Technology

Apple Store In Santa Rosa Plaza Robbed Again; One Of The Thieves Caught

Apple Store Santa Rosa Plaza
Image Source: YouTube (screenshot)

Apple products are incredibly popular among thieves because of their high value. In the last few weeks, several Apple Stores across the United States have been robbed. And for some reason, thieves keep coming back to the Apple Stores. The Santa Rosa Plaza Apple Store was robbed in August, when thieves stole merchandise worth several thousands of dollars. The same Apple Store was the target of yet another theft on Sunday afternoon.

First robbery at Santa Rosa Apple Store since iPhone XS launch

Santa Rosa Police detained one person on Sunday for stealing merchandise from the Santa Rosa Plaza Apple Store. The suspect acted with many other people, and the Police Department’s property crimes unit was investigating the theft. “We’re still waiting for Apple to provide us with a list of the items taken,” said the Police Department. It is the first major Apple Store theft since the launch of the iPhone XS (starting at $999), iPhone XS Max (starting at $1,099) and Apple Watch Series 4 ($399).
Though several men were involved in the robbery, only one of them could be caught. They stole merchandise from the display tables and ran off within seconds. Little did they know that a bystander was recording the incident on their phone. The bystander, who uses Twitter username GoonerYoda, posted the video on Twitter and Reddit. GoonerYoda also videotaped the security guards and civilians wrestling one of the suspects to the ground.

GoonerYoda wrote on Reddit,”I was at the Santa Rosa Plaza and I saw these six guys in jeans and hoodies making their way to the Apple Store. I knew something was about to go down so I recorded it.” One of the suspects caught by the security guards and civilians was later handed over to the Police. It’s unclear if any of the Apple Store employees were connected to the thieves.

On August 29th, the surveillance video at the same store captured hooded thieves stealing more than $35,000 worth of merchandise. The store employees and customers didn’t interfere. Multiple Apple Store robberies have happened across California in the last few months. The father of an Apple Store employee told The Press Democrat that he was worried about his daughter’s safety because of the repeated thefts at Apple Stores.

Robberies have also taken place in Apple Stores in Corte Madera, Roseville, Thousand Oaks, Walnut Creek, Fresno, and Valencia in recent weeks. If caught, the thieves would face just burglary charges as they steal Apple products without harming the employees or customers.

The crooks go way beyond just targeting Apple Stores. Last month, three suspects stole more than $10,000 worth of merchandise from T-Mobile stores in Santa Rosa and Petaluma. Earlier this year, more than $100,000 worth of Apple devices were stolen from a Best Buy store.

Stealing Apple Store display products is a (nearly) worthless effort

The high value of Apple products is not the only reason thieves target Apple Stores often. The open environment and a lot of products on display also lure them. The security at Apple Stores is also relatively lower than other stores selling expensive apparel.

Apple’s policy in such incidents is to ensure that the employees and customers are safe. So, it encourages employees to take no action until the criminals have left the store. The security guards could stop the criminals, but they won’t chase them after they have left the store.

The Apple products hold a lot of value, but they won’t be as valuable to the thieves. That’s because the products on display run a special software that makes them as good as useless the moment they go beyond the range of the Apple Store’s WiFi. They will be unable to use the products. That’s why many times the thieves end up returning the products they stole. In the best case scenario for thieves, the stolen devices could only be good for spare parts.