'Mission Impossible'-style heist hits N.J. Best Buy

Stealthy thieves rob a Best Buy in New Jersey "Mission Impossible" style, making off with $26,000 in Apple laptops.

Matthew Fitzgerald
Matthew Fitzgerald Associate Testing Analyst
Matthew Fitzgerald, a CNET associate editor, has been involved with digital camera technology and the photo industry for more than 15 years. His background includes work as a professional photographer, a technical representative, and a repair technician.
2 min read
Paramount Pictures

Daring thieves staged a "Mission Impossible"-style robbery at the South Brunswick, N.J., Best Buy store, making off with $26,000 worth of Apple laptops early Wednesday morning.

As reported by the Associated Press and Star-Ledger, around 6:30 a.m., store employees discovered the missing laptops along with a hole in the roof. No motion sensors were set off, and nothing was captured on security cameras.

According to South Brunswick Police Sgt. James Ryan, the thieves used a "high degree of sophistication...They never touched the floor. They rappelled in and rappelled out." Police say the robbers used a gas pipe on the side of the building to climb up onto the roof. Once on the roof they cut a 3-foot-wide square hole using a saw, then some type of suction to lift the cut section out. They then lowered themselves 16 feet down to the metal racks inside store, never touching the ground, remaining 10 feet off the ground. By not touching the ground, and staying 10 feet in the air, the low-aiming motion sensors were not triggered.

The thieves positioned themselves behind store banners while doing all this, which prevented the security cameras from seeing them. Then they stole the laptops off the metal racks while hanging from the ceiling, and went out the same way they came in, through the hole in the roof.

The police think the thieves knew the layout of the store and must have known the banners would block them from security cameras. "The tools they had to bring, the alarms they had to circumvent, it certainly required a high level of planning," Ryan said.