Mob-style robberies of Apple Stores continue in the San Francisco Bay Area, with multiple locations losing a total of more than $280,000 in iPhones and other merchandise in the span of a month, local reports showed.
Between late August and late September, six Apple Stores in the region were robbed at least nine times, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. In just two days, a store in Palo Alto was robbed of $107,000 worth of iPhones, computers and electronics.
On Sunday, an Apple Store in Santa Rosa was robbed for the second time in less than a month, the report said.
A robbery in Emeryville on Tuesday was that store’s fourth in a month, the Bay Area’s FOX 2 reported.
The robberies have occurred in other parts of California as well: Earlier this year, five men in hoodies stole about $29,000 worth of iPhones and iPads from an Apple Store in Costa Mesa, Orange County. That same month, a crew of thieves stole $27,000 worth of productsfrom a store in Fresno.
In most cases, a gang of hooded individuals will enter a store, grab devices from display tables, and take off in a getaway car parked out front, according to the Chronicle.
This year alone, more than $850,000 worth of Apple products have been stolen during 21 robberies from stores in California, KGO-AM radio reported.
Although authorities announced eight arrests Wednesday, with the suspects linked to as many as 45 robberies, according to FOX 2, officials throughout the region remain concerned about the crimes.
“We obviously need to step up prevention and we need to apprehend the people who are engaged in this repetitive crime.”
“We obviously need to step up prevention and we need to apprehend the people who are engaged in this repetitive crime,” Emeryville Mayor John Bauters told FOX 2.
Some have questioned whether the store’s open-floor designs, with few obstacles, enable such robberies. In addition, stores without uniformed officers onsite tend to be easier targets, San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tony Montoya told KGO.
An information security academic cited by the Chronicle suggested Apple would likely make stolen demo products difficult to use. He said the thieves would not get through the activation process, which is controlled by the company. However, the phones’ constituent parts could be used or work without cellular service, a computer forensics official told the Chronicle.