California: 17 Charged Over Apple Store Thefts

The state of California has filed charges against a group of people who are said to have been behind several Apple Store thefts. Authorities believe the group stole more than one million worth of merchandise from the Apple Stores across the state. The 17 were allegedly behind the thefts, which were mainly done by walking in and grabbing the products.

Authorities arrested seven earlier this week but they are still in the search for the others. The thefts happened while stores were opened and were packed with customers. The group would enter the stores and grab as many products as they could from the display tables.

The group would use hoodies to hide their identities and would run out of the locations after grabbing the products. Each robbery took just seconds and in many of them, the group took more than $20,000 worth of merchandise.

Authorities believed that the thefts were linked since the thieves would do the same after entering the stores. The thefts happened just weeks or even days apart, all in Apple Stores located in the state of California.

Police identified the first three suspects earlier this month after they chased them. The suspects crashed their car twice and then attempted to run. Authorities later arrested a few others that are believed to have been involved in the thefts.

In early July, four thieves stole more than $25,000 worth of merchandise from an Apple Store in Fresno, California. The robbery lasted just seconds and happened when the Apple Store was packed with customers. The four thieves entered the store and immediately began grabbing the products that were on the tables. A security camera inside the store captured the moment when the thieves took the products and were confronted by a man in the entrance. The thieves pushed the man and escaped with the products. Authorities later said that the thieves took 26 electronics in total. The products were held by cords but they were pulled out by the thieves.

In August, four thieves stole more than $20,000 worth of merchandise from an Apple Store at the Roseville Galleria. Authorities said the men entered the store, grabbed the products and then walked out.

They said the thieves cut the cords and spent just a few seconds inside the store. 20 iPhones, two MacBook Pros and an iPad Mini were stolen from the store. Earlier this month, another incident was reported. The robbery happened at the store located in Burlingame.

Authorities said the thieves entered the store in the morning and started grabbing products from the display. Police said the thieves were in the store for less than 30 seconds. They said around $50,000 worth of merchandise was stolen. Burlingame police said at the time that the incidents appeared to be connected.

The first three suspects were identified just days after the robbery at the store in Burlingame.