Thieves Steal $7,000 Worth of Apple Watches Right from a Display Table

Apple Watch Try On Display Table Credit: Tain Teerasak / Shutterstock
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Two bandits stole more than $7,000 worth of Apple Watch Series 5 models from an Apple Store in Providence, Rhode Island.

The heists occurred at the Providence Place Mall Apple Store over the weekend, according to local media outlet WPRI.

While they were reported together, there were actually two separate thefts.

  • A man walked into the Apple Store around 10:45 a.m. on Saturday and walked off with four Apple Watch models from the display table.
  • Just about 10 hours later, a second person entered the store and stole seven Apple Watches from the try-on table.

All in all, the thieves made off with 11 Apple Watch Series 5 models, including black, silver and gold variants. As WPRI notes that the Watches ranged in price from $399 to $799, it can be assumed that some of the models were stainless steel options.

Local media notes that the first person is “known by Loss Prevention” for larceny incidents in the past. There’s no information about the second person.

No arrests have been made, but local detectives are apparently investigating the thefts.

Apple Store Thefts

Apple Stores are well-known for their open layout and lack of visible security features. That’s especially true for the aforementioned Apple Watch try-on tables, which feature loose Apple Watches and bands for customers to try on.

As of Apple’s September media event and the announcement of Apple Watch Studio, the try-on tables also feature various band options that customers can mix and match with cases.

Was It Worth It?

It’s worth noting that the Apple Watches are likely to be pretty useless for the thieves. Display products at brick-and-mortar Apple Stores have Activation Lock enabled and they actually run special operating systems with baked-in security features.

For example, past reports have indicated that Apple Store employees can remotely deactivate stolen devices with a software “kill switch.”

Other reports suggest that display products removed from a store will do nothing but ring Find My iPhone until their batteries die.

Display products can probably still be torn down for parts, but that doesn’t change the fact that Apple Stores are not likely a very profitable target for thieves — even though they do appear to be a popular one.

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