Hammer-wielding gang on mopeds raids Apple’s flagship London store

Apple Store London
Chrisdorney/123RF
An Apple Store in central London was raided by thieves in the early hours of Monday morning, November 13, with the gang helping themselves to the company’s latest smartphones, as well as anything else they could lay their hands on.

A security guard was reportedly threatened with a hammer as 10 thieves on five mopeds smashed their way into the store on Regent Street just after midnight.

An eyewitness told the BBC the suspects appeared to have difficulties smashing the store’s locked glass doors but then took just three minutes to grab the goods before fleeing on the mopeds, though one was abandoned at the scene.

Cops said mostly iPhones, iPads, and smartwatches were stolen in the heist, though it’s not yet clear how much the haul was worth. No arrests have been made.

Despite the damage, the store was able to open as usual on Monday morning.

This latest raid isn’t the first time a London Apple Store has been targeted. In 2011, a gang of thieves, again on mopeds, ransacked Apple’s Covent Garden store, making off with computers, phones, and tablets. Back then it was the iPhone 4S that the robbers were after.

Apple’s pricey tech gear is often the primary target of thieves going after this type of kit, with many of them hoping to make money selling the items on.

Just a few weeks ago we heard about how hundreds of brand new iPhone X handsets were grabbed from a UPS truck in San Francisco, while in 2016, again in San Francisco, thieves hid under hoodies and strolled into an Apple Store during opening hours to grab handsets straight off the display tables. Other gangs have been even more brazen, with one trio in New York dressing up as Apple Store staff before making off with more than 60 iPhones.

But in surely the most outlandish effort to date, thieves stole more than half a million dollars worth of iPhones from a truck as it motored along a highway in the Netherlands in August. The robbers reportedly drove a modified van right up to the back of the truck carrying the phones as it drove along a highway. It’s thought that one of the gang then made their way onto the hood of the van before forcing his way into the back of the truck. He then passed the phones to his accomplices through a hole cut into the van’s roof. Five men were later arrested.

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