Tags: paris | apple | store | robbery

Armed Robbers Hit Paris Apple Store, Haul off $1.3M Digital Booty

Wednesday, 02 Jan 2013 03:22 PM

By Mark Holthaus

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French authorities are investigating a brazen New Year's Eve armed robbery from a Paris Apple store that netted the thieves more than $1.3 million in digital merchandise.

According to Paris police, the robbery took place about 9 p.m., a time when many local authorities were diverted to helping with large celebrations on the Champs Elysee and by the Eiffel Tower.

The masked robbers, who were carrying handguns, appeared to target smartphones and tablets according to police, removing only a little bit of money from the store, which was located in the Opera district of the French capital.

The stolen goods were then loaded into a nearby van by the four suspects who managed to flee the scene before police arrived.

In the process of the robbery, one security guard was assaulted, receiving a minor injury to the head according to a spokesman for the judicial police in Paris.

In an interview with Le Parisien newspaper, Christophe Crepin, a French police union official, said that "the four hooded and heavily armed criminals made their move very quickly. Most of the police forces were being mobilized to monitor the Champs Elysees, so the robbers have clearly benefitted from this opportunity to strike."

Police are currently reviewing the recordings taken by cameras in the area as well as the store's closed-circuit video cameras.

The Monday robbery is the largest, most well-organized raid on a store in Paris thus far according to media reports.

Apple technology is a common target for thieves in France and around the world, due to the value associated with the products internationally. The stolen goods are often resold via an online black market that exists through various websites that trade in contraband.

Apple's iPhone 5, which was released in September, is currently retailing from anywhere between $200 and $1,000 depending on the venue. In the third quarter of 2012 alone, Apple's revenue nearly breached $36 billion.

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