Smash-and-grab robbers clean out Apple store in 31 seconds

Watch these smash-and-grab burglars clean out the Sagemore Apple store in Marlton, New Jersey in 31 seconds (skip to 0:56 to see it). Reminds me of the game-show where contestants had to fill their shopping carts with the most valuable groceries in a big supermarket as quickly as possible.

(via Engadget)


  1. Weren’t those machines attached to the tables with those security/lock metal cords? Either they aren’t that strong, or something’s fishy here.

  2. If someone I know, and a bunch of people I’ve read about, can track and reclaim their stolen Apple products soon after the thieves begin using them, then i’m thinking Apple can, too. My theoretical wager is that they fence the goods within a month, and the ring is busted within another month.

    I’ll admit that I could just be talking through my hat.

  3. You would have thought that they would have used shatter proof glass? Even re-inforced stuff. Major FAIL on shop designer.

  4. #2 – they probably think the glass isn’t up to apple look & feel specs ;) Which is probably the same reason there aren’t bars or grates.

    Efficiency in grand theft – makes you wonder if they’re employing consultants…

  5. “If you want to find the closest Apple Store with the least security and the most merchandise… yep, there’s an app for that.”

  6. they might at least have waited until the new paradigm-smashing omniscient mini-tablet-iphone-book was launched.

  7. Hang on, they’re ‘pro’s because they knew how to correctly throw a brick through a window? Wow, criminal geniuses! We’re doomed!

  8. No, throwing a brick through a plate glass window doesn’t show “skilled practice”. Grabbing the stuff and getting out in 31 seconds, on the other hand, does.

  9. FSM save me; I hate local evening news.

    “You are about to witness exclusive first-hand surveillance footage of the spectacular smash-and-grab!”

    You just know the reporter’s going to wet himself with the excitement, not just because of the thrilling heist, but because he can sense he’s on a career path to a network job via this report.

    I guess it could be argued that surveillance footage is “first-hand”. I guess.

    Anyway, the video doesn’t quite support the “scared the guard with a we’ve-got-guns gesture” story in the voice-over. When the guard “comes running in”, it’s at 02:07:04, some one-and-one-half minutes after the thieves leave. He didn’t appear to be around when they came in, he didn’t appear to show up until they were gone. Did the first two bad guys go in and threaten him while the other three looted the place? Or was he just in the can?

    I’ve been in lots of electronics shops, but never an Apple store. Don’t they have anti-theft cables on their goodies there? Or is that part of their different-ness?

  10. I’m not sure, but I feel like all the Macs in the SF Apple store are at least locked with security cables. Those Macs just looked plugged in. That’s pretty amazing.

  11. “Welcome to IFFIZ ARTICLES!

    Your one-stop source for free articles. Do you need contents to add to your web site? …”

    IFFIZARTICLES: I’m going to guess… no.

    And if you need to steal material, why not go to the source this blog points to? Be original.

  12. I tripped in the London (Regent Street) Apple Store, and knocked a power cable out of a laptop, which set off an alarm. I think that was it though — they should really use Kensington locks.

  13. The next day….

    “Good morning, welcome to the Apple Store. Please excuse the mess. As you may have heard we had a break in last night. What can I do for you?”

    “No problem. I’d like 31 Macbook Pro power adapters please. I am always losing mine, so I thought I’d stock up.”

  14. Ive been to that Apple Store (I live in South NJ)… its a real upscale shopping center.. They never had locks, or cables on any of the items (only small tethers on some of the smaller iPods).. I was sort of shocked.. but I thought they would have them removed after hours (like a jewelery store).. but I guess not!

  15. I think only the small pocket-able stuff is security cabled, like iPods, iPhones, digital cameras, etc. But I could be wrong.

    Seems like a lot of trouble to go to for LAN party.

  16. I’ve actually shopped at that store several times. Small stuff like iPhones and iPods had security cables, but the bigger stuff didn’t. And it’s a ritzy suburban shopping center on a busy road, so I guess that’s why security was so lax. I’d expect to see metal grates appearing now.

  17. so will microsoft be staging a similar event at one of its new stores just to prove its stuff is as desirable as apple’s?

  18. The comment about a game show reminds me of samples used in a Snog song called ‘Shop’ probably from the very same one. I would think it would be a pretty big chunk off the price being that all those serial numbers would be flagged as stolen property.

    Was pretty cool seeing their entry method, one smash and they swarm in. Really, it would not be at all hard to organise something like that. Apart from finding people to do it. Map out the display setups, mark the targets, assign the targets, et voila. I’d say most readers here could pick the value targets without even being briefed but with a plan I’d guess it could be done fast. I know for myself one brief visit (or hidden camera footage of a visit) and a little visit to would make me cognizant of what is worth taking and what isn’t.

  19. The chance of this being staged to build some more viral ad for Apple products was my first thought, but on the other hand who would buy anything remotely related to security (servers?) from a company whose shops are so easy to rob?

    Also, they put hi res cameras on their laptops and still cannot afford the same technology for surveillance? To be honest those cameras probably have some decent resolution, but the video is certainly scaled down to a point it can’t show anymore if for example one of the robbers has a recognizable tattoo.

  20. This isn’t like any sort of apple store I’ve ever seen, I mean they look like wooden tables and surely they’d be locked down with kensington locks.

    I guess their magsafe adapters worked to their disadvantage this time.

  21. Um, I don’t think they cleaned out the store. They only took the display items. There’s tons more inventory in the back that they didn’t even try to get.

    Now excuse me while I peruse the suburban Philly craigslist.

  22. @20,ELFSPICE:
    “Was pretty cool seeing their entry method, one smash and they swarm in. Really, it would not be at all hard to organise something like that.”

    That’s what military training does: organize your actions in order to take the maximum advantage against the enemy, require the minimum amount of time and minimize losses. With time and practice actions become automatic, as a drummer that doesn’t need to think about every hit while he plays.
    It’s all about organization, which requires leadership. I’m not sure those robbers had any military training, but they have for sure a leader who organizes who is doing what, and when.

    This kind of action also requires a good knowledge of the location and goods to rob, guards, alarm systems, timing, lights, cameras, etc. therefore the internal CCTV old videos will probably help to spot some of the robbers disguised as customers wandering around in work hours taking notes or watching suspiciously the environment.

  23. The way the reporter describes it, it’s almost like a ‘how to’:
    – Look how the savvy crooks wore masks!
    – Look how they made as if they had guns!
    – Look how the split and went in different directions!
    – Look how well they broke that glass!

    Also, did they not think to bring some sort of bag? I suppose if they dropped a laptop, it’s no big deal, since it’s not theirs anyway, but still, it would have simplified things.

  24. fixing the plate glass door will cost nearly as much as the merchandise that got swiped (Apple’s cost, not retail)… may be they should have left the door unlocked

  25. if Apple would just open the downtown Philly store already, these guys wouldn’t need to shop at the Marlton store!

  26. You know what’s interesting? I was able to learn everything that there was to know about the story – thieves broke in, stole everything, were very quick – in about ten seconds worth of reading, whereas the TV news broadcast has to hire two haircuts and breathlessly jerk off over JUST! HOW! EXCITING! this story is for a full minute before we actually get the meat of the story.

    Same thing drives me nuts over at CNN; they’ve got a bunch of video-exclusive stories, but I just go somewhere else so I can get the information at my pace, not the pace of some network poodle.

  27. A tragic day for certain…but don’t forget it’s business at usual down at your local Apple store where they have all the new iPhone 3Gs models, IPods, laptops, and their latest Snow Leopard operating system. COME ON DOWN TODAY!

  28. Boy, that announcer has a lot of…professional appreciation? of their technique. He sounded like a sportscaster.

  29. The problem isn’t just the theives themselves, it is the people who buy these things on the street, at flea markets, Craigslist, and on Ebay. If you see a band new $500 device going for $100 you should know you are buying something stolen.

  30. 1 – Smash and Grab? I hardly know her! (eh, not close)

    2 – Smash and Grab? Damn near killed ’em! (better)

    3 – I for one welcome our new Smash and Grab overlords (too political, too soon)

    4 – In Soviet Russia, Apple Store Smash and Grabs you! (ahhh, just right:)

  31. “You are about to witness exclusive first-hand surveillance footage of the spectacular smash-and-grab!”

    Are all American local news stations like this? Because I would throw my TV out the window if I had *that* playing on every channel at dinnertime o_O

    Way to make the thieves feel proud of themselves. “Hey, lookit! We’re pros!” :D

  32. I’m still amazed none of the laptops where secured to the tables.

    Don’t they sell security chains for this sort of scenario?

    Oh well, I guess if anyone finds a good deal on some Apple laptops with no ac adaptors, you know where they came from.

  33. “Even lazy swine can move like lightning if there’s some swill to be had, eh?”
    best thing i’ve read in months.

    omg thx guy.

  34. Ummm, plate glass windows? really?? I had plate glass windows in my house which was built in the early 60’s. You could lightly throw a shoe at it and it would break.In fact, it did. It was a birkenstock.

    All the Apple stores i have been to out here in SoCal, have doors the thickness of french toast, These things are damn heavy and a brick would most likely bounce right off. Whoever they hired to make those doors, failed miserably.

    I would think Apple would hold the same building standard for all their stores. Maybe now, they will.



    Also, would be fun to have a youtube version with the crooks shouting LEEEROOOY JENKINS! and with Yackety Sax in the background. Too predictable ?

  37. It doesn’t seem to far-fetched to imagine that the Apple Store takes note of the serial numbers of MacBooks and iPhones set up as display models (in the same way that any company keeps records of the SNs of computers assigned to employees). Presuming that the Marlton PD is willing to do their job, it shouldn’t take long to trace a few of the stolen items back to these idiots.

  38. I know from having worked for Apple that they inventory serials and MAC addresses (no pun intended) so as soon as anyone connects to the internet on one of those, they can be traced, unless they take the time to replace the NICs. I doubt the smash-and-grabbers or their fence are going to bother. If so, just look for anyone buying bulk mac compatible laptop NICs in the area.

  39. That was not plate glass; it was obviously tempered (for safety and strength) given how it broke. A properly applied brick will break almost any glass – and tempered glass fails spectacularly.

    What they need is laminated tempered glass – a good bit most costly, but dang is it hard to break. Two layers of tempered glass with a plastic sheet between. We used that on the outer surface of our insulated units in our office; the vendor remarked that it is considered “blast proof” for small values of “blast.”

  40. All of those stolen units will be trackable…

    None of them wore gloves…

    Hmmm. I’ll take, oh… three weeks until they are apprehended.

  41. Although the heist was somewhat planned out – I would hardly call these guys “pro”. The thieves obviously missed the real payload…

    I’m willing to bet that there is a back room in this store filled with shelves stacked with NEW macbooks IN THE BOX with their software and power adapters.

    Certainly those macbooks would fetch a higher price than an obviously stolen, scuffed-up floor model missing it’s power supply.

    Professional burglars? I think not.
    And yeh, that announcer is indeed annoyingly over-excited about the footage.

  42. Those burglers are going to be pissed when they find out how expensive those charging units are, that they left behind.

  43. The Apple Store in question is the new design, with the wooden tables in the middle for displaying computers. I haven’t watched the whole video; they didn’t grab any of the power supplies from the back? And yes, a LOT of local American news is just like that; it all goes back to a station in Miami in the early 80s that decided that what everyone wanted was sensationalism.

  44. @70

    Yes, boxed Macs would be worth more– but would take much more space. Would they be worth 5X as much? Could they be easily concealed? And how much time would it take to get into the back room? Any area they couldn’t scope out in advance is an unknown, and therefore a risk and a time sink.

    Seems like they could have worn gloves, just in case– but from what I saw, they only grabbed the macbooks by the top. Maybe they didn’t touch anything left behind.

    Eh, I’d give it a 7. I expect they’ll be caught, but I’ll wager it’ll be because of something stupid they did afterward. Talking to the wrong person, buying too many AC adaptors, something like that. Keep in mind that the police don’t spend any effort trying to track stolen property. The busts they do make are almost always due to stupidity on the part of criminals. Police only care about crimes that generate revenue or good PR. The TV coverage may make catching these guys worthwhile in terms of PR.

  45. The store next door to the Apple Store in question is one of the newfangled Microsoft stores and was entirely untouched.

  46. Viral marketing? Probably not. Although the station just about fell over itself trying to make it like marketing. The way they kept featuring the Apple logo, they way they used the iphone graphic as a video frame–the result certainly functions as marketing for apple, even if it wasn’t planned to be.

    Also, seeing this makes me so glad I stopped watching tv years ago. The newscaster’s fawning idolatry is downright embarrassing.

    I’m with #38 Anonymous: Same thing drives me nuts over at CNN; they’ve got a bunch of video-exclusive stories, but I just go somewhere else so I can get the information at my pace, not the pace of some network poodle.

    Exactly! I can read a news story and get information much faster than any newscast. For the same reason, I can’t watch recently produced tv documentaries. You get about a 3X5 card’s worth of information stretched out over a full hour.

  47. #42 Man so agree.

    Everybody else: I loved that it made my day. Really, twas pretty hype.

    Was impressed.

    These bitches are ‘spensive. I totally get it.


  48. #34: supermarket sweep – that phrase is used in the samples in the snog song ‘shop’


  49. “The thieves were savvy enough to know there would be video cameras…”

    It’s almost as if news commentators feel they have to fill in the void sometimes… with more void.

  50. For the price of a few used laptops that’s a fair amount of free media publicity, just to coincide with the launch of Snow Leopard…

  51. I heard a news reporter from Boise, ID refer to the act of a man hitting a random woman on the head with a hammer as “amazing”.

    That’s why I prefer to watch Close-Up Animals with a Wide Angle Lens Wearing Hats.

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