In a daring heist that seems straight out of a Hollywood movie, thieves tunneled their way into an Apple Store in the US and made off with 436 iPhones worth a jaw-dropping $500,000. The incident took place at the Alderwood Mall in Seattle, where the thieves broke into a neighboring coffee shop, Seattle Coffee Gear, and cut a hole in the bathroom wall to gain access to the backroom of the Apple Store.
Eric Marks, the regional retail manager, expressed his surprise at the heist, saying that he had no idea that the coffee shop was adjacent to the Apple Store. “Someone really had to think it out and have access to the mall layout,” he told King 5 News, a local news channel. Meanwhile, the CEO of the coffee shop, Mike Atkinson, posted a picture of the tunnel that the burglars created in the Apple Store’s bathroom on Twitter.
Seattle Coffee Gear had to spend nearly $900 to replace their locks and expects to spend between $600 and $800 on bathroom repairs. The police are investigating the crime, and Alderwood Mall is assisting them. However, the speed and accuracy of the burglary have led some people, including Atkinson, to believe that it was an inside job.
This heist is not the first time that Apple Stores have been targeted by thieves. The retail price of Apple products, especially the iPhone 14, which starts at $799, makes them no less valuable than gold and in high demand in black markets. Moreover, Apple Stores often do not have their own security personnel and rely on the security provided by the mall they are located in.
The incident highlights the need for better security measures to protect valuable products from theft. Apple has not made any statement about the theft and usually does not comment on store thefts. However, it is likely that the company is taking steps to ensure that such incidents do not happen again in the future.