Thieves Follow Apple Retail Store Customers

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 2jaded2care, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2003
    Saw a recent article in the neighborhood rag about slow police response times... in it, they related a story of some Apple retail store customers who were apparently followed from the mall by some brazen thieves:

    "This is not the graduation present that one Dunwoody North family wanted to receive. After cashing some checks his stepdaughter received from well wishers, Jim T. (who asked The Crier not to use his full name) took her on Thursday afternoon to Perimeter Mall’s Apple store to buy a laptop computer to be used for college.

    After the purchase, the two walked to their car and laid it on the floorboard, then headed towards home, taking several back roads and making a quick stop at the Dunwoody Blockbuster Video store on Mt. Vernon near Jett Ferry Road. Unbeknownst to Jim and his stepdaughter, their vehicle, a Grand Marquis, had apparently been followed from Perimeter Mall by three people in a white, late model minivan, which parked right next to them.

    When the duo exited the car around 4 p.m., according to witnesses, a Hispanic woman left the van and followed them into the Blockbuster. Seconds later, two men smashed the window of the Grand Marquis, picked up the laptop and a purse containing the remaining graduation money, and fled..."

    Just wanted to post this as a warning to any other soon-to-be college freshmen. Be very careful, those Apple bags and boxes are very conspicuous. And coveted.
  2. aosman macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2008
    Wow, that's pretty scary. I guess online purchasing is the way to go... :(
  3. life is good macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2008
    Victim of thieves after purchasing MacBook

    Curious as to how many others have been victims after leaving an Apple store. Mine was stolen from my car just after I had purchased from Apple store in Brandon, FL. Definitely targeted, that's all they took.
  4. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    That's why I will go straight home when I am done purchasing any item worth a lot. I will do my errands beforehand.
  5. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Sadly Apple makes it way to obvious that you are carry something expensive when you leave the store. They need to start brown-bagging your purchases.

    I always plan ahead when I am going to make an expensive purchase.

    1. Park close to the entrance as possible.
    2. Go directly to the store and make my purchase. No extra stops and no extra bags to carry around.
    3. Go directly to my car and go home. I don't many extra stops. I just go straight home.
  6. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    If they were following you, it'd be worse to lead them home, wouldn't you think? They'd just break into your house and steal who knows what else.

    Better to order it and have it delivered (assuming you can meet the courier at home or at work.)
  7. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    I wonder how many more incidents there are? It is pretty obvious to thieves what you are carrying when you leave the apple store if you have a big bag and a bigger smile.
  8. waffle911 macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2007
    ⇧⌥K = 
    I'd definitely put expensive purchases directly in the trunk of my car (a Saab 9-3 hatchback). If you have a sedan, there's no way to get into a locked trunk. Or in my car, there's the lid called a "parcel tray" that opens and closes over the trunk with the hatch, so even of you did break the rear glass, the tray would be held shut by the locked hatch.
    Even in an SUV or wagon, you should have one of those cargo covers that conceals items in the trunk of your car.
  9. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Hey, what a great way to make some extra cash... Thanks for the tip!
  10. CharlieKirk macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2008
    Whenever I buy anything from Apple, I ALWAYS INSIST on picking it up from the back entrance, and when we go we bring a cloth, and make sure nobody sees it from anywhere.
  11. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
  12. jojo13 macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2008
    That is sad
    but you know what
    Once, Bill Gates (ye ok fine) said : life isn't fair get use to it

    So unfair things happen all the ime get used to it
  13. CharlieKirk macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2008
    You'd prefer to be this family?

    Jeez, act like it is paranoid... I'd prefer to put a cloth over my goods than have em stolen because the dodgy guy across the street wants a new computer.
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    This was always a warning in the Phoenix Valley, mainly because they thought the "Rock Burglar" tended to follow customers of the high end jewelery stores home then hit the house when they went out to dinner later.
  15. jojo13 macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2008
    ok that is a little weird :eek::eek::eek:
  16. Jason Edwards macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2007
    Are you serious ? Most modern cars have a trunk release inside the car so you can pop the trunk without the key. So once you get into the car there is no stopping you from getting access to the trunk.

    However, putting things in the trunk does tend to hide it from people that didn't see you put in there.

  17. jokun macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2008
    Mine has a 'valet lock' just for that purpose. Allows you to lock the trunk release, so even if someone gets into your car they won't be able to get into the trunk.
  18. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    It always serves you well to be aware of your surroundings when
    shopping anywhere. You could be robbed in the parking lot.

    Look around and take notice of anyone following you.
  19. life is good macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2008
    Apple theft, Brandon FL

    Please don't get me wrong, I should not have left the box in the car. I certainly do not blame anyone but myself. It will not help if Apple puts in a brown bag, the thieves are in the store, outside the store and watching. How scary is the thought of being followed if you live close and now they know where you live. Friends of mine were positive they were followed from another Apple store. fortunately that ended well and with some quick thinking they lost the car. I'm sure this is a common occurrence and I plan on looking into it.
  20. yrsonicdeath macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2007
    I always wondered about this. I saw a guy buy a ACD (not sure of the size) and a Mac Pro. and walk out into the mall with both. That's a lot of money to be carrying around showing everyone!
  21. Freewayjim macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2008
    Metro Atlanta
    I've purchased 2 iMacs & my MBP from that store, it's near the center of the mall so you do have somewhat of a trek through crowded areas regardless of where you park, somebody could have noticed them anywhere.

    In fact with all 4 Metro Atlanta Apple Stores this is the case, they are not at all convenient to mall exits & parking areas.

    "Brown Boxing" the products won't help, you see someone carrying something large from a handle out of an Apple Store it's pretty obvious that it's an expensive item. People could be scouting who leaves the store with what from the general mall area as opposed to hanging around in the store.

    There really is no easy solution other than to be aware of your surroundings.
  22. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    You really need to do research before saying anything, this is not the case at all stores regarding computer purchases.

    This is isolated, I'm not sure how Perimeter Mall does things as my wife used to work there and most stores have no easy outside access but Northpoint Mall won't let you walk out the front door with a computer. They make you go around back via service door.

    I bought 2 Macbooks from there at various times (both last year) and each time I had to go around back with my purchase order and a rep met me back there to load up my car. These are small boxes and easy to carry unlike the iMacs so I could have walked out the front but the sales rep told me each time "Sorry you have to pick it up at the back."

    Others have the same experience at other mall stores where you did NOT walk out the front door with a huge purchase.

    I haven't known anyone to purchase any Apple computers at the Perimeter location but I do know that mall has gone to 'SH][T' over the years and is a high target for crime. Especially on the (when facing the mall) right side parking lot.

    This is NOT a global way Apple does things, other mall stores will not let you walk out the front with a computer.
  23. CharlieKirk macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2008
    Just as I was about to tell them we'll pick it up at the rear, with my mp, they said that was the only way. When I saw people going out the front with mb's, mbps, and 20" imacs, I asked him, he said it's not as heavy :rolleyes:
  24. CharlieKirk macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2008
    This completely contradicts of my previous post:

    If they MAKE you go out the back, won't thieves get the idea, and just hang around out back?
  25. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    Thank goodness I've never lived in a place where I worry about people casing the mall.

    Maybe it's time to be more paranoid?

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