CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Culture

Man posing as Apple store employee makes off with 19 phones, report says

Technically Incorrect: Some blame the new store employee T-shirts as being too easy to copy for miscreants allegedly walking into New York Apple stores and stealing multiple phones.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Last year, pranksters showed how easy it was to pretend to be an Apple store employee.

NELK/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

What makes an Apple store employee?

Bright, oddly enthusiastic eyes, a practiced smile and a (hopefully) clean T-shirt.

How hard would that be to fake?

It seems that some miscreants may have tried, succeeded and got away with hordes of Apple products.

As DNA Info reports, police say that a man wandered into the Apple store in New York's SoHo neighborhood on June 1 and availed himself of 19 iPhones. Yes, while dressed not unlike a store employee.

The accusation is that the man sauntered into the repair room, grabbed the phones and handed them to an accomplice, who stuffed them under his shirt and left. That must have been quite a baggy shirt.

Neither the New York Police Department nor Apple immediately responded to requests for confirmation and comment.

This isn't the first time, however, that a New York Apple store has reportedly been targeted by thieves dressed as employees.

In March, a total of 67 iPhones were stolen from an Upper West Side Apple store in two separate heists, the New York Post reported. Both times, the thieves masqueraded as store employees.

That store is known as a training location for Apple employees, so some theorize that new faces would have blended in more easily.

Apple's uniforms used to change seasonally.

However, new retail head Angela Ahrendts brought in the more standardized, simple "Back To Blue" shirt system last year. The logo was smaller. It was said to be a more modern style. However, these are very easy to buy on eBay. Yours for just $11.88.

Soon after this, pranksters -- also dressed in a similar style to store employees -- shot a video inside an Apple store. In it, they told customers that Apple products were awful and they should buy Samsung and Microsoft instead. This didn't endear them to the real employees.

Apple stores are, though, extremely busy places. Especially in New York. It's surely possible that employees don't necessarily all recognize each other, as the customer volume is often extremely large and employees have little time to think or look up.

Still, impersonating a store employee is but one way to steal from an Apple store.

In Berkeley, California, for example, police say that in December a group of thieves simply marauded into a store, cut the cords on the phones and made off with them.

Dressing as a store employee evokes more subtlety, something for which New York isn't always famous.