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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    In other news, Ebay revenues continue to rise.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,738member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    Whoa, I was in that store just last week. That's my Apple store dammit!!
  • Reply 4 of 40
    Don't virtually all computer contain "personal information"
  • Reply 5 of 40
    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...
  • Reply 6 of 40
    Burgled. Burgled!!!!
  • Reply 7 of 40
    jennygjennyg Posts: 14member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    gatorgator Posts: 10member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 40
    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!'
  • Reply 10 of 40
    elixirelixir Posts: 782member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    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.)
  • Reply 12 of 40
    jbcarojbcaro Posts: 47member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    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
  • Reply 14 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 40
    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!



  • Reply 16 of 40
    that's one way to get your Apple products.



    thieves should have their hands cut off and inserted into their own colon... repeatedly.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    chris vchris v Posts: 459member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    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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