Thieves Steal More Than £168,000 in Apple Products After Smashing Glass Wall With Sledgehammer

By Melanie Ehrenkranz on at

Early Tuesday morning, six people broke into two Apple stores in Australia by smashing the glass enclosure with a sledgehammer, according to surveillance footage.

According to a Facebook post by the Western Australia Police Force, one of these theft attempts was successful, with the group leaving with more than $300,000 AUD (£168,000) of products, which were mostly iPhones.

The first attempt occurred around 2:15 am at a store in Hay Street, according to police, in which the group smashed their way into the store, but left before they could steal anything due to a passing cab.

“We know the presence of the taxi caused the group to flee the scene,” Detective Senior Constable Matt Whelan said in the video.

The group then headed to another Apple Store in the suburbs of Perth, threatened the security guard, broke the glass wall, and successfully stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of products, according to ABC Australia. Whelan said in the video on the police force’s Facebook page that the stolen products have effectively been bricked.

“The manufacturer knows what phones have been stolen and security measures will be enabled meaning these telephones are useless,” he said. “We want the public to not spend their hard-earned money on items that don’t work.”

Two cars connected to the thefts were found “burnt out” in Perth’s suburbs, ABC reported.

While this is one of the more destructive attempts at robbing an Apple store, it’s not the first, and it’s not the most fruitful. On New Year’s Eve ringing in 2013, several armed individuals stole over €1 million (£908,000) worth of Apple products from a Paris store several hours after it was closed, taking nearly 40 minutes to move items from the stock room to a getaway car. In 2017, three dudes in the US stole up to 313 iPhone X devices that were reportedly in a UPS truck outside of an Apple Store in San Francisco during broad daylight. That amounts to more than $370,000 (£306,000). And in perhaps the most impressive theft, four people, also in the US, stole more than $27,000 (£22,000) in iPhones and MacBooks from an Apple Store in Fresno, California by simply running in and grabbing the devices from the display tables. It all happened in under thirty seconds.

“By supporting or by buying these black-market products, you’re ultimately causing these burglaries to occur because you’re generating this market where people can buy technology cheap,” Whelan said, ABC News reported, “so that makes this group of people want to do this again.”

Featured image: Screenshot: Western Australia Police Force (Facebook)