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January 02, 2013

Thieves Break into Paris' Apple Store on New Year's Eve

By Shankar Pandiath, TMCnet Contributor

On New Year’s Eve, masked men forced their way into an Apple (News - Alert) retail store in Paris and made off with about $1.32 million worth of Macs, iPhones and iPads.

The French press reported that up to $1.3 million in goods were stolen at the store selling products such as Apple's iPhones and iPads behind the Paris Opera house, a figure police would not immediately confirm.

Police said that the theft occurred about 9 p.m. on Monday, about three hours after closing time, when the police were mostly deployed around the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue where revelers traditionally gather on New Year's Eve. 

Image via Shutterstock

Christophe Crepin of the Unsa police union said it was a "well prepared" operation and was carried out by four masked and armed individuals.

Police have claimed that there is a change in the profile of victims, as thieves become less likely to steal cash and more likely to steal phones which are "highly sellable on the second-hand market.”

The daily Le Parisien reported that the thieves entered the store by threatening a security guard at a back entrance.  The suspects are said to have broken in through an employee entrance, slightly injuring a cleaner and a security guard and later escaped in a van.

Apple products have been a hot commodity for thieves this year. In November 2012, more than $1.5 million worth of iPad minis were stolen from a cargo building at John F. Kennedy airport. However, the thieves were later arrested.

The Apple Store heist is currently being investigated by French authorities.

The theft comes as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg (News - Alert) claimed that the theft of Apple goods has contributed to rising street crime figures in the city.

Paul Browne, the New York Police Department’s top spokesman told the WSJ, ”Overall crime in the five boroughs is up three percent so far this year, driven by the thefts of Apple products.” Browne said there would actually be a “slight decline in crime citywide” had thefts of Apple products remained the same.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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