The number of people arrested for playing a part in the spate of snatch-and-grab Apple Store robberies throughout California has risen to 17.
Investigators claim that a crime ring was responsible for the robberies, which took place in 19 counties, resulting in more than $1 million in retail value of devices being stolen.
Half of the people arrested lived in Oakland, including a father and son, both named Leo David Smith. They were arrested after the latest theft at an Apple Store in Emeryville.
“I’m concerned about this brazen attitude that you think that you can just go into any community and commit crimes like that,” Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick said.
The Apple Store robbery crime ring
The most recent robberies took place last weekend, when the Palo Alto Apple Store was robbed twice over the course of the weekend. Another Apple Store in the Santa Rosa Plaza shopping center was also burgled over the weekend. In the latter case, mall security was able to detain one of the thieves as they tried to flee the Apple Store.
Most of the robberies have followed along similar lines: with a gang of men entering the stores, grabbing as many display devices as they can, and then running out. They have then escaped in waiting getaway vehicles. In the recent Emeryville, they fled the scene in a gold Lexus.