Apple Store robberies: How thieves can get away in broad daylight

Update: Not this time! Apple Store shoppers tackled two thieves to the ground, stopping a robbery in progress.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read
James Martin/CNET

Apple's signature open store design may score points for trendiness, but it's also made the shops easy targets for robberies. Only this time, citizens stepped in -- on Sunday, a pair of would-be thieves were tackled to the ground by Apple shoppers at the company's Thousand Oaks store, according to CBS Los Angeles

Police were able to catch a third fleeing suspect and two more in the getaway vehicle -- a group who they believe may be responsible for a string of similar Apple Store robberies.

On July 23, an Apple Store in Costa Mesa, California, was robbed by a group of five people who snatched $29,000 worth of merchandise from display tables. Earlier this month, thieves stole over $27,000 in phones and computers in Fresno, California, and more than $19,000 worth of iPhones from the store in Huntington Station, New York. 

In those cases, no one was able to stop the remarkably quick surprise snatch-and-grabs.

The display tables in Apple's stores enable customers to test out its products. But they also make it easy for ill-intentioned people to grab devices and make a quick escape. The company's pricey products are particularly enticing to crooks. Last month, thieves stole over $100,000 worth of Apple products at Best Buy by breaking into the roof. More than 300 iPhone X devices, worth over $370,000, were taken from a UPS truck in November.

Footage of Apple Store robberies highlight just how quickly thieves are able to get in and out with thousands of dollars in merchandise. They usually involve groups of men in hoodies who quickly grab an armful of products.  

Apple prides itself on its stores' open spaces and designs, and the entrances for many mall locations are pretty expansive. The goal undoubtedly is to lure people in, but all these robberies suggest that might be backfiring. 

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment. 

First published July 25, 3:12 p.m. PT
Update, Aug. 22 at 3:52 p.m.:
Adds that shoppers successfully foiled a similar Apple Store robbery this weekend by tackling the thieves; five suspects were reportedly taken into custody.