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Three arrested in Berkeley Apple store theft; more than 75 stolen phones recovered



BERKELEY — Three people were arrested Wednesday in Oakland after they allegedly stole more than 75 iPhones from the Fourth Street Apple Store, authorities said.

One of the suspects is also alleged to have committed several thefts of numerous iPhones from an Emeryville Apple store, including one Monday morning where 50 iPhones valued at more than $49,000 were taken. The theft happened despite an unoccupied marked police car being parked outside, authorities said.

The suspects are also being investigated for possibly being involved in similar thefts both at the Berkeley store and in other cities, authorities said.

The Berkeley theft happened about 12:23 p.m. Wednesday at the Apple Store, 1823 Fourth Street.

Police said two men entered the business, stole more than 75 iPhones worth thousands of dollars and fled in a red Dodge truck before officers arrived.

Detectives working with Apple and bicycle officers were able to track the phones outside Berkeley, authorities said.

With the help of Oakland and Emeryville police and the California Highway Patrol, three suspects — a woman and two men — were arrested later Wednesday at 73rd and Bancroft avenues in East Oakland and the phones were recovered.

Emeryville police said one of the men arrested, a 22-year-old who has addresses in both Berkeley and Sacramento, is suspected of the Monday theft and others recently at the same store, which is at 5640 Bay Street.

There was an unoccupied marked Emeryville police car parked outside the store which is occasionally parked at various locations in Emeryville as a means to try and prevent criminal activity, authorities said.

Besides the 22-year-old man, also booked Wednesday at Santa Rita Jail for the Berkeley case were a 20-year-old Berkeley woman and a 28-year-old Oakland man.

The two men were booked on multiple counts of second-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime, grand theft, organized retail theft and receiving known stolen property. The 22-year-old man is being held on $810,000 bail and the other on $530,000 bail. The woman was booked on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime and receiving known stolen property and was being held in lieu of $40,000 bail.

Authorities said that prior to Wednesday, the Berkeley Apple store had been targeted by thieves five times already this year. In three of the incidents, a total of 58 iPhones and 10 laptop computers were stolen. In the other two, the thieves were not able to gain entry. A 21-year-old man was arrested in the theft of nine phones from the store on Jan. 25, police said.


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