More than 100 Apple Store customers targeted by L.A. burglars

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
More than 100 burglary victims near Los Angeles, Calif., are said to have been spotted and followed by criminals after they visited Apple retail stores.



According to the Los Angeles Times, a group of thieves in the metropolitan area conducted more than 100 "follow away" burglaries over the past year. In December, three L.A. residents were charged by the Orange County district attorney's office with burglary and grand theft in connection with 28 cases. The district attorney said customers who visited Apple retail stores had their vehicles broken into, and computers were stolen.



Another 15 cases since September are under investigation by the Manhattan Beach Police. Those victims were targeted at the Apple Store at the Village Mall on Sepulveda Boulevard.



"The suspects sought by Manhattan Beach police had a specific method of operation, Brown said. They stake out an Apple store and choose their target," the report said. "Then they follow their prospective victims when they drive to another shop or a parking spot near their home. If computers are left unattended inside the vehicle, the thieves strike."



It is believed that the burglaries are the result of a large crime ring that spans across Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and the stolen computers are being shipped out of the country. Law enforcement officials have advised residents not to leave expensive items like computers in their car unattended.



The burglaries first began in December 2008, when suspects reportedly attempted to break into the car of an undercover police officer who purchased an Apple computer at a store at the Shops at Mission Viejo in California.



Apple recently renovated its store in Mission Viejo after Microsoft opened its own retail outlet in the same mall.



As a seller of high-priced computers and electronic devices, Apple retail stores are frequently the target of burglaries. In September, thieves were caught on film at a New Jersey Apple store as they smashed a window in front of the location and ran out with tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    pretty smart I guess.
  • Reply 2 of 71
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Thanks for the heads up. That is my neighborhood.
  • Reply 3 of 71
    ilogicilogic Posts: 298member
    "Designed and Robbed in California"
  • Reply 4 of 71
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    For some reason I can't really picture burglars following people coming out of a Microsoft Store.
  • Reply 5 of 71
    dogcowdogcow Posts: 713member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    For some reason I can't really picture burglars following people coming out of a Microsoft Store.



    There are easier ways to steal Windows.
  • Reply 6 of 71
    The same thing has been happening in Atlanta. Robbers will follow a person who bought a new mac and steal it from them when they are either at a stoplight or when they leave their vehicle.
  • Reply 7 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    For some reason I can't really picture burglars following people coming out of a Microsoft Store.



    Then you have to open your eyes more.



    There is no limit to stupidity. http://www.dumbcrooks.com/old-dumbcrooks-site/



    I was thinking that there should be a comparable site for 'Dumb PC'rs'. But that would be redundant, wouldn't it?
  • Reply 8 of 71
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    You'd think with a hundred targeted Apple customers, the police can set up an easy sting operation to nab some of these crooks... Unless profiling has crept down to the local L.A. law enforcement world! Thank you very much, ACLU idjits!
  • Reply 9 of 71
    ch2coch2co Posts: 41member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    For some reason I can't really picture burglars following people coming out of a Microsoft Store.



    LOL What a hoot!
  • Reply 10 of 71
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,612member
    I shop at the Apple store in San Francisco quite a bit. I've told the sales folks there countless of times to hand me my purchases in a bag that does not scream "steal me". Of course, it's not the fault of clerks.



    It really irks me that Apple does not seem to see a problem of watching their customers carrying thousands of dollars in computer hardware out of their store in big bright-white boxes with a picture of the latptop/iMac prominently displayed on the side walking outside their store in a major downtown metropolitan city near the Tenderloin, where thieves, crackheads, punks hang out and not think "Hmm... maybe our packaging / wrapping should be more discrete?"



    I no longer purchase high-ticket items at their stores. I'll just order them online and have them shipped. When I buy items that are placed in their bags, I bring another bag, backpack, something that conceals what I'm carrying. It's really stupid what they do.



    It's irresponsible what they do. Some simple common-sense would do wonders.
  • Reply 11 of 71
    ifailifail Posts: 463member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dogcow View Post


    There are easier ways to steal Windows.



    lol was seriously thinking the same thing even though they sell 360 and ZuneHD there.



    You'd have a better chance at robbing someone leaving a bestbuy and getting something valuable than the MS store (if your really scoping).



    Atleast the criminals (i dont support stealing peoples stuff they had to work to buy) put some thought behind it, if they are taking them right after they buy them, then they are new-in-box and im sure in china or wherever they will fetch a good price.



    Still...common sense would dictate to take yourself home if you know your carrying something that valuable. Thats like putting a LCD in your backseat and continue on shopping, your asking for trouble. Even if you put it in the trunk, you never know who may be watching.
  • Reply 12 of 71
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    I shop at the Apple store in San Francisco quite a bit. I've told the sales folks there countless of times to hand me my purchases in a bag that does not scream "steal me". Of course, it's not the fault of clerks.



    Next time take along your own shopping bag from Sears or something similar.
  • Reply 13 of 71
    burglars? so tacky



    ask ballmer or rubinstein...those are some real thieves with some finesse
  • Reply 14 of 71
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Highly desirable Apple products sell well on the black market.





    By the way, one can get free Ubuntu stickers to place over the Apple logo.



    http://system76.com/article_info.php?articles_id=9





    What you don't want to appear as is a smug, careless Apple snob. (even if your not, it appears so strutting fancy Apple gear)



    It's cool to be poor and suffering now, shows sympathy with others who are not doing so well.





    I went down one busy street today, and there was a dozen people with signs begging for work.





    The Apple Authorized Seller I visited today to get a new battery is down from 3 full timers to just one.





    True unemployment rate is closer to 18%, rather than the 10% based upon unemployment checks.





    The current employment amount is leveling out to almost the same level as the last recession under Clinton, so something very bad is occurring, we are not creating new jobs, most likely China is to blame. Bush gave us a temporary boost, but now that's all gone.



    Heads need to roll in Congress and we need a government that's more friendly to business that puts people to work and rebuilds America, we are done playing socialist now.



    What's next for America? Hugo Chavez?
  • Reply 15 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by appleinsider View Post


    more than 100 burglary victims near los angeles, calif., are said to have been spotted and followed by criminals after they visited apple retail stores.



    t.n.s.
  • Reply 16 of 71
    They'll catch them...and in prison they'll have a roof over their head, 3 sq. meals a day and plenty of sex! Also, most likely will only have PC's to use...insult to injury, I guess!
  • Reply 17 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gkelly View Post


    The same thing has been happening in Atlanta. Robbers will follow a person who bought a new mac and steal it from them when they are either at a stoplight or when they leave their vehicle.



    Another reason to buy online.
  • Reply 18 of 71
    ulfoafulfoaf Posts: 175member
    Now this is taking "Get a Mac" WAY too far.

    I know, it isn't funny, but it almost sounds like bragging on the brand.
  • Reply 19 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Next time take along your own shopping bag from Sears or something similar.



    ...Maybe something with the Microsoft logo?
  • Reply 20 of 71
    I went to the Adobe CS3 launch in early 2007 at the Apple Store in London's Regent Street then later dinned at a restaurant around the corner. I had my bag (containing work laptop) literally slid out from under my seat! I did not get the laptop out of my bag during the presentation bit I guess my bag screamed "flash laptop inside!!!". Targeting Apple Stores has been around for a while.
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