It’s not the most thrilling heist in the world, but it’s definitely effective. Last week, police in New York reported that a pair of thieves managed to steal 19 iPhones from an Apple store simply by dressing like employees. According to DNAinfo, a thief “dressed similarly” to Apple’s own workers walked into the electronics repair room of a SoHo store on June 1st. He grabbed the iPhones — worth $16,130 — and handed them over to an accomplice who hid them under his shirt. The pair then walked out the store.
The thieves presumably had more on their side than just the correct clothing (you’d need to know the layout of a store to confidently walk over to the spare iPhones), but it’s not the first time Apple has been hit with this ruse. In March, the New York Post reported that thieves robbed one Upper West Side Apple Store twice in a matter of weeks using a similar trick.
Thieves hit the same store twice
Three criminals, including “a woman disguised as an Apple worker,” stole eight phones from the store on February 16th, with a male accomplice distracted the store’s real employees. Then, on March 22nd, another trio (it’s not clear if they were the same gang), managed to steal 59 iPhones worth some $44,000 using the same ploy. That time, a man dressed as an Apple store worker grabbed the devices before passing them to a female accomplice in the bathroom. A third acted as a lookout.
The kicker is that this particular Apple store is used as a training location by the company. A source from the store told the Post that this meant “nobody would question” an unfamiliar face — as long as they were wearing a familiar shirt. Sometimes, good branding can get the better of you.