The Apple Store in Palo Alto got robbed twice in the span of 12 hours during the iPhone XS and XS Max launch weekend, to the tune of $100,000 worth of stolen merchandise. Last month, the Apple Store inside the Roseville Galleria even filmed the culprits who lifted off with iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks worth $20,000 in broad daylight while the customers inside were browsing the aisles.
All in all, Apple Stores in California have been victims of a theft ring, it turns out, that grabbed more than a million worth of iPhones and other gear over the span of a few months. Their winning streak, however, is coming to an end, as the California Department of Justice just issued arrest warrants for 17 suspects that were presumably involved:
These crimes allegedly hit 19 counties, including the thefts in Santa Rosa, Emeryville, and Corte Madera over the last month. The defendants are being charged with coming into the stores in large groups wearing hoodies and quickly taking display products. On September 25, seven suspects were arrested and booked in Alameda County Jail. Another is in custody in Sonoma County. At this time, nine other arrest warrants have been given to remaining suspects.
The authorities had to act fast as these types of crimes feed on themselves, and start widening with many a copycat warrior who get the idea from the local news channels. "Ultimately, consumers pay the cost of this merchandise hijacking," said Attorney General Becerra, so now that the California DoJ is intimately involved, the Apple Store crime wave may finally subside, new iPhone month or not.