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Rifle wielding men rob van carrying Apple gear in France - report

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
A van carrying Apple products in France was reportedly targeted by three men with assault rifles in a botched robbery attempt on Friday, though no one was hurt.

News of the alleged assault was shared by Nowhereelse.fr on Friday (translation), which said that three men were armed with Kalashnikov or M16 rifles when they robbed the van. The vehicle was reportedly found abandoned several hours later.

Police also found the stolen Apple equipment in a house near where the ditched van was discovered, according to the report, though the robbers were nowhere to be found.

The driver and passenger of the van were said to have been released by the robbers unharmed in the woods of Val d'Oise. The attack took place Friday morning in Aulnay-sous-Bois in Seine-Saint-Denis.

As a seller of valuable electronics, Apple products and the company's retail stores have been the target of a number of high-profile incidents over the years. Last April, a robbery suspect was killed in a shootout with police at a San Diego, Calif., Apple Store.
post #2 of 44
So people steal valuable things. Must be a slow news day.
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post #3 of 44

Unless the van was adorned with "APPLE PRODUCTS INSIDE, GOING TO AN APPLE STORE NEAR YOU.  SHOW APPLE THE LOVE- APPLE, APPLE, APPLE - IMACS, IPADS, IPHONES - GET YOURS TODAY!" makes me think it was an "inside" job with a little knowledge of said shipment...  Or maybe the robbers just got lucky.

/

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/

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post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Unless the van was adorned with "APPLE PRODUCTS INSIDE, GOING TO AN APPLE STORE NEAR YOU.  SHOW APPLE THE LOVE- APPLE, APPLE, APPLE - IMACS, IPADS, IPHONES - GET YOURS TODAY!" makes me think it was an "inside" job with a little knowledge of said shipment...  Or maybe the robbers just got lucky.

/

/

/

Three guys with M16s do not take down a van by chance - they knew.

 

This leads me to wonder when manufacturers are going to black list computer serial numbers. Apple dealers could report stolen serial numbers to Apple, and then when the buyer of said device tries to connect to the Internet, boom! - computer disabled and reported to police.

post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

This leads me to wonder when manufacturers are going to black list computer serial numbers. Apple dealers could report stolen serial numbers to Apple, and then when the buyer of said device tries to connect to the Internet, boom! - computer disabled and reported to police.

You mean when the computer is brought in for repairs. No way do I want my computer reporting its serial number to the Internet every time it connects, much less be treated like a criminal in any fashion.

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post #6 of 44

"HEAT"

post #7 of 44
So, Apple can and will blacklist an item when it's stolen from them but not from one of their customers?
post #8 of 44
I just imagine the scene after they stole them ... "Hey I read these things all have GPS tracking ..." "WHAT!!!???^&*%$*"
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post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post

So, Apple can and will blacklist an item when it's stolen from them but not from one of their customers?

No, they'll do that, too.

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post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

"HEAT"

 

Sweet movie.

 

heat0018.jpg


Edited by GTR - 7/8/12 at 8:22pm
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post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Three guys with M16s do not take down a van by chance -

Sure they do. Despite the article implying it was an inside thing, perhaps these guys were hanging on roads they knew to often get delivery trucks and hitting anything that came by and looked good. And they got lucky. Just like the douche in Cali that saw an iPhone at a bar and took it for himself and got lucky.

And the blogs are happy to get their page hits writing it up cause even 'unknown prep farts at Apple Store' gets hits.

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post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post

So, Apple can and will blacklist an item when it's stolen from them but not from one of their customers?

No one said they would but yes they can and might. They know the stuff taken from them was stolen. If it was taken from them. If it was taken from a third party dealer who had taken legal possession that becomes their issue to deal with.

They don't know what I claim was stolen was in fact or if I gave/sold it to you but then you pissed me off so I'm trying to screw you over. Unless I file a police report etc in the proper channels. Then they notify Apple etc.

but it is not Apples job, and in some states right, to play cop without the proper process and instructions from the proper legal authority.

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post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

So people steal valuable things. Must be a slow news day.

 

Agreed...

Can't wait for the 'Armed Robbery of Android Shipment" headline.

Oh... right.

post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

 

Agreed...

Can't wait for the 'Armed Robbery of Android Shipment" headline.

Oh... right.

HTC/Samsung would claim those units as "Sales".

post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

 

Agreed...

Can't wait for the 'Armed Robbery of Android Shipment" headline.

Oh... right.

 

Shortly followed by the robbery...and then return...of the truck full of RIM products.

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post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokenuser View Post

HTC/Samsung would claim those units as "Sales".
Lol!
post #17 of 44

In the world of firearms, these two aren't especially similar.  It seems unlikely that someone positively identified the weapons as one of the two.
 

M16_and_AK-47_length_comparison.png

post #18 of 44

Just to put things in perspective: in France there is no licence allowing to carry or own guns and you can't buy firearms unless 1- You practice shooting in a dedicated sport club or 2- You own a hunting licence. In either case, automatic weapons aren't allowed to be sold to any french citizen.

People owning automatic weapons are part of organized mafia groups and not a petty thief. That's why it is doubtful the attack wasn't planned in advance and especially targeted at Apple hardware shipping.

 

The area where the attack took place  is in the vicinity of at least one proeminent Apple store is. I doubt it is a coincidence…

post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephane36 View Post

Just to put things in perspective: in France there is no licence allowing to carry or own guns and you can't buy firearms unless 1- You practice shooting in a dedicated sport club or 2- You own a hunting licence. In either case, automatic weapons aren't allowed to be sold to any french citizen.
People owning automatic weapons are part of organized mafia groups and not a petty thief. That's why it is doubtful the attack wasn't planned in advance and especially targeted at Apple hardware shipping.

The area where the attack took place  is in the vicinity of at least one proeminent Apple store is. I doubt it is a coincidence…

Maybe a RIM contract ...
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post #20 of 44

If everyone carried an Automatic Weapon, there would be alot less crime...

post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Three guys with M16s do not take down a van by chance - they knew.

 

This leads me to wonder when manufacturers are going to black list computer serial numbers. Apple dealers could report stolen serial numbers to Apple, and then when the buyer of said device tries to connect to the Internet, boom! - computer disabled and reported to police.


I like the idea too but have learned from history that libertarians would be up in arms about invasion of privacy.

post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShepherd View Post

If everyone carried an Automatic Weapon, there would be alot less crime...


How's the weather there in Texas or Arizona?

post #23 of 44

This may spur a new Samsung ad - Don't want to be robbed? Buy Galaxy.

post #24 of 44

AT&T to launch new blocking service for stolen devices on July 10th

 

http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/6/3140670/at-t-block-stolen-phones

post #25 of 44
Those robbers know what's good. What they don't know is that Apple devices are easily trackable.
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post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShepherd View Post

If everyone carried an Automatic Weapon, there would be alot less crime...


... and a whole lot of dead people.

post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by tania View Post


... and a whole lot of dead people.

 

And most importantly, a lot more dead criminals.

post #28 of 44

On French sites, they say the police found the truck while 2 guys were unloading it but those managed to escape before the police car reached them. So, no, they didn't didtch the Apple stuff after reading it was GPS-traceable ;)

 

I am pretty sure the robbers had either been watching the Applestore/Apple warehouse for several days or had a complice working there. I am pretty confident the police will catch them soon…

post #29 of 44

A computer stolen in France would be limited to a sale on the black market in France... because the keyboard will be "AZERTY" rather than "QWERTY".

post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotoformat View Post

A computer stolen in France would be limited to a sale on the black market in France... because the keyboard will be "AZERTY" rather than "QWERTY".

Depends. If it's an iMac or Mac pro, they can just change the keyboard.

If it's an iPhone or iPad, I believe the keyboard can be changed since it's handled in software.

The only real problem would be for MacBook Pro or MacBook Air computers - and even there, it's not that hard to replace the keyboard.
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post #31 of 44
Maybe they can protect future shipments by labeling the vans with Android symbols.
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotoformat View Post

A computer stolen in France would be limited to a sale on the black market in France... because the keyboard will be "AZERTY" rather than "QWERTY".

 

 

There are also other "subtle" differences (e.g. 60 Hz frequency in the US,, 50 Hz in Europe, I do not know if there is a universal Apple design to accommodate this at the charger level).

post #33 of 44

There's gotta be an App for that!

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post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post


There are also other "subtle" differences (e.g. 60 Hz frequency in the US,, 50 Hz in Europe, I do not know if there is a universal Apple design to accommodate this at the charger level).

Not a problem for most Apple products. Most of them have the following operating conditions:

Line voltage: 100-240V AC
Frequency: 50Hz to 60Hz, single phase

You would, of course, need a power adapter or the correct cable to connect the computer with the wall, but that's cheap.
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post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You mean when the computer is brought in for repairs. No way do I want my computer reporting its serial number to the Internet every time it connects, much less be treated like a criminal in any fashion.

But it does transmit its MAC address which can probably be denied internet access.
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post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Not a problem for most Apple products. Most of them have the following operating conditions:
Line voltage: 100-240V AC
Frequency: 50Hz to 60Hz, single phase
You would, of course, need a power adapter or the correct cable to connect the computer with the wall, but that's cheap.

Actually, just an adapter plug to match the local power sockets. The Apple power supplies/bricks have been universal since the early 80s; I began carrying the plugs in the early 90s. The official Apple package is at:

http://store.apple.com/ca/product/MB974ZM/B?fnode=MTY1NDEwMQ

 

Cheers

post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


Sure they do. Despite the article implying it was an inside thing, perhaps these guys were hanging on roads they knew to often get delivery trucks and hitting anything that came by and looked good. And they got lucky.

Lol? Be sure that you won't see gangsters with assault rifles 'hanging on roads' and 'waiting for a truck' in France, sorry. What you can find is petty thieves stealing a truck merchandise at night while the driver is sleeping on some rest area, but they won't be armed then. It was obviously a planned job to steal valuable electronics, Apple or not, that must not be too difficult to monitor and track the people making deliveries to some targeted shop...

post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotoformat View Post

A computer stolen in France would be limited to a sale on the black market in France... because the keyboard will be "AZERTY" rather than "QWERTY".

There are hundreds of million people speaking French, using azerty keyboards, and they aren't all in France you know. This stuff can easily be sent to french speaking North Africa or whatever.

post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterHutnick View Post

In the world of firearms, these two aren't especially similar.  It seems unlikely that someone positively identified the weapons as one of the two.

It was most probably an AK, we don't have that many M16 over there while aplenty of AK47 coming from the Balkan wars.

post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


But it does transmit its MAC address which can probably be denied internet access.

MAC addresses can be easily spoofed and faked. What would be needed to enforce remote disabling is some universal identifier like the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) and pray that the concerned device didn't filter its network access.

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