Thieves broke into an Australian Apple store with a sledgehammer and stole $300,000 worth of Apple products — but they may already be worth nothing (AAPL)


Apple perthcity

  • Thieves stole $300,000 worth of iPhones and other Apple products after smashing an Australian Apple store’s window with a sledgehammer on Tuesday morning, according to Perth Now and other Perth news outlets.
  • A detective said that Apple identified the stolen devices and disabled them, making the stolen devices useless to anyone who wants to buy them. 
  • An Apple patent from May suggests that Apple was looking at a wireless security system that would prevent unpurchased iPhones from being activated and usable if the iPhones were taken a certain distance away from the store. It’s unclear if this was the security method used to disable the stolen devices. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Thieves smashed the window of an Apple store in Perth, Australia, with a sledgehammer on Tuesday morning and stole $300,000 in iPhones and other products, according to Perth Now and other Perth news outlets, which we first saw on 9to5Mac.

However, Apple reportedly knows which devices were stolen, and the company disabled them, according to Detective Senior Constable Matt Whelan, speaking to Perth media. If accurate, the stolen iPhones are now about as useful as a brick. 

Apple was reportedly considering some kind of security measure on its devices to prevent shoplifting, as revealed by a patent the company submitted in May. The security measure described in the patent suggests that shoplifted iPhones couldn’t be set up with user accounts if they’re taken a certain distance from a store’s wireless security system. 

It’s unclear if the stolen iPhones were disabled using this security method, nor is it confirmed by Apple that the stolen devices were, indeed, disabled. Apple didn’t immediately reply to Business Insider’s request for comment. 

Read more: Ex-Apple store employees reveal the biggest mistakes customers make at the Genius Bar

Stolen devices can be sold to unsuspecting buyers for less than their retail pricing, making them a tempting option, especially for popular devices like Apple’s iPhones. 

But anyone who buys the stolen devices that come from this particular robbery in Perth will likely discover a “bricked” iPhone. That’s to say the device can turn on, but is otherwise completely useless because it won’t let anyone sign into their Apple ID accounts, nor would it allow anyone to set up the iPhone for normal use. 

There’s still the potential for bricked devices to be sold for parts, which would turn a profit for the thieves who obtained the devices with a sledgehammer rather than money. With that said, an iPhone sold for parts is going to fetch a much smaller price than a fully functioning model. 

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