Apple products are known for their sleek and elegant design, and you’d be hard pressed to go out in public and not see someone somewhere using either an iPhone, iPod, or MacBook. The unique design of Apple’s products, however, make them highly visible (white headbuds, anyone?) and subsequently an inviting target for thieves.
Most recently, a group of thieves from Los Angeles have been staking out Apple Stores and monitoring which customers leave with a new product in hand. Those customers are then followed and if they happen to park their car and leave their merchandise unattended, the thieves spring into action and make off with a product that could cost anywhere from $200 to $2000.
According to the LA Times, 3 individuals from Orange County were recently charged with committing over 28 burglaries as described above, but authorities believe that the crime ring responsible for a string of over 100 such robberies is much larger.
As for recovering the stolen goods, the authorities haven’t had much luck, with Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino suggesting that they’re being “shipped out of the country or fenced right away.”
Unfortunately, this is hardly the first time Apple products have been targeted by thieves looking to make a quick buck. Just a few weeks ago, a man in a pickup truck rammed his vehicle into the store of an Apple re-seller in Utah before making off with iMacs and Apple Cinema Displays. And this past November, nearly 4,000 iPhones were stolen from a warehouse in Belgium in what’s been tagged as an inside job. And how can we forget about a team of crooks from New Jersey who blasted into an Apple Store and stole an assortment of MacBook Pros, iPods, and iPhones in less than a minute.
Tragically, some Apple related crime ends in death, as was the case two weeks ago when a 21 year old man from Washington was shot after an argument over a stolen iPod. In a similar incident nearly four years ago, a 15-year old was murdered after refusing to hand over his iPod to a group of teenagers, prompting Steve Jobs to personally call the family and extend his condolences.
While me not hear of Apple related crime too often here in the US, it’s a lot bigger problem abroad, where Apple products are typically more expensive and therefore more attractive to thieves, especially in impoverished countries where you’d be well-advised not to flash an iPhone out in public.