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Thieves who stole more than $200,000 worth of iPhones are in for a rude awakening

Published Sep 3rd, 2019 6:04PM EDT
iPhone Stolen
Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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Over the years, we’ve seen thieves employ incredible ingenuity when it comes to making off with Apple products. Just last year, for example, a group of thieves in Georgia drilled a hole into a Best Buy ceiling and proceeded to rappel down — Mission Impossible style — and ultimately steal well over $100,000 worth of iPhones, Macs, and iPads.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we have a recent heist in Australia where a criminal gang used sledgehammers to break through the glass of an Apple retail store in Perth. In a story first brought to light by Perth Now, the thieves managed to abscond with more than $200,000 worth of stolen merchandise, a haul that mostly included iPhones.

Police have yet to apprehend the group of thieves, with reports indicating that two cars used in the heist were later found burnt to a crisp.

Of course, the thieves might be in for a rude awakening once they find out that iPhones in Apple retail stores have a range of built-in security measures that make stealing them something of a pointless endeavor. For instance, it’s been reported that demo iPhone units have something of a “kill switch” insofar that they won’t work outside of the range of Apple’s in-store Wi-Fi network and are essentially rendered useless.

To this point, a detective working the case told Perth Now that Apple is well aware of which devices were stolen and that they’re “now worthless.” Suffice it to say, if you stumble across an iPhone deal that seems too good to be true, it likely is. In a worst-case scenario, you’ll end up paying for a bricked iPhone with absolutely no way to get your money back.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.