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Thieves stole 125 iPhones from a buyer outside an Apple store

Published Nov 30th, 2022 6:50AM EST
iPhone 13 Pro Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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A man purchased 300 iPhone 13 units from Apple’s Fifth Avenue retail store in New York. While retrieving the handsets early Monday morning, the man was robbed. After a struggle that left the man injured, the thieves stole a bag of iPhones containing 125 units worth $95,000. The robbery story is puzzling, considering the man made such a bulk purchase in person in the middle of the night.

According to Audacy, the robbers attacked the 27-year-old victim immediately after he left Apple’s 24-hour New York store.

The man makes large purchases from Apple regularly. He then resells the phones through his small business, police told Audacy.

But what’s strange is the pickup time. A store clerk put the 300 iPhone 13 units in three large bags around 1:45 AM. That’s certainly an unusual time to purchase iPhones in bulk. A time that might favor iPhone robberies.

However, someone who routinely buys large quantities from Apple might prefer such hours to avoid crowds. Not to mention that 300 iPhones will be quite heavy to carry around. The much safer route is having Apple ship the goods directly to one’s home.

Apple's iPhone 13 notch next to the iPhone 12 notch
Apple’s iPhone 13 notch next to the iPhone 12 notch. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The attackers must have known the man’s iPhone-buying habits. Another car pulled up alongside the victim as he was walking to his car. Two men jumped out and demanded the iPhone bags.

The victim put up a fight, with the aggressors punching him in the nose. The iPhone robbery was partially successful, as the attackers grabbed one of the three bags. Police say the bag contained 125 iPhones worth $95,000. The robbers stole almost half the iPhones the man purchased.

The iPhone robbery victim did not sustain serious injury. He refused medical attention at the scene, per the police. As the investigation continues, the NYPD did not release a description of the suspects or their vehicle.

It’s unclear what, if anything, Apple can do to help retrieve the stolen iPhones. Apple would have the identifiers of the 125 iPhones. But the devices are not activated and can’t be tracked. The robbers can sell the devices, and the victim might never recover them.

It’ll be interesting to find out how the thieves targeted this particular buyer. That’s if the police ever catch them.

Regardless of what happens next, it’s a good idea to avoid buying a large number of Apple products in person from retail stores. Especially if other people are aware of such intentions. To avoid iPhone robberies, place the order online with Apple, and have the goods shipped to your home safely.

More Apple coverage: Check out the best Apple deals online right now.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

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 brings his entertainment expertise to 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.