California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Thursday that authorities had busted a robbery scheme targeting Apple stores across 19 counties.
Seventeen people have been indicted in the scheme, which saw over $1 million in Apple merchandise stolen across the state, from far northern Butte couinty all the way to San Diego. 22 law enforcement agencies are involved in the investigation.
Oakland Police Chief Anne E. Kirkpatrick and Lieutenant Burch talk with media about the criminal search warrant arrests officers made in connection with the Apple Store Robberies. pic.twitter.com/bwV3D3tDYq— Oakland Police Dept. (@oaklandpoliceca) September 27, 2018
New Apple store in Walnut Creek robbed. A bystander took some video of the suspect's Mercedes driving away. The store also had some surveillance cameras capture some of the scene. https://t.co/cS5Fg9E3MF— KTVU (@KTVU) August 29, 2018
via @AmberKTVU pic.twitter.com/A2pahtC1pC
WATCH: Authorities released surveillance footage from a daring daytime robbery of an Apple Store in Fresno, California; employees and customers alike were shocked when four men entered around 11:30 a.m. pic.twitter.com/rExBjJQxQf— Blaine Stewart (@BlaineStewart) July 10, 2018
Seven unnamed individuals connected to the scheme were arrested in Oakland on Tuesday, according to Becerra's office, while another suspect, Kenneth Martin Jr. of Oakland is in custody in Sonoma County around an hour north. Nine other suspects remain at large.
Surveillance videos show several groups of hooded suspects running into stores and grabbing Apple devices from display cases. In an August 29th incident, suspects made off with over $35,000 in merchandise.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department initiated the investigation following a series of thefts from Apple stores. Local law enforcement agencies from the following counties have assisted in the investigation: Alameda County, Butte County, Contra Costa County, Fresno County, Kern County, Los Angeles County, Marin County, Monterey County, Orange County, Placer County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, San Francisco County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Sonoma County and Ventura County.
Attorney General Becerra has filed charges for conspiracy to commit grand theft against the individuals in Fresno, Santa Clara, and Alameda Counties. -oag.ca.gov
Police in Roseville, California arrested several suspects earlier this month, taking into custody Juwan Potter, 20, Melvin Barlow, 21, and Quincy Carter Jr., 21, according to CBS Sacramento. They are currently being held in the South Placer County Jail on suspicion of robbing the Applie Store in Roseville's Westfield Galleria mall.
"Organized retail thefts cost California business owners millions and expose them to copycat criminals. Ultimately, consumers pay the cost of this merchandise hijacking," Becerra said in a statement. "We will continue our work with local law enforcement authorities to extinguish this mob mentality and prosecute these criminals to hold them accountable."