Armed robbers attacked an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) store in central Paris on New Year’s Eve, taking thousands of euros (dollars) worth of goods, according to a police official.
The robbery took place at about 9 pm (1900 GMT) on Monday, three hours after the closing time at one of Apple’s flagship stores behind the Paris Opera, which sells a series of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products ranging from iPhones and iPads to Mac computers.
The robbers, according to the police, were "well informed" and had vigilantly preferred time and place of their heist. As police officers were hectic keeping an eye on areas well-liked with New Year revelers, four armed and masked robbers forced their way into an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) store in central Paris and took off with as much as $1.3 million worth of iPhones, iPads and other devices.
The police was unable to corroborate that amount. "It is too early to give an accurate estimation of the damage. An inventory is taking place to determine the exact amount of the damage," a Paris police spokeswoman said. An iPhone 5 cost around €679 ($895) in France.
The robbers got into through a service entrance into the store, which had closed for the day, using violent behavior to threaten store employees, said Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office. They then "calmly" drove throughout boxes full of Apple products in the underground store room, in the hunt for iPhones, iPads and laptops, said Christophe Crepin, spokesman for UNSA Police, a national police trade union. The group of four overcame a security guard and left the janitor "slightly injured" during the heist, which took them about 40 minutes to complete.
"They knew exactly what they were taking," he said, as robbers focused only on the merchandise in the storeroom and left the devices on display untouched. They loaded the stolen goods, probable to have a retail value of approximately one million euros ($1.3 million), into a Mercedes van parked nearby and drove off, he said. Thibault-Lecuivre turned down to substantiate the value of the robbers' haul, saying that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) managers were still working out how much had been taken.
Situated in a well-designed Haussmann-style building, the store Apple Store at Opera is one of two in central Paris. The other is located in an underground mall connected to the Louvre.