or Union Square Apple Stores in San Francisco have so far been targeted by thieves. His theory about why they’ve escaped the Apple crime spree? Because both have uniformed officers stationed there.
“I think it’s just an overall deterrent when [thieves] are casing these locations on whether or not they’re going to go in and steal these products,” said police union leader Montoya.
In San Francisco, retailers sign contracts with the city that pay officers overtime for working assignments such as this, outside of regularly scheduled shifts. Smaller cities do not typically have enough officers to be able to fill these assignments.
That’s not a problem that is too easy to solve, although a company with the resources of Apple should certainly be able to make more headway than most. One thing’s for sure: The current strategy of using special versions of its software that stops working if a demo device is stolen does not appear to be working.
The recent spate of California Apple Store thefts
The latest Apple Store robbery took place over the weekend, when thieves burgled an Apple Store in Burlingame on Sunday morning. The thieves entered the store and began snatching items from the display tables, before fleeing the scene in a getaway car.
While thieves made their successful getaway in most of these cases, that hasn’t always been true. During one attempted August robbery at the Apple Store at The Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks, California, customers performed a citizen’s arrest on two would-be thieves. A third was also later arrested.