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Thieves smash SUV into Palo Alto Apple Store, steal iPads, iPhones and more

by Todd Haselton | December 5, 2016December 5, 2016 8:30 am PDT

Somewhere between eight and 10 thieves recently slammed an SUV into the Apple Store in Palo Alto, California, and made off with iPhones and iPads, according to Mercury News. Palo Alto is a quick drive away from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. A Kia Soul seems to be the automobile of choice for the Apple Store thieves.

The incident occurred on Sunday morning, according to Mercury News, which noted that at least two of the robbers involved were under the age of 18. Two were aged 18 and 19, while other suspected participants are still at large. Officers said the thieves drove in from Oakland and reportedly used the car to smash a hole in the window and then used the opening to sneak into the store before making off with a variety of Apple gadgets.

Apple can brick stolen iPhones remotely

Apple has actually changed the rules in some of its stores, allowing iPhones to sit on counter untethered, knowing that it can remotely deactivate the devices in case of theft. That’s what makes the crime kind of silly; unless one is trying to steal high-value displays or laptops that might be able to be used without being deactivated from a remote location, the products are basically unusable.

Perhaps the thieves weren’t aware of that, or perhaps they were planning to sell them for a quick buck before Apple turned the iPhones and iPads into bricks. In any case, this is the latest in several robberies at Apple Store locations in the Palo Alto area, and indeed around the US. Just last month, thieves made off with $13,000 of goods from an Apple Store in Massachusetts. Apple’s going to need to continue to step up the security; maybe those glass walls aren’t such a good idea, after all.

Pictures in the gallery above, first compiled by 9to5Mac, were captured by Twitter users SFSorto, Jatesh Mani and _SunilRawat.

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...