Armed robbers raid Apple Paris store
Apple's flagship Paris store was robbed on New Year's Eve, with the thieves making off with around $1.3 million worth of products.
According to local media, the four robbers, armed with handguns, broke in at about 9 pm, three hours after the store, in the Opera district, closed for the night. A police spokesperson told Le Parisien that one security guard received a minor injury.
The robbers are believed to have entered the store through a service entrance, threatening those staff who remained inside. They then collected boxes of iPhones, iPads and laptops, which they loaded into a Mercedes van and drove away after only about 40 minutes.
The value of the haul hasn't yet been confirmed, but is believed to be over a million Euros.
The thieves had picked their time well, with the streets packed with New Year's revellers. "As the majority of police were busy watching the Champs Elysées, the robbers took advantage of this opportunity," said the spokesperson.
"The four hooded and heavily armed criminals made their move very quickly. Most of the police forces were being mobilised to monitor the Champs Elysees, so the robbers have clearly benefited from this opportunity to strike."
Police are now expamining CCTV footage and interviewing witnesses to try and track the robbers down.
Thefts of Apple kit are apparently continuing to rise around the world, with new York Mayor Michael Bloomberg blaming opportunistic thefts for the city's overall rise in crime.
“If you just took away the jump in Apple, we’d be down for the year,” Marc La Vorgna, the mayor’s press secretary, told the New York Times last week.