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Thefts at Apple retail stores on the rise, two reported this month

post #1 of 41
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Yet another Apple Store has been burglarized, this time at University Village in Seattle, Washington, where thieves appear to have entered the store through the ceiling and made off with a slew of customer laptops that had been dropped off for servicing.

A store employee claims that at least one of the notebooks contained personal information, and that the theft could pose a risk to other customers. Additionally, an "unknown stock" of refurbished iPhones turned up missing alongside a high-end laptop used by the store's technical staff.

Seattle police were reportedly called to the University Village store at 4:44 a.m. Monday morning after an alarm signaled rear entry or motion, but the police report stated that all the doors were secure and nothing appeared to be out of place on the inside.

The latest burglary underscores a growing demand for the Cupertino-based company's products by unscrupulous or unknowing buyers, reports MacNN, which notes that there's been an increase in the number of thieves who are risking charges of grand theft and burglary just to acquire the goods.

Monday's incident comes less than two weeks after a similar Apple retail store burglary at Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. There, suspects stole $17,000 worth of goods by smashing out the front window of the store. The thieves reportedly made off with eight laptops, three iPods, and two iPhones at around 3:38 a.m. on August 13th.

Earlier this year, Apple's Twenty Ninth Street store in Colorado was forced to modified one of its display cases by securing the 30-pound container to the table upon which it rested. The changes came about after thieves boldly stole a 2 x 2 x 6-foot display case containing 42 4GB iPod nanos worth around $8,450. Amazingly, notes MacNN, the store employees said they noticed the case missing at around 5:00 p.m. which suggests that the theft may have occurred in broad daylight.

Last December, police stopped a motorist for having a brown plastic bag over his license plate and quickly learned that he had just burglarized an Apple Store in Weymouth, Massachusetts. The man was bleeding profusely from wounds he suffered as a result of smashing out the front glass window with a pipe wrench. He reportedly cut his arms on the broken glass while entering and exiting the store as he carried 56 stolen iPods worth almost $20,000 in a pink plastic tub.

One week prior, the Carrefour Lavel store in Canada was burglarized by thieves who managed to take numerous computers as well as several iPods, MacNN reported.
post #2 of 41
In other news, Ebay revenues continue to rise.

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post #3 of 41
I guess this is a good sign...

But Apple are going to have to think about security as everything is getting smaller. If one person can carry $20,000 worth of electronics, it has got to be tempting.
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post #4 of 41
Whoa, I was in that store just last week. That's my Apple store dammit!!
post #5 of 41
Don't virtually all computer contain "personal information"
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post #6 of 41
Quote:
at 4:44 a.m. Monday morning after an alarm signaled rear entry or motion

yes its is quite hard to tell that early in the morning...
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post #7 of 41
Burgled. Burgled!!!!
post #8 of 41
What gets me about the U. Village robbery (I was just reading the story at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/328555_apple22.html ):

The thieves cut through the ceiling into the technicians' room and took the computers that were done with servicing. Kind of implies that whoever did this A: knew the layout of the store and B: knew which computers were easiest to lift / worth grabbing.

Without speculating overmuch, I'll at least say this: ...interesting.
post #9 of 41
Wonder if Apple will indemnify the owners whose computers were stolen, that is, replace them with like models? Unless there's a sign posted saying "Not responsible for lost or stolen items," I'd imagine they will; after all, that's why stores carry insurance.

Afterthought: Surely Apple has a way to identify the machine should it ever request a periodic software update, or if the machine has to be serviced. Forensic sleths should soon be all over this case.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I guess this is a good sign...

Totally agree. This is undoubtely another indication that Apple is very successful in raising its profile and doing well in attracting all sorts of people that really want to get their hands in Apple products.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

But Apple are going to have to think about security as everything is getting smaller. If one person can carry $20,000 worth of electronics, it has got to be tempting.

It wouldn't be that hard to think of something that can track stolen iPods and Macs through an iTunes account. Apple maintains records of stolen serial numbers so in principle they should be able to track down thieves through automatic updates or when someone tries to download a song from iTunes. Then can then send an email saying `Update failed, stolen device. Your device has been wiped out. Thank you for your co-operation!'
post #11 of 41
yeah but what are they really going to do? i mean that will cost money tracking down these people updating stolen products. And what if that individual bought it off ebay? are you going to brick their ipod because they thought they were just purchasing something on ebay?

not much apple can do really.
post #12 of 41
Wasn't Apple working on a remote kill function at one time that would basically allow them to fry the hard drive of a stolen MacBook? (Maybe I'm thinking about the GPS rumors.)
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Amazingly, notes MacNN, the store employees said they noticed the case missing at around 5:00 p.m. which suggests that the theft may have occurred in broad daylight.

Excuse me, pardon me, nothing to see here, please move along and ignore the large persons hauling the display case out of the store.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elixir View Post

And what if that individual bought it off ebay? are you going to brick their ipod because they thought they were just purchasing something on ebay?

Well, yes. In Sweden at least, bona fide purchases doesn't exist. If you buy something that is stolen, you're out of luck.

/Adrian
post #15 of 41
Same in the US. It's considered "receiving stolen goods." Of all the items to steal, however, it strikes me that the iPhones are probably the dumbest of thefts, as the device is by definition required to connect to the network for use, and could quite easily not only be identified but located.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyg View Post

The thieves cut through the ceiling into the technicians' room and took the computers that were done with servicing. Kind of implies that whoever did this A: knew the layout of the store and B: knew which computers were easiest to lift / worth grabbing.

It's Sherlock Holmes!

post #17 of 41
that's one way to get your Apple products.

thieves should have their hands cut off and inserted into their own colon... repeatedly.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevalierMalFet View Post

by definition required to connect to the network for use, and could quite easily not only be identified but located.

Well, there's no GPS so that leaves a lot of space around a tower-log-in. Plus, since the first thing anyone whose ever stolen cell-phones would do is swap-out the SIM card. I don't get the point personally, because saving 500 or 600 is peanuts compared to the 2 year activation and service from AT&T.
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by altruisticbeings View Post

that's one way to get your Apple products.

thieves should have their hands cut off and inserted into their own colon... repeatedly.

Oh, great, the Ayatollah has created a login.

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post #20 of 41
wow, 2 thefts in a month with ~180 stores... That means that... add 7, carry the 4... they are experiencing a heck of a lot lower theft rate than the majority of retail chains. Granted the value of the merchandise is a lot more, but still, 2 isn't all that many.

Source
: 1.6% of value of retail sales lost in 'retail shrinkage' in 2005. Surely higher now. Assuming that only about .5% is from theft, Apple sold roughly $3.36 billion in the retail sector in 2006, divided by 12 to get monthly average is: ~$280 million. .5% of 280 million=~$1.4 million that would be from theft if this were average. $17,000 from one theft and an unknown amount from another gives us much less than 5% (probably 2 or less) of average. So, what have we learned from this? Aside from absolutely nothing, we learned that this isn't all that much.
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post #21 of 41
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Originally Posted by mstone View Post

In other news, Ebay revenues continue to rise.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I guess this is a good sign...

I think it's a good sign that directly relates to the popularity of Apple products. The typical shoplifter isn't going to be so elaborate in their efforts. Many of these stories are thought out planned attacks against the retailer. I'm glad I bought stock at $115. I see nothing but good things in Apple's future.
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post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyg View Post

What gets me about the U. Village robbery (I was just reading the story at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/328555_apple22.html ): The thieves cut through the ceiling into the technicians' room and took the computers that were done with servicing. Kind of implies that whoever did this A: knew the layout of the store and B: knew which computers were easiest to lift / worth grabbing.
Without speculating overmuch, I'll at least say this: ...interesting.

Yes, last night I was in the ceiling (the real one above the false ceiling) of my Apple shop (running a LAN cable... don't ask...) and definitely there are a lot of naughty things you can do up there. But you are right, you have to know where the hell you are if you are moving around up there and are cutting delicately through the false ceiling to get to the storeroom goodies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator View Post

Wonder if Apple will indemnify the owners whose computers were stolen, that is, replace them with like models? Unless there's a sign posted saying "Not responsible for lost or stolen items," I'd imagine they will; after all, that's why stores carry insurance. Afterthought: Surely Apple has a way to identify the machine should it ever request a periodic software update, or if the machine has to be serviced. Forensic sleths should soon be all over this case.

That should be "sleuths".

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think it's a good sign that directly relates to the popularity of Apple products. The typical shoplifter isn't going to be so elaborate in their efforts. Many of these stories are thought out planned attacks against the retailer. I'm glad I bought stock at $115. I see nothing but good things in Apple's future.

Totally, I hear next door to the "burgalariz-ed" Apple Store there was actually a diamond shop with Japanese-style paper walls and guarded only by a 24-carat Tickle-Me-Elmo.
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmarksdale View Post

wow, 2 thefts in a month with ~180 stores... That means that... add 7, carry the 4... they are experiencing a heck of a lot lower theft rate than the majority of retail chains. Granted the value of the merchandise is a lot more, but still, 2 isn't all that many.

Source
: 1.6% of value of retail sales lost in 'retail shrinkage' in 2005. Surely higher now. Assuming that only about .5% is from theft, Apple sold roughly $3.36 billion in the retail sector in 2006, divided by 12 to get monthly average is: ~$280 million. .5% of 280 million=~$1.4 million that would be from theft if this were average. $17,000 from one theft and an unknown amount from another gives us much less than 5% (probably 2 or less) of average. So, what have we learned from this? Aside from absolutely nothing, we learned that this isn't all that much.

Several weeks ago I was researching Sensormatic and Checkpoint systems (those beepy things at the entrance of retail shops) ... It's so funny how the new hip term in the retail management world for "shoplifting" and pretty much "STEALING" is now "shrinkage". The only shrinkage I used to worry about is when I come out of a cold swimming pool.
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Yes, last night I was in the ceiling (the real one above the false ceiling) of my Apple shop (running a LAN cable... don't ask...) and definitely there are a lot of naughty things you can do up there. But you are right, you have to know where the hell you are if you are moving around up there and are cutting delicately through the false ceiling to get to the storeroom goodies...

Also, honestly, it is really cool up there, much more interesting than the cliched Hollywood "ventilation duct" scenes, or the recent obsession with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_running in movie scenes. Up there between the real ceiling and false ceilings of shopping malls, offices, etc, it's more a lateral rockclimbing-esque thing to move about. Also avoiding a mess of cables, lights, high voltage electricity.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Yet another Apple Store has been burglarized, this time at University Village in Seattle, Washington, where thieves appear to have entered the store through the ceiling and made off with a slew of customer laptops that had been dropped off for servicing.

A store employee claims that at least one of the notebooks contained personal information, and that the theft could pose a risk to other customers. Additionally, an "unknown stock" of refurbished iPhones turned up missing alongside a high-end laptop used by the store's technical staff.

Seattle police were reportedly called to the University Village store at 4:44 a.m. Monday morning after an alarm signaled rear entry or motion...

Earlier this year, Apple's Twenty Ninth Street store in Colorado was forced to modified one of its display cases by securing the 30-pound container to the table upon which it rested. The changes came about after thieves boldly stole a 2 x 2 x 6-foot display case containing 42 4GB iPod nanos worth around $8,450. Amazingly, notes MacNN, the store employees said they noticed the case missing at around 5:00 p.m. which suggests that the theft may have occurred in broad daylight...

What is interesting is that there is no outright mention of in-store security camera footage. You would imagine that would be the first place to look for signs of WHAT THE HELL ACTUALLY HAPPENED
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post

Don't virtually all computer contain "personal information"

Heh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...A store employee claims that at least one of the notebooks contained personal information, and that the theft could pose a risk to other customers...

In other news, police officers claim that many stolen wallets contain personal information and that those thefts pose risks to everyone.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcaro View Post

Excuse me, pardon me, nothing to see here, please move along and ignore the large persons hauling the display case out of the store.



Can you imagine the report the store manager had to file to Apple HQ and the reply. They stole what!!!!!!!
post #28 of 41
Heh.
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

The only shrinkage I used to worry about is when I come out of a cold swimming pool.

So many posts, so little to say.

Yeah, we've all seen Seinfeld.

post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post

Don't virtually all computer contain "personal information"

Well on the PC side its pretty common practice to yank the HD before sending it in to get serviced. I realize this isn't really a consumer level move on most Macs, but its something that Apple should definitely address with added security.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by team23 View Post

Well on the PC side its pretty common practice to yank the HD before sending it in to get serviced. I realize this isn't really a consumer level move on most Macs, but its something that Apple should definitely address with added security.

unless the HD is (possibly) part of the problem. But yeah, they should surround all future stores' walls with steel plating and but multiple steel grates in the air ducts, and retina, voice, and fingerprint locks in combination on all of the back rooms... Ok, maybe not THAT much security, as it would be excessive and a waste of money, but definitely need better considering the value of the goods in question.
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post #32 of 41
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Originally Posted by britwithgoodteeth View Post

Yeah, we've all seen Seinfeld.

Yes, my comment was a homage to Seinfeld in its own way.
post #33 of 41
(retracted my nasty comments. not worth it...)
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by britwithgoodteeth View Post

So many posts...

Well, that's the way I roll sometimes.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmarksdale View Post

unless the HD is (possibly) part of the problem. But yeah, they should surround all future stores' walls with steel plating and but multiple steel grates in the air ducts, and retina, voice, and fingerprint locks in combination on all of the back rooms... Ok, maybe not THAT much security, as it would be excessive and a waste of money, but definitely need better considering the value of the goods in question.

Basically I guess the issue is maybe considering placing a hard grill over the top of the area so that people can't cut in through the false ceiling. Or have a "cage" of sorts for equipment left overnight?
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevalierMalFet View Post

Same in the US. It's considered "receiving stolen goods." Of all the items to steal, however, it strikes me that the iPhones are probably the dumbest of thefts, as the device is by definition required to connect to the network for use, and could quite easily not only be identified but located.

This actually is not true unless you knew that the goods you are/were receiving were stolen. If you did not know, I don't think Apple can take any action against you, and upon finding out you were sold stolen goods, you can take action to recover damages from the original seller.
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssc_applefan View Post

This actually is not true unless you knew that the goods you are/were receiving were stolen. If you did not know, I don't think Apple can take any action against you, and upon finding out you were sold stolen goods, you can take action to recover damages from the original seller.

It depends on the circumstances. If you buy an iPhone from the back of a guy's van you don't know if it stolen or not, but the situation is questionable and you can be held liable; but if you purchased it from a pawn shop you would probably be in the clear as the pawn shop has the responsibility to verify if good are stolen or not. Things like eBay and Craig's List are difficult to verify adn usually skate under the law.
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post #38 of 41
Move along. Nothing to see here.
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post #39 of 41
Greenville, SC had 4 break ins of AT&T stores on March 11 and 12th, 2010.
Lots of phones and at least one laptop stolen. office was broken into.
Three men broke the glass door or used a crow bar to gain entry.
I'm thinking these and those in other cities are all connected some how.
Maybe for export to another country?
post #40 of 41
Since the thefts in those other cities were two and a half years ago, probably not.
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