Apple Store employees at Seattle’s Alderwood Mall were in for quite a shock when they came into work on Monday morning: $500,000 worth of Apple products had been stolen from from their inventory, all without setting off a single alarm. How’d these burglars pull it off? They went through the bathroom of adjoining coffee appliance shop Seattle Coffee Gear, and sawed their way through the wall in full-on Oceans 11-style operation.
Mike Atkinson, the CEO of Seattle Coffee Gear, tweeted about the massive theft on Tuesday of this week, sharing photos of the bathroom through which the thieves cut in order to gain access to the Apple Store next door.
“Yesterday was a weird day,” he wrote. “Two men broke into one of our retail locations. Why? To cut a hole in our bathroom wall to access the Apple Store next door and steal $500k worth of iPhones.”
Lynwood Police told local news outlet King 5 that 436 iPhones were stolen from the Seattle shop along with other Apple products, with an estimated value of $500,000 total inventory taken. While alarms weren’t triggered by the theft, there is reportedly surveillance video available that may help them in solving this case. Regional Coffee Gear retail manager Eric Marks told King 5 that he believes the thieves must have been planning this operation for a long time, given how thought-out their strategy was: even as a store employee, he wasn’t aware that Coffee Gear was even adjoining to the Apple Store in Alderwood.
“I would have never suspected we were adjacent to the Apple Store, how it wraps around I mean,” Marks told the outlet. “So, someone really had to think it out and have access to the mall layout.”
Lynwood Police also tweeted out news of the burglary, sharing a simple statement. “On Sunday night (April 2, 2023) between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. subjects broke into the Apple Store at the Alderwood Mall,” they wrote. “When Apple employees arrived the next morning they discovered an entire wall of iPhones (approximately 436) were gone. There was approximately 500K worth of merchandise stolen (that includes iPhones, Apple Watches etc). As of right now, no arrests have been made.”