Crime blotter: Apple Store thefts reported on two continents

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Apple Store thefts reported in the United States and Australia, one theft victim fought back in an attempted iPad sale, a spate of iPhone seizures in Bali performed by monkeys, and more in the Apple crime blotter.

The Apple Store in Perth in Western Australia

The latest in an occasional AppleInsider series, looking at the world of Apple-related crime.

More than $300,000 in products stolen from Australia Apple Stores

In thefts that made worldwide news, six thieves broke into a pair of Apple Stores in Perth, Australia, and stole $300,000 in iPhones and other products. Per Gizmodo, the thieves broke into at least one of the stores by smashing the glass with a sledgehammer at 2 a.m. After fleeing, the thieves went to another store and executed a similar theft. However the iPhones, police said, were bricked and therefore useless to the thieves.

Apple Store thieves in San Mateo caught on video

In a theft a bit closer to home for Apple, a recent rash of Apple Store robberies in the Bay Area continued last week when thieves ran into the Apple Store at the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo and grabbed items. This led to a chase that crossed the Bay Bridge, although the accused thieves got away.

According to KTVU, the thieves took about 40 items, and the thefts were caught on security video:

Burlingame Apple Store hit for third time in a month

There was another Bay Area Apple Store robbery on August 30, when thieves took $70,000 worth of items from the Apple Store location in Burlingame, near San Francisco. San Francisco's CBS station reports the theft was the third at that store in that month. Police are treating the crime as a grand theft.

$3,000 in AirPods taken from Target

Police in Wareham, Mass., are looking for a man who they say stole $3,000 worth of AirPods from a Target in the area. Per South Coast Today, the theft took place on August 30.

Couple accused of dragging 15-year-old during iPhone theft

A married couple in Utah are each facing a felony count of aggravated robbery, after an incident in which they dragged a teenaged girl with their car after attempting to steal her iPhone. According to St. George News, the couple had met the 15-year-old on an e-commerce app and agreed to buy her iPhone, but when they met they attempted to steal it.

After the couple attempted to drive off, the girl reached into the car, at which point the couple punched her, and the male "sped off with the teen's torso still halfway inside the vehicle."

Woman says she tackled thief during iPad sale

In another case involving an e-commerce sale of an Apple device that turned to violence, a Texas woman claims she tackled a man who was trying to steal her iPad during a sale arranged through the Offer-Up app. Click 2 Houston reports the woman and men met outside a Best Buy for the transaction, but when the man handed her money, it "looked fake." When the man grabbed the iPad and ran, the woman and her husband chased and tackled him, getting the iPad back before he fled in a getaway car.

Amazon driver accused of stealing iPhone

A man who works for an Amazon-contracted courier service its accused of stealing an iPhone from a woman's driveway. According to the Times Herald the phone, which belonged to the woman's son, had fallen out of the family truck, and a Find My iPhone search revealed the delivery driver had it.

The driver, who threw the phone out a window when it started getting location pings, was arrested and charged with theft by taking.

Suspect wanted in armed robbery of two iPhone 7 devices

Thieves often steal dozens of iPhones at a time without the benefit of a weapon, but one man recently pulled a gun and only came up with two. Alabama News reports the man entered a cell phone store in Montgomery, Ala. in July, pulled a gun, and obtained two iPhone 7 units along with currency from the register. Police say he may have committed other robberies in the area.

Monkeys are stealing electronic devices in Bali

Australians who visit Bali are taking out insurance for an unusual reason — because monkeys are stealing tourists' electronic devices, including smartphones. According to, one local insurance company has begun to see faces of theft from "non-human culprits," most notably "aggressive monkeys are often attracted to shiny and light-reflective items like phones and sunglasses."

Also in Bali, there's been an uptick in theft-by-motorcyle incidents involving phones and iPads, presumably carried out by humans and not monkeys.

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