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Crime wave: Crash-and-grab at California Apple Store latest in string of robberies

Apple Store in Palo Alto.
A team of brazen robbers smashed a car through the main window at the Apple Store in Palo Alto, California, over the weekend, gaining entry and stealing many of the products on display. It’s the latest in a rash of crimes reported at Apple retail stores in the area. Police have already arrested four people involved, but say they haven’t found any connection with the other cases.

The raid occurred early in the morning on December 4. The criminals used a Kia Soul vehicle to drive along the sidewalk — avoiding barriers next to the road — and smashed through the glass front window. A trademark Apple store feature, the window stood 40-feet tall, and managed to stay mostly in place according to police reports. However, the car made a hole big enough for the thieves to rush into the store.

Between eight and 10 thieves were involved in the robbery, based on video footage taken at the store, but only four have been arrested so far. Police also found a second vehicle nearby that contained Apple computers and iPhones. It’s not clear if any of the robbers escaped with stolen devices, and Apple Store staff are checking stock to determine what, if anything, was taken.

The Palo Alto robbery comes after a rash of at least 11 Apple Store robberies in the Bay Area since the end of October, but it’s the first to involve the use of a car to gain entry. The other robberies have been on foot, with many during the day when the stores were open. The video footage from the Palo Alto robbery is unlikely to be released, and police continue to work toward apprehending the other robbers.

Photos of the scene, shared by Palo Alto Online, show the road on which the Apple store is located was closed on Sunday, and that work is continuing on replacing the massive glass window. The store has considerable significance for Apple, as it’s one of the closest to its Cupertino headquarters. Apple CEO Tim Cook made an appearance at the store on the day of the iPhone 7 launch in September.

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