5 Bay Area Apple store heists in 2 weeks

- Bay Area law enforcement say they are collaborating in hopes of catching criminals targeting Apple stores.

This comes following grab-and-go heists at 5 different Bay Area Apple stores in the past 2 weeks.

One of the most recent thefts was at the Apple store in Burlingame around 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Police say it took less than a minute for four thieves, wearing sweatshirts with cinched hoods, to steal an estimated $50,000 worth of iPhones and computers on display.

"They were in there for maybe 30 seconds. After they grabbed the phones and computers, they ran out to a car that was waiting for them on the street and fled the area," said Burlingame Police Lt. Robert
Boll.

This is the 11th time the Burlingame store has been targeted in the last 2 years.

Authorities aren't sure if the same people are committing the crimes but the method is always the same.

In the last two weeks, young men were caught on-camera stealing from the Corte Madera Apple store.

Locations in Walnut Creek., Santa Rosa and Emeryville have also been hit in the same time period.

Authorities are working together with other local departments for a larger investigation to try and catch the crews behind these thefts.

"They're pooling resources and getting all the information and working together on this," said Lt. Boll.

Tech watchers say the targeted display models may not be as valuable as thieves think.

"These demo units, Apple doesn't comment on this, but it's widely believed they have a special limited version of the operating system on them that will not allow you to reset it to be a regular retail product," said CNET Section Editor Dan Ackerman.

Ackerman says the resale of the display phones may be limited, but the could be valuable if stripped for parts.

Police say it's frustrating and fear the property crimes could escalate.

"That's the worst thing that could happen. Somebody gets hurt over an iPhone," said Lt. Boll.

Apple did not respond to a request for a comment, but in the past has said it doesn't comment on security matters.

No weapons and no injuries were reported in these latest crimes.
 

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