By Da Lin

CORTE MADERA (CBS SF) – Another robbery at a North Bay Apple store is prompting questions about what security guards are doing. Investigators believe Apple’s security policy might be the reason why these thieves keep coming back.

The Central Marin Police Authority released three photos of the thieves grabbing and running off with electronics from a Corte Madera Apple store on Wednesday.

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Eyewitness photos of several men suspected of robbing an Apple Store in Corte Madera on August 22, 2018. (Central Marin Police Authority)

Eyewitness photos of several men suspected of robbing an Apple Store in Corte Madera on August 22, 2018. (Central Marin Police Authority)

The thieves run directly in front of a security guard who simply stands by the door and watches them run away. Some commenters on social media suggested the guard should at least stick a foot out to trip the suspects.

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But that same guard told this reporter the company policy prohibits them from confronting thieves. They serve only as visual deterrent and their job is to call 911.

Police say thieves have hit up the Corte Madera store at least three times in recent months.

“Essentially walk out or run out with the products so easily has unfortunately become, I think, the main reason that brings them back,” said police Sgt. Alberto Duenas.

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Investigators believe the thieves know about Apple’s hands-off policy. That’s why they keep hitting up Apple stores up and down the state.

On Sunday, shoppers at a Thousand Oaks Apple store tackled and restrained two suspected thieves. Police later arrested a third suspect; all three are from Antioch.

Former Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said the security policy is a huge dilemma for Apple.

“The only course is to change their policy or change their practice and place armed guards in some of these facilities because [the] unarmed guards policy is inefficient and it’s just not working,” said Jordan.

Armed security guards could lead to shootouts, injuries, and lawsuits. But doing nothing means this type of grab-and-run continues to happen.

“Having unarmed security guards really is not a good way to try to deter criminals from stealing your product,” said Jordan.

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Police said the thieves on Wednesday got away with about $19,000 worth of merchandise. Police are checking with other agencies and Apple to see if the theft are connected with other Apple store thefts.