Arrest Warrants Issued for 17 People in $1M California Apple Store Theft Ring

Authorities have issued arrest warrants for 17 people who were running an Apple Store theft ring across California, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced today.

The individuals involved robbed Apple retail stores in 19 different counties, including several in the Bay Area, where Apple's headquarters are located. More than $1 million worth of Apple goods were stolen.

The robbers were known for wearing hoodies and storming Apple Stores in large groups to snatch up products that were on display "in a matter of seconds."

Law enforcement agencies in Oakland and San Luis Obispo handled the investigation, but multiple law enforcement agencies across the state were involved in capturing the criminals. "The successful collaborative efforts of law enforcement has resulted in dismantling a large criminal ring," said Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick.

According to Attorney General Becerra, organized theft rings like the one apprehended this week "cost California business owners millions" and ultimately lead to consumers paying the cost.

Seven of those involved were arrested on Tuesday and booked into the Alameda County Jail, while another person is in custody in Sonoma County. The remaining nine suspects have yet to be arrested, but will be when located. Charges include plotting to commit grand theft against individuals.

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Top Rated Comments

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18 months ago
Where's the finesse? In my day, we would crawl through an air duct after hours and shimmy around lasers.
Rating: 60 Votes
18 months ago
A million dollars? They must’ve stolen nearly a dozen Apple products! Maybe even one or two more!
Rating: 41 Votes
18 months ago

I hope all of these 17 "factory defects" never a chance to prove their defectiveness again.
Apple needs to install bars on the front that can drop down in seconds.
Also bars to block exit thru the back.
Trap the animals until the police/swat team arrive.

Effectively trapping customers along with the criminals...BRILLIANT!

You just created a scary situation where they just grab and go during business hours to a full blown hostage situation...BRILLIANT!
Rating: 28 Votes
18 months ago

There are also a scam where a girl goes in an Apple Store. She tells customers if she can borrow their phone because hers is not working and she needs to make a desperate call. She says she will try to put her SIM in the customer’s phone to call her friend. If she is successful she says she can’t get a signal and they need to go outside. Then her accomplice outside steals the customer’s phone from her hand and runs away.

Hmm, there are people stupid enough to fall for that? First, she’s literally in a phone store, and has to borrow a customer’s phone? Secondly, who swaps out the SIM first when borrowing someone else’s phone to make a desperate call? Thirdly... Whoever falls for that should win a Darwin Award.
Rating: 20 Votes
18 months ago
They were caught when police asked Johnny Appleseed to Find My Friend.
Rating: 16 Votes
18 months ago
Good. Make an example out of them.
Rating: 8 Votes
18 months ago

You’d think the display models only would have a kill switch of some sort and could be remotely turned into a brick.

They do.
Rating: 8 Votes
18 months ago
You’d think the display models only would have a kill switch of some sort and could be remotely turned into a brick.
Rating: 5 Votes
18 months ago
Good send all these lowlife scum to jail.
Rating: 5 Votes
18 months ago

You’d think the display models only would have a kill switch of some sort and could be remotely turned into a brick.

Why brick it when it can track the robbers?

It’s not like Apple doesn’t know every serial number put in the Store before it left the warehouse. As soon as the robber pawns it and the mark puts in their iTunes info Apple can figure out where the stolen devices are moving. Put some pins in a map and stake out some places with PIs and criminals aren’t as clever as they think.

Does Apple not brick these devices within minutes/hours of a theft?

Seems like you’ve got to be pretty stupid to risk prison stealing with something that gets turned into a paperweight after stealing?

Because that just causes more violence. If people think the staff have a “magic button” then they’ll start harming the staff. Also, Apple is more interested in the brand than a few iPhones in pawn shops. People paid for the devices and probably didn’t know. Those people are going to buy apps and Apple gets its 30%.

It’s the same reason cell companies were so slow to blacklist phones a decade ago. The stolen device has to be used and someone hasn’t to PAY them for it. The company gets some money from a customer that didn’t know and is replacing a broken device or buying an extra line. It’s doe make you customers to go around accusing people of stealing when they’re giving you money.

When others resort to calling thieves as animals vs the people they are something so VERY wrong in society. Here are a number of factors that may have led or directed some or all these individuals to commit these or other crimes. Their not killing people, eating people, sexually assualting or raping people - these I’d classify as animals. Either way people have rights too even criminals ... it’s not for them but it’s to those of us that live, thrive and contribute to society, learn from our mistakes and grow to keep ALL of us from falling down to dark times.

Have you not read the bible, Shakespeare or even Lord of The Flies? All I’ve said is pretty much explained in each.

Yes we want justice served yet don’t let yourself become closer to them by classifying them as animals when you really know nothing about them beyond the crime committed. After all this IS a crime ring which shows some form of planning or intelligence to plan and has. Even going on for long.

I agree that we should not dehumanize perpetrators. The goal is to punish the actions, and hopefully get them to be useful members of society again.

But smash and grabs like this really are a type of social violence. It’s not just taking stuff, but daring people to challenge them. They “smash and grab” with customers in the store. They’re basically threatening the owners of the store that the robbers will hurt the customers. The store puts up security, the robbers bring crowbars and hammers. The customers see crowbars and hammers, now people get hurt.. then it’s an arms race to steal more violently.

It’s not just “organized shoplifting” they are making serious implied threats and need to be harshly punished for it.
Rating: 4 Votes

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