Thieves strike Palo Alto Apple Store, two days in a row

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Days after Tim Cook appeared at the opening of the Palo Alto location for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max launch, the store was robbed Saturday afternoon, and then again the following morning.

The recent epidemic of Apple Store thefts throughout California have reached the location in Steve Jobs' hometown of Palo Alto- the day after CEO Tim Cook appeared at the store for the launch of the new iPhones.

On Saturday afternoon, according to Palo Alto Online, a group of eight young men took "new demo iPhones" as well as iPads, before fleeing in multiple cars. Then, in a separate theft discovered early the following morning, someone shattered the store's front door and made off with another $50,000 worth of iPhones and iPads, the site said.

Cook, as he often does for the first day of new product releases, visited the store on Friday, counting down to its opening and posing for selfies with customers.

The Palo Alto store, which Apple described in a 2010 filing as a "prototype" store, reopened in June of this year following extensive renovations.

Thefts have been taking place at Apple Stores throughout California for most of this year, leaving law enforcement authorities unsure of just how connected the thefts are. A bystander videotaped one theft in Santa Rosa last week, as well as the aftermath, in which two security guards and two civilians subdued and handcuffed one of the thieves. Most of the thefts have followed the template of the first Palo Alto crime, with groups of thieves running into the store during business hours, grabbing items, and running out. Afterhours break-ins have been much less frequent.

A San Francisco Chronicle report this week found that a total of at least $281,000 worth of merchandise was taken from Bay Area Apple Stores between late August and late September.