As Apple employees in Palo Alto watch helplessly, thieves take US$35K in merchandise on Black Friday


By Sue Dremann / Palo Alto Weekly

5th December 2022 – (Palo Alto) Two people who entered the Apple store in downtown Palo Alto on 25th November during a busy Black Friday sales event made off with an estimated US$35,000 in merchandise, Palo Alto police said.

The theft, captured on video, was reported at 340 University Ave. at 4.17pm, acting police Capt. James Reifschneider said. The video shows the duo walking among customers stealing multiple iPhones and laptops from the display tables, ripping them from their security cords. In the video, Apple employees could be seen trying to protect customers by moving them out of the way of the thieves.

A store employee heard one of the thieves make a general statement to the crowd of shoppers of physical violence toward anyone who attempted to stop them. The threat elevates the crime from a burglary shoplift to a robbery, Reifschneider said. No weapons were seen and no one was injured.

The duo fled in a red Mazda3 hatchback and were last seen by a security guard traveling north on U.S. Highway 101.

Police haven’t made any arrests and have limited suspect information. Both were Black males in their late teens or early 20s. According to the video, one was wearing a dark hoodie with a camouflage pattern and a hood with a shark head design, black pants with white athletic stripes, black and red shoes and a black backpack with white markings; the other was wearing a beige hoodie with faded blue jeans and white shoes and a carrying bright red backpack.

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Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department’s 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.