A group of robbers struck the same Marina District Apple store on two separate occasions in the final days of November, stealing what likely amounts to thousands of dollars worth of electronics. The Chronicle reports that the two incidents took place five days apart, and may or may not have been carried out by the same group.
The first of the two robberies to hit the Chestnut Street store took place on November 25 at 5:40 p.m., and it was over in less than 15 seconds. Store surveillance video shows three hooded individuals rushing in and grabbing phones from shelves as employees and shoppers continue about their business. By the time the red-shirted workers appear to realize they are being robbed, the three perpetrators are already running out the door.
The second robbery occurred on November 29 at 6:40 p.m., and was carried out in almost exactly the same manner. However, perhaps inspired by the success of their prior pilfering, a fourth hooded criminal joins in the second time around.
The SFPD is asking for the public's help in identifying the thieves, and has classified the case as commercial grand theft. The swarm-style of these crimes resembles the technique of the now-busted Rainbow Crew. However, those thefts mainly targeted clothing stores and seemed to be less tightly organized than the November Apple incidents.
And you may remember that we predicted it was only a matter of time before Apple stores were hit with this exact style of robbery. The company's odd October decision to no longer tether display models down and instead let them roam free seemed the like perfect recipe for the type of robberies that just went down.
As Techradar wrote at the time, Apple likely wasn't too worried about potential thefts of the non-tethered phones — telling would-be thieves that "If you’re not pounced on by a security guard before you feel the warmth of the sunlight and actually manage to get away with the phone, Apple will simply brick it from afar using the Find My iPhone feature, leaving you with a very expensive paperweight."
Either the crew that hit the Chestnut Street store knows something we don't or didn't get the message, as that common sense warning obviously had no effect on them.