A series of thefts have been reported in New York involving Apple products, with a group of criminals targeting customers who leave Apple Stores with their purchases.
A total of 15 such thefts have been reported since June 30 in Manhattan, New York, where Apple Store customers get their new hardware caught shortly after purchase. In some cases, it appears that the criminals involved stake out near Apple outlets and then follow customers who leave with store bags.
An incident filmed by security cameras at a nail bar shows a thief grabbing a shopping bag containing a $ 2,400 MacBook, casually holding the door open, then reaching and grabbing the bag. Authorities told CBS New York that the criminal allegedly followed the victim from the Apple Store to the nail salon, the latter distracting the Apple customer and creating an opportunity.
Police surveillance has uncovered several suspects who are said to be working together to stake out stores and steal merchandise. In video of another incident, two suspects are seen running, then running on a road carrying stolen goods.
An Apple spokesperson has briefed the company on the robberies and is urging customers leaving stores to take precautions. This could include being aware of their surroundings, maintaining vigilance in transit, and even disguising the value of their purchases using different bags.
“Your luxury item or whatever you buy doesn’t have to be in a screaming bag, hey I have an expensive item, especially when it’s clear,” security expert Manny Gomez told the report.
Police continue to monitor the exterior of stores for the culprits.