Apple Store gets robbed twice during iPhone XS launch weekend

Apple Palo Alto
Palo Alto Apple Store. Representational Image Only

Apple Store robberies are on the rise in the US, with dozens of outlets getting burgled over the past few months. A recent case takes the cake though. Two separate groups of thieves targeted the same shop twice barely 12 hours apart.

Palo Alto Online broke the news recently, describing how a group of 8 men entered the Palo Alto Apple Store and took off with demo iPhone units, including the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. According to the police, they stole about $57000 worth of iPhones and various other devices before fleeing the premises in multiple vehicles.

Apple Store Robbery: Part Two

All this went down at 7 pm on Saturday, September 22. About 11 hours later on Sunday morning, another set of thieves came knocking and took off with $50000 worth of iPhones, iPads, and other goods.

The Apple Store wasn’t open at the time, so the robbers had to smash the glass front doors open with rocks. No one was around at the time, but a passerby noticed the shattered door at around 5:50 am and called the cops.

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It’s not clear if these burglaries were connected in any way. Both are pretty brazen considering the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max got launched just that Friday. Apple CEO Tim Cook was even present at the unveiling.

Apple’s current system makes sure demo products are basically bricks if they exit the Apple Store. Each of them run on a special OS which contains a kill switch. This safety measure disables the device the moment it goes out of the shop’s Wi-Fi range.

Even if the iPhone is useless, thieves can still sell the handset for parts. It’s also possible that they know a way to bring the device to life even if it’s been disabled by Apple.