Stealing iPhones from the Apple Store is easy: Just wear a blue shirt

“The art of stealing isn’t as complex as films like Ocean’s 11 would lead you to believe,” Natt Garun reports for TNW. “All you have to do is dress the part, which is easy if you’re targeting the Apple Store where employees are dressed in a plain blue t-shirt with a small Apple logo.”

“Last week in New York City, a man entered the SoHo Apple Store wearing what was visually close enough to the Apple employee uniform, managed to go straight into the electronics repair room, and stole 19 iPhones from the drawer,” Garun reports. “As he exited the room, he handed the phones to an accomplice who hid them under his shirt and walked out of the store.”

Garun reports, “It’s not the first time a similar theft has happened either – earlier this year, NYC Apple Stores were also hit with the same kind of robbery where a band of thieves disguised as employees stole a total of 59 iPhones.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As strong as Apple’s operating system security is, their brick and mortar security is weak.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. Not only weak but invites all kinds of scams. Hot phones are exchanged for refurbs at my old store daily. So not to insult homeless with a bad credit card we processed them and even watched the cash to iphone exchange in front of the exterior of the store. People walk with product all the time.

  2. I say bull.
    You can’t just walk in to a store, go into the “repair room” and find iPhones just sitting there for the taking.
    First off, have you tried walking into an Apple Store? 2.5 feet in, you are greeted by an employee- and if they see you in a Apple shirt (which haven’t been “blue” in months, they ask about you and direct you to a manager. You need door codes to access areas out of the showroom. Phones are not stored in the repair rooms. I don’t know about you, but carrying 19 iPhones out would not be an easy feat.
    If there is any truth to this fable, it is missing the conspiracy part about multiple Apple employees in on the heist.

    1. I don’t know, I was in an Apple store the other day when a couple employees got into a tizzy because an Apple pencil was missing. It was a pretty hushed tizzy, but a tizzy non-the-less.

  3. I agree…I call bull on this story. One main tell: if you’ve been to an Apple Store recently, the employees are wearing green shirts now. One time I even asked them about it and the guy said they changed the color to green for Earth Day, and that they will be in them until further notice.

    And the 19 iPhones…again, a rather tall stack of boxes…not likely to go unnoticed.

  4. One more comment about the security at Apple Stores: I am glad it’s an open environment, without the usual creepy security measures around.

    It’s a place of business, not a vault. So sure, Apple like other retailers will have some theft. But that’s the cost of doing business. I remember reading an article once where a retail analyst said that Apple designs their stores for the 99% of customers who are honest, instead of the 1% who are not. That sounds a wise way to run a business, and Apple Stores have been rewarded with huge business.

  5. 19 iPhones? Wait. How is it even possible to carry that many? Furthermore, how is it possible to “hide” that many in a shirt? Under a shirt, to be exact? I doubt no ammount of shirt-tucking will help that.

    1. If he wasn’t wearing an ID tag around his neck he should have raised suspicion.
      Unless he had a clipboard. Everyone knows if you have a clipboard, you’re official!

  6. If 50 iPhones were stolen in all 479 Apple stores every day of the year, that would amount to 3.8% of phones sold in 2015.

    The publicity benefits of these occasional thefts probably has more value than the cost of stolen phones, let alone the cost of security measures that would be needed to prevent them (partially).

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