A group of burglars smashed a rented Kia Soul into the front of the Palo Alto Apple Store on Sunday morning, before making off with numerous devices, local police said.
Local authorities received several reports, around 4:30 a.m., of a vehicle being rammed into the front of the Apple Store, located on 340 University Avenue. Witnesses told police that they saw “several people” running from the store, according to The Mercury News.
When law enforcement arrived, they found another vehicle left in an alley nearby with stolen Macs and iPhones strewn both inside and outside of the car. Apple store surveillance video showed that the robbers entered the store through a hole in the floor-to-ceiling glass front of the retail outlet, SFGate reported.
Police believe that the robbery was carried out by eight to 10 burglars. So far, authorities have apprehended four suspects in connection to the crime, including 19-year-old Shaquin K. Ferguson and 18-year-old Erica Jaynisha White. The other two suspects were juveniles aged 16 and 17, police said. All four of the suspects were arrested on suspicion of burglary, vandalism and conspiracy, according to a press release.
While Ferguson was on parole for a weapons charge, none of the suspects have been linked to other Apple store burglaries in the Bay Area. Police are searching for the other four to six suspects, and haven’t gave an estimate on how much the stolen property was worth, the Mercury News reported.
Robberies have been a problem for Apple retail stores lately, since the company’s glass fronts are fairly easy to break through. In response, several Apple Stores — including the Palo Alto location — has installed metal posts to protect the storefronts from cars. But in Sunday’s burglary, the suspects bypassed the security measures by driving onto the sidewalk of a neighboring business, AppleInsider reported.
Smash-and-grab burglaries haven’t been the only threat to Apple Stores, either. A string of robberies have hit Apple Stores during retail hours this year, including one heist that targeted a Massachusetts location in October. Another group of thieves — disguised as Apple Store employees — managed to swindle 19 iPhones from a New York City outlet in June.
The Palo Alto location was closed for the remainder of Sunday, but reopened on Monday — even though the windows are now boarded up, according to Apple spokesman Nick Leahy.
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