December 24, 2013
Apple Store In Berlin Robbed Of Thousands Of Dollars In Merchandise
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Holiday thieves set up an Apple retail store heist in Berlin on Monday morning, stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise.The thieves smashed a stolen car through an Apple store window, grabbing up MacBooks, iPads and iPhones and throwing them into two other vehicles waiting for them. Police said it is a part of a string of robberies that have taken place this year.
According to a report by Bloomberg, this was the seventh similar break-in that has taken place in Berlin this year. Earlier this month thieves drove into Berlin’s Alexa shopping mall and stole about $140,000 worth of electronics.
“These are not amateurs,” Berlin police department spokesman Thomas Neuendorf told Bloomberg by telephone. “We suspect that we’re dealing with a gang.”
The group of thieves used a stolen Opel Corsa vehicle to smash into the Apple store window and escaped in two Audi cars. Shops in Berlin have taken some extra precautions due to the string of robberies by securing merchandise overnight. Since Apple managers locked away their inventories overnight, the thieves were only able to take away the display pieces in the store, which most likely totaled around 20 pieces.
Photos of the crime scene show the black vehicle with a missing hubcap sitting at the front of the store on the cobblestone. The images also show one glass door off its hinges and lying out on the ground, while another door, still attached, is shattered and dented in. iMac computers can still be seen in the background of the photos, along with a few Apple monitors that the thieves did not take.
Although the stolen floor items cost thousands, the real damage is that the store is having to close to clean up just before the holidays. The Kurfürstendamm store had to close up right before Christmas for cleanup and repair, which is a cost that will likely be far more than 20 iPads and iPhones.
There are security features in Apple products that could make it tough for the criminals to sell them. Apple’s iPhones, iPads and MacBooks all have a function that allows the owner to track his/her device, whether lost or stolen. With the “Find My iPhone” feature, owners can lock up their device to keep it from being used by a thief, and a photo can even be captured, inconspicuously, from the iSight camera and emailed to the police. The location of the devices may also be used by police to locate the suspects, or people who may have purchased the stolen product.
While Apple retail store break-ins are uncommon, a similar incident took place last year at Apple’s Promenade Temecula retail store in Temecula, California, according to MacRumors. During this heist, thieves also used a car to break the glass door and security grating.