SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Apple stores around the Bay Area have been targeted for robbery multiple times in recent weeks, but now some stores have extra security in place for the holiday season.
At least four Bay Area Apple stores have been hit by thieves recently. The store in Burlingame alone was hit three times last month.
Tis the season for holiday shopping and at the Marina District Apple store, that means it happens under the watchful eye of two security guards.
“Shocked, but not shocked,” said Apple customer Arleen Recio when asked what she thought of the increased security. “It’s the Christmas and this is a hot commodity.”
The stores have become hot targets for crime. There have been at least eight Bay Area robberies of Apple stores. Many of them with the same tactic seen in surveillance video from the Marina District store released by San Francisco police Friday.
Men in hoods are seen swarming into the store during evening rush hour and grabbing whatever merchandise they can before running away. The quick grab robberies have also happened in Corte Madera, Burlingame and three times in Berkeley.
“They’re not there for long, said Sgt. Andrew Frankel with the Berkeley Police Department. It’s a property crime focused theft. We know what they’re there for and we’re working with Apple and the business district to see what we can do to stem that type of crime.”
Officially, Apple doesn’t comment on its security measures, but KPIX 5 sources say Apple has contracted with a company out of LA to provide security for the stores most at risk.
The move may be out of place in Apple’s culture, but the customers we talked to are grateful the security guards are there.
“Oh yeah, yeah. That’s the last thing you want is to be in the store and get robbed,” said Recio.
The security guards are being stationed both inside and outside the stores. While no one has been hurt in the robberies, sources said the thieves did put their hands on store employees during one of the more recent robberies in Burlingame.
Police in San Francisco also appeared to be increasing patrols past the store in the Marina District on Friday.