New York’s Apple Stores have been hit by a rash of robberies perpetrated by thieves employee lookalikes, the latest heist seeing more than $16,000 worth of iPhones swiped from the company’s swanky SoHo outlet.
The New York Police Department said a man dressed in an outfit similar to Apple Store’s regulation blue T-shirt waltzed into a back-of-store repair workroom at Apple’s SoHo store on June 1, and snatched 19 iPhones valued at $16,130, reports DNAinfo. The hardware was passed off to an accomplice who made off with the loot hidden under his own faux Apple Store blues.
Filching nearly 20 iPhones — likely flipped for filthy, filthy lucre — in a single day is bold, but as Gizmodonotes, the recent thievery might be the latest in a string of heists. Earlier this year the New York Postreported on a small gang of thieves who hit the Upper West Side Apple Store twice in as many months.
Similar to the SoHo job, a woman disguised as an Apple Store worker snuck eight iPhones out of the UWS store in February. Two male partners in crime aided and abetted — one caused a distraction while the other was posted as a lookout. The trio returned to that same store in March and managed to stuff another 59 iPhones into a duffel bag before arousing the suspicion of employees. The 67 stolen iPhones were valued at some $49,300, the report said.
It is unclear why Apple Stores are falling prey to the employee imposter gambit, but some speculate the company’s recent change in uniform code is to blame. When retail chief Angela Ahrendts came on board, one of her first items of business was to unify store dress code by reinstating the iconic blue employee T-shirt with small white Apple logo. Although variations are permitted — short sleeve, long sleeve, crew neck and polo shirt — employees are obliged to wear the same dark blue apparel year round, making it easier for criminals to create copycat designs. AppleInsider was first to report on the “Back to Blue…But All New” policy last year.