New Apple Store shirts may have helped thieves pose as staff to steal $66k’s worth of iPhones


Thieves dressed as Apple Store staff have stolen a total of $66,000’s worth of iPhones in two separate thefts at retail stores in New York. Apple’s Upper West Side store was targeted back in March, when 67 iPhones worth almost $50k were stolen, followed by the theft of 19 phones worth $16k from the SoHo store last week.

Police now believe that the same thieves may be responsible for both. The criminals seemed to have done their research well, notes Gizmodo

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It’s clear that these thieves know their way around an Apple store. In all the robberies, the suspects “dressed similarly” to Apple employees, walking directly to the drawers where brand-new, unlocked iPhones were stored. And the Upper West Side location is a particularly smart target since it’s used to train employees—an unfamiliar face wearing the uniform wouldn’t stick out.

It’s not known whether the thieves wore genuine or fake shirts, but the new shirts introduced last year and subsequently updated may have made the ruse easier, as there are now multiples styles of shirt in use.

It’s not the first time thieves have used deception to walk out of Apple Stores loaded down with stolen kit. An East Tampa man managed to use a crazily simple con to walk away with $309k’s worth of kit back in 2014, and a former NBA player simply pretended to check out with EasyPay later the same year.


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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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