apple store upper west side

Apple Stores in New York are under siege by a gang of clever thieves who have been slipping in and walking out with tons of stolen iPhones. How do they do it? It turns out the criminals are taking advantage of Apple's new retail uniforms to impersonate employees.

DNAinfo reports that a man dressed to look like an Apple Store worker grabbed 19 unlocked iPhones (valued at $16,130) and passed them to an accomplice before they walked out of the store. The thief was "dressed similarly" to other employees, who wear simple blue shirts with the company's logo printed near the top right corner. The incident follows a similar case earlier this year where three people stole a whopping 67 iPhones from the Apple Store in New York's Upper West Side neighborhood.

The thieves appear to be taking advantage of Apple's revamped uniforms. The company adopted a permanent style last year instead of switching every few months, making it easy to find an old employee shirt that won't stand out. The Upper West Side location is also used to train new employees, so it's even easier to slip in unnoticed.

These thieves are doing their homework, but now that their tricks have been exposed, they may be out of luck. It's unclear if Apple plans to change its retail uniforms in response; employees will likely be on high alert moving forward.