Video of daylight Apple Store robbery provokes difficult conversation

"Society is so broken in California..."

From K A L E O (@CryptoKaleo)'s Twitter account, posted Wednesday:

My take: Everybody in the long comment thread (4,757 responses and counting) who has ever worked retail offered some variation on this response...

They're holding customers back so they don't potentially get hurt. Companies like this train too avoid loss of life or lawsuits from injuries. Also - each one of those phones is accounted for and rendered useless.

18 Comments

  1. Steven Philips said:
    I’m guessing that the (apparent) lack of store security or silent alarm to alert mall security is also intentional to avoid another mall shootout. What about security cameras? At some point they have to leave the mall, find a vehicle, drop their masks?

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    December 1, 2022
  2. S Lawton said:
    “They’re holding customers back so they don’t potentially get hurt. Companies like this train too avoid loss of life or lawsuits from injuries. ” Yup

    0
    December 1, 2022
    • Bart Yee said:
      Yeah, the gun was displayed, laser pointed at the ex-GF’s chest, in this case the two people who tackled the shooter saved the GF, but in the struggle the gun went off 3 times, 1 barely missing the tacklers head and another shattering the bar’s back wall mirror. It could have been really bad either way.

      A related story on that page:
      “Texas judge rules that disarming those under protective orders violates their Second Amendment rights”

      “A Texas federal judge declared it was unconstitutional to disarm someone who is under a protective order, setting into motion a likely legal fight over who can possess firearms — a move that advocates say could have wide-ranging impacts on gun access across the county.
      U.S. District Judge David Counts, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, ruled last week that banning those under a protective order from possessing a gun infringes on their Second Amendment rights.

      Judges who deem people a danger to family members or intimate partners can take the extra step to issue a protective order requiring people to relinquish the guns they already have. Federal law currently prohibits domestic abusers who are charged with a felony, misdemeanor or are under a protective order from possessing a gun.”

      I wonder about the rights of anyone who then becomes a victim?

      3
      December 1, 2022
  3. Bob Goldstein said:
    I don’t believe the phones are rendered useless. The Apple stores have been robbed forever. I also believe a lot of the robberies are by organized gangs which would not do it if the merchandise was worthless. I had been inside local Apple stores 3X when robberies occurred. Now at one of the stores there is always a police car out front

    1
    December 1, 2022
    • Fred Stein said:
      I think you are correct that there is a back-end for these items, net value being far less than retail price. It would be nice for law enforcement to go after the back-end as organized crime.

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      December 1, 2022
  4. Bart Yee said:
    Consider if a semi-automatic firearm suddenly appears and is fired indiscriminately into the store – the Palo Alto store is a long rectangle, it opens onto University Ave., basically a small town two lane street and faces the end of an incoming street. The Store is not part of a mall. It has large double glass doors as it’s only front entry.
    At this time of the year, 20-30 staff are helping 30-50 customers. The store likely has plainclothes security (my two local stores have them) but they are not visibly armed. If a criminal using a semi- or automatic weapon, 10-20 or more people will be hit within 15-30 seconds, plus many will be stampeded as they try to rush backwards for cover. So any attempt to engage the perps after they gain entry (unless there were police in the store at the time) could / would escalate rapidly and unpredictably.

    1
    December 1, 2022
  5. Bart Yee said:
    I believe each of the iPhones is programmed into Demo Mode and is self aware of any disruption or disconnection from its mounting.

    If I was Apple, and the disruption is not addressed within a period of time, I’d have the unit go into Stolen mode – locked, encrypted, fully charged, and sending out a Find My locator beacon via cellular, Bluetooth, or WiFi connection as it finds them. Of course, all of these units are serial and IMEI number inventoried, and taken without any packaging. If they are resold to someone for parts or resale, they’ll still be traceable.

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    December 1, 2022
    • David Emery said:
      It is interesting to think about iPhones stolen from a store acting as Airpods, allowing the police (if they so choose) to track the phones and arrest the perps. But it’s not clear to me that police in -many jurisdictions- spend much time on robberies these days.

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      December 1, 2022
  6. Bart Yee said:
    The total worth of the products stolen to Apple was estimated at $35K max (no pun intended). The safety of Apple Store customers and staff is paramount above any Apple products.

    If this CryptoKaleo idiot cowboy thinks escalating a robbery in progress in a crowded store with innocent bystanders is a good idea, he’s more narcissistic than most. A gun, knife, or worse, getting taken as hostage, or even worse, getting killed isn’t worth whatever glory you think you’re getting. Unless your some kind of trained military or law enforcement, let the situation play out, hopefully peacefully, and let police deal with it.

    In the video, staff is also texting and notifying 911 most likely. I’ll assume having police come in with lights and siren could potentially create a hostage or barricade situation. Better to have police on the periphery within a few blocks and try to apprehend at a distance, excluding a high speed chase.

    3
    December 1, 2022
    • Neal Guttenberg said:
      Bart,

      I took the opening comment by CryptoKaleo as a not so subtle swipe at California being a more liberal state.

      1
      December 1, 2022
      • Bart Yee said:
        Neal, I agree, a swipe which suggests other states or regions should, could, would have handled this much differently, perhaps with deadlier outcomes for criminals and bystanders? Collateral damage?

        Oh well!

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        December 1, 2022
  7. Bart Yee said:
    A cursory search on Apple Store Palo Alto robbery keywords suggests the Palo Alto store gets robbed frequently. Since 2015, at least 10 times, maybe more.

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    December 1, 2022
    • Bart Yee said:
      But the Palo Alto Store does have bollards installed to stop cars being used as battering rams or crashed into the store. It’s not pictured in Apple’s official pictures but visible in local pics:

      9to5mac dot com /2018/06/30/apple-store-palo-alto-redesign-photos/amp/

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      December 1, 2022
  8. Hugh Lovell said:
    My Apple Retail training for these types of robberies (not including gunfire or a violent individual) was to guide customers away from the robbers and toward the back of the store. This was to prevent customers taking aggressive behavior toward the robbers (believe me, some did, verbally and physically) and escalating the situation. When display iPhones were taken from the store, geolocation triggered a shutdown and made the iPhone emit a very loud alarm. This resulted in the device frequently being discarded at the earliest opportunity by the robber. Additionally, serial numbers were recorded and marked as “stolen,” so none of these devices will be serviced at any Apple store.

    0
    December 2, 2022

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