Stealing from an Apple Store is so easy people are doing it time and again

Apple Store 5th Ave in NYC
Apple Store 5th Ave in NYC (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple Stores are seen as easy targets by thieves.
  • High value product often isn't secured.
  • Large, open doors make getting away easier.

Apple Stores have long been seen as a soft touch by thieves thanks to the sheer volume of product that's lying around on tables. And according to the Chicago Tribune, two men have been arrested in New York after helping themselves to Apple Watches and AirPods.

Boubakar Toure, 20, of New York, N.Y., and Isaiah Thomas, 21, of Bronx, N.Y., were arrested and accused of felony theft and resisting police after stealing $9,600 worth of Apple watches and $2,400 worth of AirPods from The Apple Store in Orland Square Mall Feb. 21.

That, of course, is a bad thing to do and surely everyone involved has learned their lesson. Except one of the men was arrested for doing the same thing two years ago, as I noticed after a quick search.

On April 12, 2018, Toure – or someone with the same name, at least – was arrested by police as he was on his way out of the Greenwich Avenue Apple Store. And that's not all. Police were called after the store's manager spotted Toure and recognized him from a previous theft at the very same store!

According to police, the store's manager notified the department that Toure and two other suspects from a shoplifting incident earlier in the month had come back to the store on the 12th.Toure was the only one of the three to be apprehended. Police confiscated a stolen $100 Apple Pencil and $200 earbuds from him, but what items he and the others allegedly took in the previous incident were not disclosed.

I've heard previously that Apple knows about the theft problem at its stores – how could it not? – but has decided that the shrinkage is worth it to make it easier for potential customers to take Apple Pencils, Apple Watches, and other products for a spin without needing assistance.

Apple Pencils don't tend to be secured in any way, while Apple Watches are usually kept in place by a surprisingly flimsy security cable. The same goes for iPhones, too. Many Apple Stores don't have their own security, either, instead relying on the teams provided by the mall they're in if at all.

Ultimately, Apple is going to have this problem over and over again at stores around the globe unless it changes the layout of its stores. That's not likely to happen any time soon.

The good news is that this guy has been caught. Twice. Hopefully, he'll think long and hard before finding out whether the third time's a charm.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.