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Apple Store shoppers in California tackle suspects, thwart robbery

The Apple Store in Thousand Oaks, California. Apple

Criminals will go to extraordinary lengths to steal gear from Apple.

From rappelling down on ropes in a Mission Impossible-style raid to jumping onto a truck as it motors along a highway, thieves have become highly creative in finding underhanded ways of getting hold of iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and anything else of monetary value made by the tech titan.

Some of the crooks, however, take the standard route. That is, walking into an Apple Store, yanking the goods from the display tables, and walking out.

They’ve been getting away with it for years, with Apple Stores in the company’s home state of California seemingly targeted more than most.

But last weekend, shoppers at an Apple Store in the city of Thousand Oaks just west of Los Angeles took the bold step of tackling three thieves during an attempted heist.

According to local news media, the suspects, all wearing hoodies in a bid to conceal their identities, entered the store in Oaks Mall on Sunday afternoon, August 19. They immediately started grabbing thousands of dollars’ worth of Apple gear from the tables before attempting to escape.

But a number of shoppers intervened, tackling two of the suspects to the ground and holding them there until the cops arrived. The third was picked up later by police, who also arrested two more individuals reportedly inside a getaway car, bringing the total number of detentions to five. They’re now being held in Ventura County on suspicion of burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary.

Investigators are currently trying to establish whether the suspects had a hand in other California-based Apple Store robberies that have taken place recently. These include a grab-and-run raid on the same day at an Apple Store in Northridge about 15 miles east of Thousand Oaks, and another heist in July in Fresno, 180 miles north of Thousand Oaks. In the Fresno raid, the crooks made off with nearly $30,000 of Apple equipment. Cops are reported to have found Apple-made gear from several stores inside the car they stopped.

Captain Garo Kuredjian from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department told CBS Local, “These items are relatively small and very expensive so if they get away with a few things in their hands, these are very easy to transfer into cash.”

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