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Fourth Bay Street Apple Store Grand Theft Since January Reopening

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The Emeryville Apple Store is trending on X (FKA “Twitter”) for the wrong reasons. A video first shared by the TikTok account “Unlimited_ls” shows a brazen thief ripping an estimated 50 iPhone floor models from three display tables and stuffing them in his pants while employees stand by idle.

The video, captured from an incident on Monday, Feb 5, then shows the thief run past an Emeryville Police vehicle (presumably an unmanned decoy or “ghost” car) to the driver side of a double-parked black Hyundai sedan.

The video, and most of the accounts sharing it, incorrectly identified the location as being in “Oakland.” Oakland, despite being the second largest geographic city in the Bay Area, does not have an Apple Store within its borders. San Jose has one Apple Store (Oakridge) and San Francisco has three (Union Square, Chestnut and Stonestown).

Oakland has received a significant amount of bad press as of late including the abrupt closure of an In-N-Out burger and a Denny’s along the Hegenberger corridor in East Oakland. Crime was blamed for the closure of both restaurants.

This ongoing surge in retail theft and robberies has led CA Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to deploy 120 CHP Officers to Oakland and the East Bay.

The exposure of these brazen crimes is certainly a factor in recent recall efforts of local officials who are being blamed for lax enforcement and criminal recidivism.

Many questions have been raised of the value of these floor model iPhones and the ability of Law Enforcement to track them.


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These models will likely be sold online to naive customers, sent overseas or parted out to suppliers including the valuable glass screens that third party repair stores install.

Employees and security guards are trained to not engage with these thieves as to not escalate the situation that could end in the injury of an employee or customer.

Some residents have suggesting closing the strip of Bay Street to vehicles to limit the access of “getaway” vehicles.

A second incident was shared by KRON4 anchor Dan Thorn.

Emeryville Police Chief Jeff Jennings noted that his force would be expending overtime at the Apple store when personnel was available. “We are working collaboratively with other agencies to identify and arrest the suspects,” he noted when contacted.

The Bay Street Apple store mysteriously closed for five months for “renovations” before finally reopening on January 8th. In the four weeks that have followed, the store has been robbed in this manner at least four times.

The nearby Berkeley 4th street location has also been the frequent victim of this type of crime with five incidents in January alone according to The Berkeley Scanner.

Chief Jennings informed us that the Berkeley location was hit again today. This theft led to a pursuit that ended up in the arrest of three suspects that was documented by the X handle “FriscoLive415”.

The Berkeley Scanner has addition information on the arrest of the three suspects.

This story has been updated to clarify that this was a “theft” and not a robbery since no force was used, the number of iPhones stolen and the date the incident occured.

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

7 Comments

  1. I don’t mean to sound too harsh, but if a cop or security guard sent one of those thieves to meet their maker by taking them out, I bet some of those people would think twice about committing such brazen crimes.

    • You’re advocating for murder. The police can’t just kill suspects out of principle. The suspects have to go through the criminal justice system and be appropriately punished. Honestly, if incarceration isn’t a deterrent, then I don’t think the risk of death is either. They take their chances either way

  2. Does anyone know why the entire upper-level food court was closed early last night? (I went there at 8pm and the entire section was fenced off.) Was it due to this incident?

    Also, a number of vehicles blocked off the bus stop where the Emery-Go-Round & AC Transit 36 / 57 / F usually stop.

  3. Even the internal components of an iPhone are digitally locked, and can only be paired to another iPhone if they are clean (not reported stolen). Exactly what the thieves are getting for the phones is a journalistic mystery…. are the thieves just wrong?

  4. This thief looks seriously pissed off. I wouldn’t confront him either. He acts like he would have no problem shooting someone. One angry dude

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