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VIDEO: As Apple employees watch helplessly, thieves take $35K in merchandise on Black Friday

One threatens customers during robbery at crowded downtown Palo Alto store

Two people who entered the Apple store in downtown Palo Alto on Nov. 25 during a busy Black Friday sales event made off with an estimated $35,000 in merchandise, Palo Alto police said.

Palo Alto police are investigating that occurred at the Apple store at Stanford Shopping Center on Nov. 25, 2022. Embarcadero Media file photo.

The theft, captured on video, was reported at 340 University Ave. at 4:17 p.m., acting police Capt. James Reifschneider said. The video shows the duo walking among customers stealing multiple iPhones and laptops from the display tables, ripping them from their security cords. In the video, Apple employees could be seen trying to protect customers by moving them out of the way of the thieves.

A store employee heard one of the thieves make a general statement to the crowd of shoppers of physical violence toward anyone who attempted to stop them. The threat elevates the crime from a burglary shoplift to a robbery, Reifschneider said. No weapons were seen and no one was injured.

The duo fled in a red Mazda3 hatchback and were last seen by a security guard traveling north on U.S. Highway 101.

Police haven't made any arrests and have limited suspect information. Both were Black males in their late teens or early 20s. According to the video, one was wearing a dark hoodie with a camouflage pattern and a hood with a shark head design, black pants with white athletic stripes, black and red shoes and a black backpack with white markings; the other was wearing a beige hoodie with faded blue jeans and white shoes and a carrying bright red backpack.

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Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the correct location.

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Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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VIDEO: As Apple employees watch helplessly, thieves take $35K in merchandise on Black Friday

One threatens customers during robbery at crowded downtown Palo Alto store

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Nov 30, 2022, 1:22 pm
Updated: Wed, Nov 30, 2022, 9:31 pm

Two people who entered the Apple store in downtown Palo Alto on Nov. 25 during a busy Black Friday sales event made off with an estimated $35,000 in merchandise, Palo Alto police said.

The theft, captured on video, was reported at 340 University Ave. at 4:17 p.m., acting police Capt. James Reifschneider said. The video shows the duo walking among customers stealing multiple iPhones and laptops from the display tables, ripping them from their security cords. In the video, Apple employees could be seen trying to protect customers by moving them out of the way of the thieves.

A store employee heard one of the thieves make a general statement to the crowd of shoppers of physical violence toward anyone who attempted to stop them. The threat elevates the crime from a burglary shoplift to a robbery, Reifschneider said. No weapons were seen and no one was injured.

The duo fled in a red Mazda3 hatchback and were last seen by a security guard traveling north on U.S. Highway 101.

Police haven't made any arrests and have limited suspect information. Both were Black males in their late teens or early 20s. According to the video, one was wearing a dark hoodie with a camouflage pattern and a hood with a shark head design, black pants with white athletic stripes, black and red shoes and a black backpack with white markings; the other was wearing a beige hoodie with faded blue jeans and white shoes and a carrying bright red backpack.

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the correct location.

Comments

Dan Waylonis
Registered user
Jackson Park
on Dec 1, 2022 at 3:52 pm
Dan Waylonis, Jackson Park
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 3:52 pm

This sort of helplessness is very sad. Good citizens know that if they were to get involved, there could be potential lawsuit from the criminals if they were hurt. And recording and posting the video just emboldens other criminals. There needs to be a good solution to deputize or indemnify anyone who gets involved to stop an obvious crime.


JAFO
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Dec 1, 2022 at 6:44 pm
JAFO, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 6:44 pm

Just an Observation,

Dan, in order to "deputize" a person it must be done PRIOR to any official action. Sorry, but until one is CONVICTED of a crime, one cannot be assumed guilty. Remember the Constitution?

The facts are any individual that acts to impersonate a law enforcement officer is committing a crime itself.

I understand that there needs to be more security for the fact that the economic situation has resulted in many people only being able to do criminal action to make a living.

And it is just going to get worse. But trying to give the same qualified immunity to a civilian is simply impossible.


J Randall
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2022 at 6:09 am
J Randall, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 6:09 am

I disagree with assessment that “the economic situation” has driven people to a life of crime without any other options. Aren’t we in a labor shortage? At any rate, the solution is a mix of stronger deterrent and installment of posh recreation centers in low income areas that pipeline troubled youth to gainful employment. Extend school day until 9pm with music and video game clubs, with a good dinner, so these kids start to love and respect program from early age.


CA Native
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Dec 12, 2022 at 2:28 pm
CA Native, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Dec 12, 2022 at 2:28 pm

Missing from this report:
As per company policy, employees were more concerned about customer safety.

Within minutes of the robbery all of the missing display items were disabled, rendering them useless to the thieves.

Not saying this is not a bad situation, or that the thieves shouldn't be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but seriously, this is seems to be more of an initiation robbery, given how many times it seems to happen, with the same results.


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