Correction: The heist happened on Wednesday (Sept. 18) night. This morning’s print edition of the Post gave the wrong date. This version has been corrected.
BY SARA TABIN
Daily Post Staff Writer
Nine men stole over $105,000 worth of merchandise from the Stanford Shopping Center Apple Store in a grab-and-run heist, Palo Alto police said.
The suspects, who were all described as being in their early 20s, ran into the store at 8:12 p.m. on Wednesday, picked up all the items they could carry and ran outside. Two getaway cars, a Volkswagen SUV and a Nissan Altima, were waiting for the men. They drove east on Sand Hill Road and disappeared.
The thieves got away with 22 iPads, 10 MacBooks, 71 iPhones and 23 Apple Pencils, according to police Sgt. Craig Lee.
One witness said some of the men were wearing masks, said Lee. They did not brandish weapons.
Wednesday’s robbery is the latest in a series of Apple Store burglaries in the Bay Area. Apple stores in Burlingame, Palo Alto, Santa Rosa, Emeryville, Hillsdale and Walnut Creek have been targeted in similar grab-and-go heists in the past two months.
On Aug. 29, seven young men snatched phones, tablets, and laptops from display tables at the Burlingame Apple Store, Channel 2 reported. The crew broke the cables attached to the devices and ran out of the store with their arms full of stolen electronics. More than $50,000 was taken.
On Aug. 31, a four-member crew of thieves hit Palo Alto’s Apple Store on University Avenue, grabbing $40,000 in merchandise while bystanders watched or shot video of the scene with their iPhones.
The next day, Sept. 1, a crew of four males in hoodies hit the Burlingame Apple Store, taking $50,000 in laptops and phones.
On Sept. 5, three masked men entered an Apple store inside the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo and made off with about 40 items, San Mateo police said.
Lee said he does not know if the incidents are related. He declined to answer questions about the open investigation into the robbery.
He said this style of crime has been common over the past few years.
Seventeen people were arrested and charged by the state Department of Justice for a $1 million robbery scheme targeting Apple stores across the state in 2018. Stores in Oakland and San Luis Obispo were hit in those robberies, along with locations in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties.