Around 9 pm on Monday, three hours after the Opera Apple Store in Paris closed its doors for the night, four armed robbers broke in through the back door and stole £1M / $1.6M / €1.2M worth of gadgets.
Three hours after the store’s close of business and just as much time before the New Year, four masked thieves carrying handguns broke through a back entrance, injured a security guard and proceeded to grab “smartphones and tablets” and loaded them into a van parked nearby.
The burglars managed to run off before the authorities arrived to look at the CCTV surveillance footage. The police says they’re doing “everything possible” to catch the perps.
The stolen goods reportedly amount to 1 million pounds, or around €1.2 million / $1.6 million. The perpetrators also helped themselves to some cash from the registers, according to Christophe Crepin, an Unsa police union official.
Crepin told Le Parisien newspaper that “the four hooded and heavily armed criminals made their move very quickly. Most of the police forces were being mobilised to monitor the Champs Elysees, so the robbers have clearly benefitted from this opportunity to strike.”
This is the first ever organized raid on an Apple Store. It’s also the first heist of its kind in France where fire arms are used.
Stealing Apple products to sell them on the black market is a lucrative business anywhere in the world. In France, the black market in stolen Apple goods is very strong, according to the UK’s Daily Mail.
The Apple retail store in the Opera district in Paris reported “outstanding” business over Christmas and New Year, according to the publication.
However, until the crooks are caught, Apple will have to chalk up a £1M / $1.6M / €1.2M loss for the profitable venue.