Car used for smash-and-grab at Apple store in Berkeley

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A car smashed through the glass façade of the Apple store at 1823 Fourth St. in Berkeley. Photo: Mickey Novello

UPDATE, May 19: The Apple store on Berkeley’s Fourth Street re-opened for business today, 10 days after the smash-and-grab robbery where suspects drove a car through its front window.

ORIGINAL STORY: A car was driven through the glass façade of the Apple store on Berkeley’s Fourth Street in the early hours of Friday morning.

The incident appears to be a deliberate smash-and-grab case as several items were stolen from the store, according to the Berkeley police.

The car, which went right through the front of the store at 1823 Fourth St., damaged both the front doors and the roll-up metal security gate, leaving a trail of broken glass.


Photo: Mickey Novella
There have been incidents of vehicular smash-and-grabs at Apple stores around the world. Photo: Mickey Novello

BPD received a report of an alarm from the Apple store at approximately 2:52 a.m., according to BPD spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats. Once on scene, officers found an empty car, surrounded by debris. 

“There were signs of prowl inside the business,” Coats said. “Officers conducted a check of the business and did not find any suspects. The subsequent investigation revealed several Apple products were stolen. Based on the information at this point, it appears the suspect deliberately drove the vehicle into the store in order to burglarize the business. The investigation is ongoing.”

According to Apple Insider, which was the first to report the news, vehicular smash-and-grabs have become increasingly common at Apple stores around the world. The all-things-Apple-store site says that such incidents are happening because of the high resale value of the products at Apple, and because of the company’s “unwillingness to mar the stores’ aesthetic with hefty security features.”

Apple stores in Berlin, Germany, Chicago, and Temecula, California have experienced similar incidents, according to Apple Insider.

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The car that was used for a smash-and-grab robbery was removed from the Berkeley Apple store Friday. The front of the store had been covered in black drapes. Photo: Don Melandry

The Berkeley store, which opened with much fanfare in August 2011, usually opens its doors at 10 a.m. on weekdays, but it is closed until further notice. Call the store at 510-898-3341 for information. The next nearest Apple store for Berkeleyans is the one at 5656 Bay St. in Emeryville.

The video below purports to show a smash-and-grab raid using a car in the Apple store at Temecula, CA. (Editor’s suggestion: mute the music):

This story was updated as more information became available.

Related:
Teen tries to buy 14 iPhones, 2 laptops with fake credit card at Berkeley Apple store (03.18.14)
Berkeley a jobs magnet: restaurants and Apple have impact (03.05.13)
Hundreds gather for Berkeley’s Apple store opening (08.20.11)
Accident at Berkeley Apple store red tags two businesses (02.22.11)

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