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iPhone 6 heist: Steal the money, ignore the hardware

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Apple is making a boatload of cash on record iPhone 6 launch sales, and criminals are already trying to take advantage of this particular cash cow. While smugglers are selling iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units for as much as $4,000 a pop in China after purchasing as many units as possible from the early launch markets, three men in Germany decided to hit an Apple retail store on Saturday, a day after the iPhone 6 was launched.

FROM EARLIER: The hidden dark side of the iPhone 6 launch

As Bloomberg reports, three masked gunmen stormed the Berlin Kurfuerstendamm Apple location stealing some of the money Apple fans used to pay for iPhone 6 units during the launch weekend.

“The heist was brazen. The Apple store, a former movie palace built a century ago, was flooded with people checking out the new phones and shoppers thronged the busy boulevard outside,” Bloomberg writes. “The bandits rushed the cash transporter and carried off a chunk of the day’s earnings. The robbers jumped in a Citroen sedan and sped off. A short time later, police say they found the burning remnants of the getaway car in a wooded area about two miles from the store.”

While it’s not clear yet how much money was stolen – Apple didn’t comment on the matter – the publication reveals one interesting thing about Germans: They like purchasing stuff with cash only rather than plastic.

Just 15% of retail payments in Germany are made by debit or credit cards, which is the lowest rate among seven European countries, according to a June study from the European Central Bank. Comparatively, 45% of U.S. payments are made by card, though customers in the U.S. have plenty of card-related problems to worry about.

That explains why these particular robbers targeted this particular store on this particular day, as it’s likely that many Germans bought new iPhone 6 models using cash.

The robbers didn’t care for the new iPhones during the quick attack, and focussed only on grabbing some of the cash that was supposed to be heading to a bank. It’s likely they can purchase their iPhone 6 model of choice at a later date with Apple’s own money, although that’s assuming the police doesn’t catch them first.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.