News

VIDEO: As Apple employees watch helplessly, thieves take $35K in merchandise on Black Friday

One threatens customers during robbery at crowded downtown Palo Alto store

Two people who entered the Apple store in downtown Palo Alto on Nov. 25 during a busy Black Friday sales event made off with an estimated $35,000 in merchandise, Palo Alto police said.

The theft, captured on video, was reported at 340 University Ave. at 4:17 p.m., 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.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the correct location.

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Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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VIDEO: As Apple employees watch helplessly, thieves take $35K in merchandise on Black Friday

One threatens customers during robbery at crowded downtown Palo Alto store

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Nov 30, 2022, 12:07 pm
Updated: Wed, Nov 30, 2022, 9:29 pm

Two people who entered the Apple store in downtown Palo Alto on Nov. 25 during a busy Black Friday sales event made off with an estimated $35,000 in merchandise, Palo Alto police said.

The theft, captured on video, was reported at 340 University Ave. at 4:17 p.m., 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.

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.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the correct location.

Comments

Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 30, 2022 at 12:44 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2022 at 12:44 pm

"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. One was wearing a blue hoodie with black pants; the other was wearing a gray hoodie with blue jeans.

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."

Black Friday was 5 days ago and only now is the PAPD asking us for information. Does anyone remember what we were wearing 5 days ago? Or the describe the car that cut them off then?

Since the city has a $40,000,000 surplus, maybe our "leaders" could use some it to restaff the PAPD crime reporting position so we get reports in a more timely fashion?

Just a thought.


Nancy the real Nancy
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 30, 2022 at 1:37 pm
Nancy the real Nancy, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2022 at 1:37 pm

"PAPD crime reporting position so we get reports in a more timely fashion?"

When did PAPD start to run the paloaltoonline account?

Just a thought...


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 30, 2022 at 1:44 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2022 at 1:44 pm

PA Online can only work with the information it gets from PAPD so time is a factor in WHEN it reports crimes unless it has more reporters on the street.

If you check the Police Blotter published daily in the other newspaper, you'll see a note about why only the Paio Alto report is missing while those for surrounding communities are published,


Bertram Kelly
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Nov 30, 2022 at 2:57 pm
Bertram Kelly, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2022 at 2:57 pm

"The duo took multiple iPhones and laptops,"

The display iPhones iPads, and MacBooks at all Apple Stores are internally locked with specific access codes rendering them useless if stolen.

What is the point of stealing them if these locked devices cannot be used by a 2nd/3rd party buyer?


john_alderman
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 30, 2022 at 3:24 pm
john_alderman, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2022 at 3:24 pm

Here is a video of the robbery:

Web Link


John
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 1, 2022 at 4:59 am
John, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 4:59 am

I’m grateful that nobody got hurt. It’s just stuff and if PAPD only takes reports after the fact, they won’t be sued for using force to make an arrest. Everyone wins!


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Dec 1, 2022 at 7:47 am
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 7:47 am

There needs to be some kind of coordinated police response, to catch these kinds of thieves as they attempt to cross one of the bridges, to get back home to the East Bay. Bridges are the bottleneck, and there should be enough time to get such a team ready to apprehend them.


fred
Registered user
University South
on Dec 1, 2022 at 11:41 am
fred, University South
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 11:41 am

What was the security guard doing?


Lorraine Newberry
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 1, 2022 at 12:00 pm
Lorraine Newberry, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 12:00 pm

@fred...security guards aren't paid enough to risk their lives over a few iPhones and iPads.

The merchandise is insured against theft.


MyFeelz
Registered user
JLS Middle School
on Dec 1, 2022 at 12:24 pm
MyFeelz, JLS Middle School
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 12:24 pm

If the devices won't work, the heist is worth $0. But if someone can disable the security in the devices, THEN it's worth $40k. Gee, I wonder who could figure out how to do that?

My suspicions are "inside job". But I'm jaded.


We Are The People
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 1, 2022 at 12:25 pm
We Are The People, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 12:25 pm

Its obvious to me, that they are being tracked.
Maybe to Their "Fence" and Others?


Harold Jenkins
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 1, 2022 at 12:33 pm
Harold Jenkins, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 12:33 pm

In addition to having to be unlocked, stolen Apple products do not carry an optional AppleCare warranty or exchange/upgrade privileges.

Given these parameters, what is the point of stealing them? The thieves are not very bright.


Jerry
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 1, 2022 at 3:44 pm
Jerry, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 3:44 pm

And since it was the Apple store, surely there must be numerous high-def videos of the thieves from all angles. Slo-mo, time-lapse, pano.... Vivid warm, silvertone, sepia?

Seriously, surprised nobody took a picture of their license plate. Coulda gotten a decent one with a Motorola Razr.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 1, 2022 at 7:26 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 7:26 pm

I was on University over the last weekend to check out decorations and activity. Also progress on the hotel. The street is filled with cars from end to end. I don't get how they are getting away when the street is totally congested. It is a busy downtown where you can barely move down the street. And there are people on the street at restaurants and walking. How do people running with bags of computer pieces move down the street with no interference? I have thought what I would do in that situation - I would try and impede their progress until police came. One of the great advantages of playing soccer at some point in your life is that physical confrontation is not scary and someone comes along that is causing trouble is asking for some type of activity to impede their progress. A lot of sports are in your face so where are all of the people who have played sports.


cheese guy
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Dec 1, 2022 at 8:38 pm
cheese guy, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 8:38 pm

Gads, you would think with 30 employees standing around these bozo's could have been quickly taken to the floor, detained, and handed over to the police.


Rebecca Eisenberg
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 1, 2022 at 11:40 pm
Rebecca Eisenberg, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 11:40 pm

Apple devices now can be made findable even when powered off through the "Find My" iCloud/iOS/MacOS app. Apple Store employees almost certainly were able to locate the devices. And, given that there was zero reason to believe -- and none stated -- that these suspects were armed, and enough people at the store (both employees and customers) to be able to stop the suspected thieves, I don't get why the PAPD was brought into this at all.

The Apple Store easily can recoup the value of their stolen goods and the physical damage to the store through their insurance. They also can locate the products (and maybe would need help retrieving the items once they stopped moving -- but maybe not if this event was planned or staged).

No one was hurt. What harm exactly was done?

I wonder how much money the City of Palo Alto spends on public police in situations where multi-billion-dollar corporations already have provided their own private security, and regardless, no harm was done. Sometimes it seems like the biggest focus of the PAPD is to protect the largest and most profitable companies on earth, such as Apple, which do not need our taxpayer-paid protection.

Regardless, this incident is strange, as is the police report.

Finally, I wish that the Palo Alto Online/Weekly would stop the problematic (and oft-criticized) practice of relying solely on police reports and press releases without further inquiry in its crime reporting. Police Reports are notoriously inaccurate and always state only one biased perspective, among unlimited biased perspectives.

John Oliver had a recent segment on this well-documented problem and other issues with the state of crime reporting, which was both brilliant and entertaining. It can be found here:

Web Link


John
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 2, 2022 at 6:39 am
John, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 6:39 am

When the book “In Defense of Looting”, was published, I was absolutely fascinated at the mental gymnastics people put themselves through to justify theft. Predictably, a national pro property crime stance quickly became a spike in murders and violent assaults as well. Some folks look at a rich store full of nice citizens getting robbed and can’t fathom the secondary and tertiary consequences because “insurance” or “those police are mean.” The commonality of these ppl is that they hold these beliefs up until the moment when THEY personally are victimized and suddenly have a shift in their mindset.
“Sure, I voted to release burglars from jail, but don’t understand why MY house was burglarized.” Real quote.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Dec 2, 2022 at 7:17 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 7:17 am

Missing the like button again; would have used it on the comments by Online Name and John.

As for "what harm was done", I think plenty. This sort of crime further erodes confidence in the safety of going downtown.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2022 at 7:31 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 7:31 am

When I see people trying to excuse crime it makes me really wonder where we are coming from as a society and even more where we are going to.

Old fashioned values mean understanding the difference between right from wrong. Why are we getting confused about these values. As a child I once stole candy from a store. At the time I justified it to myself, but the guilt was terrible, I couldn't even bring myself to eat the candy and flushed it down the toilet. I have never forgotten that. I was never found out, but as an adult I still wouldn't go into that store.

Stealing is wrong. Taking something that we don't pay for is stealing. Being able to justify stealing either by ourselves or on behalf of others is not compassion but moral decline. We all suffer from these types of thefts. But anytime anyone tries to justify it or excuse it the harm it does to those who are learning from us makes that moral decline even worse.


Roberta Marquez
Registered user
Ventura
on Dec 2, 2022 at 7:41 am
Roberta Marquez, Ventura
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 7:41 am

"No one was hurt. What harm exactly was done?"
@Rebecca Rosenberg
A soft on crime mindset encourages more crime because there are no perceived consequences.

And even if these stolen Apple products are eventually retrieved, who would want to buy them after they've been mishandled by thieves? Is there a factory discount & optional AppleCare warranty on previously stolen Apple products? I don't think so Tim.

Yes, utilize the Find My Device feature, and maybe the police will locate the thieves as well.

Once caught, arrest, convict, and throw them all in jail or prison (if repeat offenders) and be done with it. No loss to society.


Sorry to hear this
Registered user
College Terrace
on Dec 2, 2022 at 10:18 am
Sorry to hear this, College Terrace
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 10:18 am
Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 2, 2022 at 11:29 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 11:29 am

:“Sure, I voted to release burglars from jail, but don’t understand why MY house was burglarized.” Real quote."

My favorite example of the above was yesterday' Bay Area crime news report about how the robber who'd murdered the store clerk who chased him wasn't charged with either robbery or murder because the clerk was threatening HIS life during the chase during which he'd dropped the stolen goods.

Just in case you're wondering why the 30 employees just stood there.


Ryan
Registered user
Barron Park
on Dec 2, 2022 at 1:41 pm
Ryan, Barron Park
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 1:41 pm

I'm shocked. SHOCKED


Jerry
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 2, 2022 at 3:09 pm
Jerry, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 3:09 pm

Recently on nextdoor.com, a woman posted about how a possibly mentally disturbed woman had entered her backyard and shouted at her mother. The OP was quite factual and just stated plainly what had happened. OP said that she felt very concerned for her physical safety and that of her mom.

The comments fell into three categories:

1) Oh, so sorry that happened to you. Hope you are okay.
2) Disturbed woman is a nut case meth-head.
3) That's hateful, please have compassion for disturbed woman.

It turned into a bit of pi$$ing match until somebody finally pointed out that it's possible to both be careful about your physical safety and have compassion. They are not mutually exclusive.

I'd have believe a similar thing about this situation. It should be possible to both have a non-violent response to shoplifting and protect inventory. The question is how to effectively do that?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 2, 2022 at 3:31 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 3:31 pm

Rebecca - no harm was done? I voted for you = do not mess that up now. When a company sets up a business and prices an item for public sale then letting people run and take it for free totally disrupts why any one else is now going to go in and buy something. As a lawyer there is no defense here - only blame. Something is seriuosly WRONG here because the "pattern" of activity is prevalent all over the place.

The "pattern' of activity is TOTALLY WRONG.

Maybe every one now has to arm themselves with one of those sprays when something like this happens. Go on the offensive. The cat is already out of the bag here and everyone has to now work twice as hard to stop the illegal activity.

And quit using gangster activity as a way to critizie the poiice. Apple needs to have a security person in their store - we don't pay the police to sit in stores to wait for the gangters to come. Apple need to have their own security people in place.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Dec 2, 2022 at 5:10 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 5:10 pm

What harm is done? Okay, I'll treat that as a serious question. For one, it's very traumatizing to staff and customers. They wouldn't have known no one had a gun. And if it happens enough (that store has been robbed before), Apple will just close the store. And then the city would have even more to complain about regarding the state of retail downtown. People want an enjoyable experience when out shopping and eating, not the inhumanity and incivility of having to worry about confrontations with thieves. Or at least most do. Some apparently just don't care.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2022 at 5:51 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 5:51 pm

Insurance rates go up in areas where there is more crime.

People do not want to go shopping where crime happens frequently.

People will not want to work in an environment where there is a lot of crime.

When there is a lot of crime, it becomes a no go zone for people who would like to shop. They will go elsewhere. This means that not only the Apple store (or wherever) will get less customers, the nextdoor stores, restaurants, etc. will get less customers. Before you know it the whole area will close due to lack of customers.

Of course harm is done. Apple products are expensive and if they have to cover the costs of looting (this is not just shoplifting), then they will put the prices up to cover the costs.

Every one of us will suffer from this. Don't make excuse for criminals. There is no excuse to do this.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 2, 2022 at 10:00 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 10:00 pm

@ Rebecca Eisenberg - What harm was done? Seriously? In addition to traumatizing customers and employees (and, unfortunately, hurting attitudes about race), vile and brazen criminals like these young men drive up the costs of everything from Apple devices to insurance to police payrolls.

It's absolutely shocking that people who shrug their shoulders at such brazen acts of crime as though it's no big deal. If voters had any sense, they'd vote out such out-of-touch politicians -- no matter how proudly-bleeding-heart-liberal they might be.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 2, 2022 at 10:06 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 10:06 pm

I'll go one step further: There is an unfortunate lack of embarrassment among brazen criminals today. I'm not sure what happened to certain elements of society that has caused people to make excuses for such vile criminal activity.

However, I'm even more appalled that those who engage in such crime aren't embarrassed when they are caught. For some, it's a badge of "street cred." It should never be "culturally acceptable" to commit crimes, make excuses for crime or defend criminals who are so brazen.

If it were up to me, the faces of these men would be posted all over the place. They would be forced to make REAL restitution after serving hard time with PB&J/bologna 14 times a week, no TV or radio (apart from educational programming, religious programming and C-SPAN) and very little interaction with any other criminals in prison.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 2, 2022 at 11:42 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 11:42 pm

A major issue here is that Apple apparently had no security in place. That should be a requirement for any business in the city that has high end products sold on the black market. As to insurance coverage the insurance company should have a requirement for security services as part of their package. Why should they pay for the gangsters. Further - at that time of day the street is fully congested heading to 101. How do they get there in the high traffic time period? Did the Apple people notify the police of what happened? Or did they delay telling the police? The police cannot act until they are notified there is a problem.

Stanford Shopping Center should also have a whole security plan in place - as well as T&C. Expecting an insurance company to pay for what you did not do is not going to fly here. Insurance companies need to require that a whole plan is in place with a hired security firm - cameras = the whole package.

Who wants to go downtown now if you are always looking over your shoulder for potential trouble. I work in a different mode now as to the amount of pleasure in going downtown.


Butch Logan
Registered user
Barron Park
on Dec 3, 2022 at 9:03 am
Butch Logan, Barron Park
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 9:03 am

• Apple products are expensive and if they have to cover the costs of looting (this is not just shoplifting), then they will put the prices up to cover the costs.

• these young men drive up the costs of everything from Apple devices to insurance to police payrolls.

^ Regardless of retail theft factors, Apple increases the prices of its products every year.

The first iPhone introduced by Steve Jobs in 2006 retailed for $499.00. Today (2022) an iPhone 14 costs over $1200.00.

The phones are manufactured in China for considerably less and marked-up accordingly to cover 'the costs of doing business' and to satisfy the expectations of Apple shareholders.

Apple products can be purchased online directly from Apple minimalizing the need for Apple retail stores.

The only plus-side of an Apple store is that they offer in-person tech support.

While not condoning these thefts, Apple stores with their full array of products on display will attract potential thieves.

You never hear of a store looting at Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T because the smartphone displays are very limited and not worth the risk of getting caught.


Local news junkie
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Dec 3, 2022 at 9:46 am
Local news junkie, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 9:46 am

@ Rebecca Eisenberg
You ask, “what harm was exactly done?” Speaking personally, this and other crime downtown and at Stanford Shopping Center scare me and make me less likely to frequent those areas. That hurts the local economy since Ím sure others feel as I do. Such crime may also traumatize workers and customers…do you have no sympathy? A “who cares” attitude will lead to the increase in such incidents. Crime is crime whether it affects Apple or a mom-and-pop store.


John
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 3, 2022 at 10:03 am
John, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 10:03 am

Florida crime is at a 50 year low. Worth thinking about logically, rather than emotionally… after all, that’s what got us to this point.

Web Link


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2022 at 10:25 am
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 10:25 am

@Rebecca Eisenberg,

“I wonder how much money the City of Palo Alto spends on public police in situations where multi-billion-dollar corporations already have provided their own private security, and regardless, no harm was done. “

I can see how you could justify not calling PAPD if theft is happening privately, and the multibillion companies can decide whether to call the police. Actually, Steve Jobs had some stuff stolen from his garage ages ago, PAPD canvassed Old Palo Alto all the way to Alma and practically Embarcadero.

When theft or crimes involve regular people though, it’s automatically PAPD’s job to show up and everyone’s responsibility to accept that the police are expected to handle theft and crime but IMHO multibillion companies like Apple should pay extra for practically inviting crime with this idea that they can recover their losses with insurance. Unless their insurance covers the time our PAPD has to spend handling our calls because of the action at their stores, then more money has to go to policing. Now during the holidays, we’ll need even more police, further stretching public resources.


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 3, 2022 at 1:57 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 1:57 pm

This was a crime. The alleged criminal suspects should be promptly sought and detained and if they are arrested, they pose a risk to society, so should be held in jail until they come to trial. After a fair trial, they should be punished. Society is protected when criminals are punished. I don’t think the issue is the high number of persons in California jails/prisons, nor their ethnicity. I am fine paying for more judges, sheriff’s deputies, jail cells as needed.


Erin Walters
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 3, 2022 at 3:42 pm
Erin Walters , Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 3:42 pm

Anyone who has shopped at an Apple Store knows the brand-new iPhones, MacBooks, and iPads are stored in back.

When a customer purchases an Apple product at the Apple Store, a sales associate goes into the back room to get one.

Only the locked/display models are in front.

These thieves are not particularly bright.


Rob
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 3, 2022 at 3:59 pm
Rob, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 3:59 pm

@ Rebecca Eisenberg No harm done ? I have been robbed 3 times and when the robber commands you to turn on your stomach and puts the gun to your head all I could think about was my pregnant wife and kids no harm done? It changed me forever!


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 3, 2022 at 5:32 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 5:32 pm

They sell the phones on the black market to unsuspecting customers, or they break the phones and sell them for parts.

Coddling criminals - soft on crime. I don't understand their mindset. Enabling criminals and making excuses for them is pathetic. I have a theory as to what it's rooted in, but it's better left unsaid.


Morgan
Registered user
Meadow Park
on Dec 3, 2022 at 6:23 pm
Morgan , Meadow Park
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 6:23 pm

@Rebecca Eisenberg -
There seem to be several generalizations in your comments. How about we stick to facts? You wrote the following:
"Apple Store employees almost certainly were able to locate the devices. And, given that there was zero reason to believe -- and none stated -- that these suspects were armed, and enough people at the store (both employees and customers) to be able to stop the suspected thieves, I don't get why the PAPD was brought into this at all."

"Almost certainly"? What does that even mean? Did the Apple Store manager tell you that they were able to locate all of these devices?
"Zero reason to believe..." Do you want to be the person to find that out for the group?
You don't see why PAPD was brought into a case where a crime was committed in the city of Palo Alto? Are we now turning law enforcement over to private citizens, witnesses and private security details? Private security officers are not always equipped to enforce the law and are there as a visual deterrent/reporting entity.

"the biggest focus of the PAPD is to protect the largest and most profitable companies on earth, such as Apple, which do not need our taxpayer-paid protection."
Are you saying the PAPD should not treat all residents and businesses within the city equally? Do you have actual data to back up this claim? If PAPD's focus was to protect the rich, wouldn't they post an officer at the Apple Store? Or at least have someone close enough to arrive at the store in time to track down the criminals?

"Police Reports are notoriously inaccurate and always state only one biased perspective, among unlimited biased perspectives."
Always? Unlimited? So, the Weekly should have their staff go down to the Apple store and interview employees and track down customers for questioning, and you believe there will be different information than what the police gathered? Did you watch the video? Are you saying Apple deserved to get robbed?



Clock Guy
Registered user
Community Center
on Dec 3, 2022 at 7:20 pm
Clock Guy, Community Center
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 7:20 pm

Posted way above... "Gads, you would think with 30 employees standing around these bozo's could have been quickly taken to the floor, detained, and handed over to the police."

About thirty years ago, myself and another customer watched as a man emerged from a dressing stall adjacent to a woman trying on a swimsuit at Palo Alto Toy and Sport. He had a video camera. She was furious. One glance at another 'intolerant' customer and we knew what to do.

About five minutes later we got off the top of him as PAPD arrived to take him into custody.

My guess is that the world was incrementally safer for what we did. I hope so.


Moctod
Registered user
University South
on Dec 3, 2022 at 7:26 pm
Moctod, University South
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 7:26 pm

The more times that we fail to enforce the law in Palo Alto, the more our reputation as an easy mark, where no one will be arrested, will expand.
How about allowing the Apple security guards to use tasers? Yes, Apple measures the risk of a lawsuit vs their enormous profits, but, meanwhile, the citizens here suffer from home break-ins and street crimes that are related to our growing reputation as a safe place to steal.
There is a reason for this increase in such crimes and our city government and our well - intentioned residents are to blame.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2022 at 8:05 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 8:05 pm

When a previous city council candidate says crime is no harm, it worries me about other city councilors.

I would like to hear from each of them as to their views on this crime. I would like to hear the City Council discuss crime in Palo Alto and treat it as a priority. In January, typically, they set their priorities for the year. I would like to see crime as one of the top priorities and to make serious moves to be tough on crime.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Dec 3, 2022 at 9:38 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2022 at 9:38 pm

It is reassuring to read that many in this community understand the harm done by what happened at the Apple Store. On the other hand, it is very concerning to read that a newly-elected official questions what harm was done. I agree with Bystander that this needs to be a CC priority. And when the situation improves, I hope the media will spread the word that Palo Alto is NOT an easy place to commit crime.

@Clock Guy: wow, and good for you.




eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Dec 4, 2022 at 9:40 am
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Dec 4, 2022 at 9:40 am

Annette, I agree 100% with your comment above.

Normalizing daytime robberies will only make our city
more of a target.

On November 19 alone there were FIVE robberies at Stanford Shopping Center reported by the Daily Post Police Blotter. What is the city doing about
all this? Not much!

"what harm do these thefts do?" It makes our city a very unsafe place to live.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 4, 2022 at 11:30 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Dec 4, 2022 at 11:30 am

I also agree with Annette.

Re the increased robberies at Stanford Shopping Center, a scan of the police blotter shows that a LOT -- maybe 1/3 -- of the PA thefts reported occur there -- with many others at other businesses.

Yet the business community and Stanford routinely balk at paying their fair share while using a disproportionate share. Shameful.

"what harm do these thefts do?" It makes our city a very unsafe place to live."

This recent Apple theft made international news. It not only gives PA a bad name and attracts other robbers / criminals, but it also discourages other shoppers and diverts much-needed police resources from serving the needs of residents.

If I were of a larcenous bent, I'd read the crime reports to see which merchants / police departments are the easiest touches and then burgle accordingly. It seems like after the first RealReal high-end consignment shop got robbed all their other locations were also.


Jerry
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 4, 2022 at 1:52 pm
Jerry, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Dec 4, 2022 at 1:52 pm

I did not vote for Rebecca Eisenberg for City Council in 2020, nor did I vote for her for the Water District. I watched a video interview done by FPCPA of her stances on issues. I was horrified at her extremely "progressive" and unrealistic positions. My conclusion is that she wanted to turn Palo Alto into some sort of dystopian commune.

She is openly in favor of defunding the police, heavily taxing large businesses, and eliminating all zoning laws. So her stance on crime, especially this one, does not surprise me.

I also found many of her claims to be exaggerated and factually incorrect. Despite her being a lawyer, I questioned whether many of her proposed initiatives would legally fly.

I saw a future Palo Alto where:

1. Big businesses would simply relocate to adjacent cities due to high taxes in PA.
2. Crime would spiral out of control due to dismantling the PAPD.
3. The city would spend gobs of cash defending itself against multiple lawsuits because of legally questionable decisions. (e.g. Los Altos)
4. The city would be bankrupted by enormously expensive projects like undergrounding the train.



Patty
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 4, 2022 at 8:17 pm
Patty, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 4, 2022 at 8:17 pm

Posters shouldn’t be surprised by Eisenberg’s comments. She has been a steady proponent of “defunding the police” as she has made clear in her LinkedIn profile, her 2020 city council campaign, and her incessant angry, unsubstantiated accusations against the police department and city staff before the city council over the last two years.

As to her statement about the brazen Apple store robbery, “No one was hurt. What harm exactly was done?”, the store employees wisely advised customers to not interfere because of the risk of violence by the robbers. The police report stated that at least one of the robbers threatened violence if they were interfered with. Clearly, that was everyone’s fear. Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a robbery can attest to the enduring trauma of a threat of violence. It will be a long time before these customers or employees will feel safe entering a store after what they just experienced. Unfortunately, Eisenberg’s antipathy toward corporations and our police department dwarfs what should be normal human empathy toward the shoppers and employees.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 4, 2022 at 9:33 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 4, 2022 at 9:33 pm

I voted for Rebecca for the water board because it needs a different POV than what we have seen to date. And because the lower portion of Santa Clara County is getting ready for a lot of fighting over what is going to happen there - too many groups are finagling to get their hands on the land.

I did not vote for her to start lecturing everyone about a high publicity problem regarding police and a seemimgly growing number of incidents where gangsters have total disregard for anyone. And for diverting liability to the insurance companies to clean up the messes.

Do the job voted for because we are going to clean up the mess we have here and that includes working with the police to get this all working the right way.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Dec 5, 2022 at 6:39 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Dec 5, 2022 at 6:39 am

@Patty - good point.


Palo Alto native
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 5, 2022 at 9:52 am
Palo Alto native, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Dec 5, 2022 at 9:52 am

I really dont understand how a red Mazda3 traveling north on 101 was not apprehended. That is an easy car to spot. Also, robberies were lessened when the bulb out in front of the store was filled in with bollards. Why cant stores with expensive merchandise have prominent 24 hour cameras for all to know they are being filmed? Coming back from Italy, many crowded touristy sites had armed soldiers with jeeps prominently in force to prevent crime! CC should start using cameras, also in residential areas to prevent crime.


John
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 5, 2022 at 11:00 am
John, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 5, 2022 at 11:00 am

I’d like all the commenters eager to see criminals and their vehicles “apprehended” take a minute to think about what they’re requesting. If our police could point at a bad guy, say “halt!”, and have them comply, the last decade would’ve had billions less damage in “peaceful, yet firey” protests.
When criminals fight and or flee, it requires force to stop them. A few stories down the line has citizens calling for Ofc Enberg to be fired for arresting a fighting DUI suspect (info is publicly available, writer didn’t include that for some reason). It’s a dirty job folks. Most of your fantasies about the ease of cuffing, the effectiveness of tasers or the ability to stop a fleeing car are just that, fantasies.


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2022 at 2:53 pm
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 5, 2022 at 2:53 pm

@John,

"It’s a dirty job folks. Most of your fantasies about the ease of cuffing, the effectiveness of tasers or the ability to stop a fleeing car are just that, fantasies."

Are you suggesting that it's not a job for the police, and then what? People taking up "the law" into their own hands or just ignoring the problem? That isn't fair to people who don't have the means (like Apple) to just expense a raid and the related abuse from being in that situation.
This thread has surpassed 40,000 views. That means that people beyond Palo Alto are interested in this, or it's officially a "hot" topic for the community.

What's dumbfounding about the video of this incident is how helpless people are during the looting. Dear Apple - at least you could allow people to boo or do something, wave our hands? How about a survey or an apology?


George Sand
Registered user
Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Dec 5, 2022 at 5:34 pm
George Sand, Greendell/Walnut Grove
Registered user
on Dec 5, 2022 at 5:34 pm

People want to feel safe. "Defund the police" was a losing slogan. So glad the democratic party never adopted it, never endorsed that hare-brained idea some far left extremists thought up on the fly. I was born here 75 years ago. I don't think the city has changed so much that most of my fellow citizens want to discourage crime prevention and policing. I was robbed at gun point when I worked in retail, alone in a store surrounded by other businesses and oasserby., broad daylight. When that gun comes out, there's an inner rush, a terror, you never forget. Like suddenly shooting up a runaway elevator of a skyscraoer. I wish as a representative of Palo Altans, the learned council woman would keep extremist views to herself. They are harmful, on a practcal and political level. I do not think they express our collective will. As a teen I loved going to Stanford shopping center. Coming back to live in town many years later, I won't go there. My younger oartner who has martial arts skills won't go. My fellows at senior center won't. My neighbors with young children say they don't feel safe. I felt safe here growing up. We all, rich or poor, want to feel safe. If anyone, it is the people with less resources who are victims of crime. That's the harm. Crime, armed or not, toy gun or real, makes people feel unsafe. People's perceptions, their feelings are important. Extremist reform attitudes only serve to tarnish honest and needed justice reform views. Let's make all of Palo Alto feel safe again.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Dec 5, 2022 at 6:10 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Dec 5, 2022 at 6:10 pm

One option for the high-target stores is to convert, at least temporarily, to controlling entry via a buzz-in system or a security guard. The open door approach is far friendlier but these crimes are going to repel customers so this may be a case of choosing between two lousy options.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Dec 5, 2022 at 9:26 pm
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Dec 5, 2022 at 9:26 pm

Annette, the only way to deal with this problem is by having real armed police protection at the shopping center.

Years ago, in Atlanta Georgia, I was involved in an armed robbery where a robber held a gun to the back of my head and lead all five customers to a back room while he robbed the store. Fortunately, I was not killed!

That experience scares me to this day!

The city of Palo Alto needs to take this seriously and make sure the residents feel SAFE going about their daily lives!!


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 6, 2022 at 12:54 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Dec 6, 2022 at 12:54 am

How terrifying! The victims never forget -- something the police should realize and often don't -- like when they downgrade repeated threats because the victim "wasn't in fear for her life" at the 4exact moment the police called.

Annette, there you go being sensible again. They could also start instituting a "check you backpack" rule.

As for armed protection at the shopping center, Stanford Shopping Center has had potential thieves cases cars for at least 15 years and people have been discussing where it's safest to park there. SO they could start patrollimng the parking lots, making a big deal of photographing car idling in front of store entrances to warn thieves photos of their plates and faces are on record.

"The city of Palo Alto needs to take this seriously and make sure the residents feel SAFE going about their daily lives!"

One would think but instead they threaten to cut emergency dispatch services while authorizing model dinosaurs for the JMZ. Report back if you see any progress.


John
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 6, 2022 at 8:28 am
John, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 6, 2022 at 8:28 am

@resident3- I’m saying that if you’re willing to see force used against a robber of the above demographic, video of the ugly fight and outcome broadcast nationwide and NOT fall back yet again calling our police “racists”, they’ll do the job. But it won’t be pretty, and most Palo Altans lack the stomach for that.


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2022 at 11:02 am
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 6, 2022 at 11:02 am

@John,

"I’m saying that if you’re willing to see force used against a robber of the above demographic, video of the ugly fight and outcome broadcast nationwide and NOT fall back yet again calling our police “racists”, they’ll do the job. But it won’t be pretty, and most Palo Altans lack the stomach for that."

got it, but then if the police and City can't control crime, it needs to stop with the idea that downtown is a place for retail or allow stores that make themselves crime magnets. Policing doesn't have to be only about "force" though (I like Annettes' idea for buzz in doors)and maybe how we expect shops to be needs to change. I would be all for Apple installing a virtual airport security system before allowing people in.


John
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 6, 2022 at 12:20 pm
John, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 6, 2022 at 12:20 pm

@resident3- I like the security ideas in theory…. But can you imagine Eisenberg’s letter to the editor once downtown business employees make a judgement call and don’t buzz one person or another into the store???


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2022 at 1:15 pm
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 6, 2022 at 1:15 pm

@ John,

"I like the security ideas in theory"

In practice, it's really all about equal rules for all (like an airport) and money. More staff, more technology, more attention, more everything. That is the true cost of safety and I disagree that there is no other way to behave than to have viral viewing level of force.

The concept that we should not care because Apple's insurance will take care of Apple and they don't care anyway is ridiculous. They are a magnet for crime as long as they don't invest in actual safety of their customers.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2022 at 4:41 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 6, 2022 at 4:41 pm

We are told that online shopping is killing our Malls and downtowns. I would say that it is crime that is killing the shopping experience. It is much safer to shop at home in front of you device than risk going into retail stores when we read about these types of crimes happening. What is even worse is when elected officials can't see the harm in crime. I hope everyone who voted for Eisenberg is paying attention.


Mac Peterson
Registered user
Stanford
on Dec 7, 2022 at 8:48 am
Mac Peterson, Stanford
Registered user
on Dec 7, 2022 at 8:48 am

There is absolutely no need to buy Apple products in-person at any Apple Store.

MacBooks, iPhones, iPads, and iPods can be easily purchased online and delivered directly to one's door via Apple and/or Amazon.

The only customers who are tied to an Apple Store by the umbilical cord are Apple hobbyists and those in need of direct technical assistance.


Seer
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 7, 2022 at 1:11 pm
Seer, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Dec 7, 2022 at 1:11 pm

@John
"@resident3- I’m saying that if you’re willing to see force used against a robber of the above demographic, video of the ugly fight and outcome broadcast nationwide and NOT fall back yet again calling our police “racists”, they’ll do the job. But it won’t be pretty, and most Palo Altans lack the stomach for that."

Yeah, we do. Catch using any necessary means, no apologies for messing up career criminals.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Dec 8, 2022 at 7:10 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Dec 8, 2022 at 7:10 am

@Eileen - what a horrible experience for you; thank goodness you survived that. I think you make a good point about police presence. There's no question that effective measures need to be taken immediately. Action is required, not more thought and talk and consideration.


Rob
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 8, 2022 at 8:22 am
Rob, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 8, 2022 at 8:22 am

After we were all lied about the cities finances ($40 million surplus) and duped into voting for measures K&L by the newspapers its obvious the money isn't going to policing PA needs to get its priorities in line and provide safety for its citizens because our reputation as an easy mark is well known to criminals.


Tim Kang
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 8, 2022 at 8:51 am
Tim Kang, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Dec 8, 2022 at 8:51 am

The retail stores have an obligation to ensure and provide a safe shopping environment for all of its customers and employees.

Added security measures and a close working relationship with the PAPD is warranted.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 8, 2022 at 11:39 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Dec 8, 2022 at 11:39 am

Speaking of duped, checked your utility bill lately? In addition to enshrining the city's right to continue to over-charge us $20,000,000 a year, I also noticed the $50 monthly utility users tax in addition to the already-high rates sewer, storm drains etc.

$50 x 12 = $600 x 24,000 households = $14,400,000. + usual annual overcharge $34,000,000

PS: The new police chief's community email mentioned all the increased police patrols in retail areas for the holiday season. How much are Stanford Shopping Center and the retail community contributing to that effort?


Ryan
Registered user
Barron Park
on Dec 11, 2022 at 10:35 pm
Ryan, Barron Park
Registered user
on Dec 11, 2022 at 10:35 pm

Instead of staring and making videos, next time call 911


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