Band of Thieves Steal $24,000 Worth of iPhones from Apple Store By Chewing Through Security Tethers

Madrid Police have arrested a group of people for allegedly stealing multiple iPhones from an Apple Store by chewing through security cables.

The gang of ten thieves, which included eight minors, reportedly stole 24 iPhone devices worth more than $24,000 (€23,000 in local currency), according to area publication El Mundo. Police began the investigation a year ago after staff reported an increasing number of devices being taken from the retail outlet. The thieves were eventually foiled when police caught a member attempting to sell one of the devices.

The capers were reportedly well-organized, as the suspects dispersed in a “joint, planned and distributed manner throughout the establishment.” According to camera footage, one of the thieves bit through the security tether until the iPhone was freed. The device was then passed along various members of the group — to make it harder for the staff to keep track of the stolen iPhone — until the thieves could finally remove it from the store.

The eight minors of the group are reportedly being detained, and a judge has placed a restraining order barring the two adult suspects from going within 100 meters of the retail location. All 10 suspects are reportedly Romanian citizens, according to El Mundo. While not specified by police, sources familiar with the case told the publication that the Apple Store in question is the Puerta del Sol outlet, located in the central area of Madrid.

This is certainly not the first Apple Store to be the victim of theft, as the Cupertino company’s retail locations are often lucrative targets for thieves. In December, burglars smashed an SUV into the Palo Alto Apple Store, making off with an unspecified number of Macs and iPhones. Similarly, in October, a band of seven thieves stole over $13,000 worth of iPhones from an Apple Store in Natick, Massachusetts.

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