NYC Apple Stores Being Targeted by Thieves Dressed as Retail Staff

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Thieves in New York City are reportedly posing as company employees in order to steal thousands of dollars of hardware from Apple Stores.

According to DNAInfo, last week a man dressed as an Apple staff member walked into the company's SoHo store and gained access to a backroom, stealing iPhones worth a combined $16,130.

Apple-Employees
Similar incidents occurred back in March when a store on the Upper West Side was targeted by Apple staff imposters twice. In those thefts, the store lost $50,000 in iPhones.

Gizmodo notes that the tactic appears to have been adopted since Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts introduced a policy which sees all staff wear blue shirts with smaller Apple logos. Ahrendts' announced the new uniforms internally in 2015 with the catchphrase "Back to Blue... But All New", which introduced several different styles of shirts for employees to wear.

Previously, Apple staff changed their uniforms on a semi-regular basis, with colors and styles linked to seasonal holidays, specific themes, or product launches.

NYPD has connected the two robberies as "related", and hasn't specified whether the thieves were wearing official shirts or close approximations. Either way, the incidents are likely to make Apple revise its security arrangements and look again at its more standardized uniform policy.

Top Rated Comments

mrgraff Avatar
60 months ago
On the flipside, I once walked into an Apple store wearing a blue t-shirt, it took me a minute or two to realize why other customers kept approaching me.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MRxROBOT Avatar
61 months ago
If security is limited to granting access to those with blue shirts, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. I am actually surprised this doesn't happen more often in such busy locations.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peterh988 Avatar
60 months ago

I don't think the problem is with standard uniforms. How about a wireless security pass to gain access to the back room? They are pretty common.

Probably just time your arrival at the door to co-incide with someone else, who will unlock and most likely hold the door open for you because you have the right uniform on.

I recall thieves stealing two huge JCB plant machines near me a few years ago, they simply drove onto the site with a low-loader, they were wearing hi-viz jackets, safety helmets, something that looked like an ID card/pass on a lanyard around their necks, and carrying a clipboard.

Loaded the machines onto the trailer, drove away. Plenty witnessed it, but everyone thought someone else was dealing with it.

I imagine you could walk around a hospital for a good long time unchallenged, simply by wearing a white coat and a pass dangling around your neck.

Fairly easy for those brazen enough to try it.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2010mini Avatar
60 months ago
Similar thing happened at a Macy's I worked at. During one Christmas season a thief came dressed as a temporary hire. He even had a temp badge. Worked with a full time staffer all day and walked away with all the cash in the register at the end of the night. This happened because no one checked to see who he was. Not the workers nor the managers.

Do the Apple Stores staff not know each other? They don't ask questions when they see someone new working?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peterh988 Avatar
60 months ago


Not sure but, Apple stores surely must have back doors for deliveries etc?..... anyone?

Looking at my local Apple Store, if someone could get in the back and load an Apple bag with iPhones, they could walk onto the shop floor, pass them to an accomplice which would look to the casual observer as a member of staff giving a customer his goods, who could them walk out.

It wouldn't be that hard for the 'staff' to walk out at my place, being one of the mall sites with a full open front, no doors.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
akadafni Avatar
60 months ago

Let me guarantee you that Apple knows every single one of those serial numbers of devices that were taken. They have a very strict inventory control system. It's only a matter of time and Apple Loss Prevention are not ones to be trifled with.

This is very true. I know people who have been fired and arrested for stealing from Apple.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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