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Thursday, August 30, 2007, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Third Apple retail store burglarized this month

Burglars smashed the front window of the Apple Inc.'s Saddle Creek retail store in Memphis, Tenn. Tuesday morning, making off with $25,000 worth of goods in less than a minute flat.

The break-in was the third at an Apple retail store and fourth at an Apple facility this month, underscoring a brewing problem for the Cupertino-based company as it prepares to stock its retail outlets with millions of dollars in additional merchandise ahead of the holiday shopping season.

ifoAppleStore reports that crooks smashed their way into the Saddle Creek Apple store at 4:22 a.m. Tuesday morning and within 60 seconds had stolen $25,000 worth of merchandise, including 10 iPhones, one iMac and six MacBook laptops.

Police said the break-in triggered an alarm and an officer arrived less than a minute later, but the suspects had already fled. Some fixtures and two digital cameras were reportedly damaged in the burglars' haste.

An investigation is currently underway to determine whether the crime is related to several other break-ins at a nearby chain of Patton Comptuers & Electronics stores earlier this summer. Those burglaries prompted the retail chain to post videos of the crimes.

Earlier this month, Apple's University Village retail store in Seattle, Wash. was hit by thieves, as was its Country Club location in Kansas City, Mo. Two former Apple employees were also detained on Sunday for a thwarted burglary attempt at the company's Elk Grove facility in Calif.