A gang of thieves armed with sledgehammers has smashed their way into Apple stores across Perth in what police say was a planned crime spree on Tuesday.
Approximately $300,000 worth of items were stolen in the heist, mostly mobile phones, which are now said to be worthless.
Watch the video above
The gang smashed their way into the Perth Apple store at 2:15am on Tuesday, before taking off when a taxi driver disturbed them – causing them to leave with nothing.
Less than an hour later, six armed men threatened security staff at Garden City Shopping Centre in Booragoon and forced their way into the Apple store at the shopping complex.
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Detective Senior Constable Matt Whelan said Apple knows which phones have been stolen, making them now not worth any money.
Because of the way the phones are manufactured they cannot be unlocked and restored to factory settings.
So the phones are no good on the black market as they are unusable.
“Sometimes when you’re buying something too good to be true, generally it is,” Whelan said.
Watch the video below: Police vision shows break-in
“By buying this black-market product, you’re ultimately causing these burglaries to occur, because you are generating a market, this black market where people can buy technology cheap.”
‘Sometimes when you’re buying something too good to be true, generally it is.’
WA Police said the gang was wearing dark clothing and the cars involved were found burnt-out on Tuesday morning.
“Two vehicles linked to these incidents were located burnt-out in the southern suburbs earlier today,” WA Police said in a statement.
Police are asking the taxi driver, who disturbed the thieves, and the cyclist who was in the area around the time of the Perth incident, to contact them.
“Detectives are linking these two incidents and wish to speak with anyone who may have dashcam or CCTV footage in the incident locations around the time of the offences,” Police said.