ROSEVILLE -- Roseville police are searching for four men who walked into the Westfield Galleria Apple Store Tuesday night and stole multiple devices.
At least 20 iPhones, two MacBook Pros and possibly an iPad mini were taken from the store while it was open around 8:10 p.m. Tuesday.
The police department reports the suspects systematically worked to cut the security cables from the devices.
All four suspects were wearing hooded sweatshirts that covered their faces. Roseville Police later circulated a clear image of two of the men.
The crime is one that’s been happening a lot at Apple stores across the state. The same thing happened in San Luis Obispo in June and then again in July in Fresno. A Costa Mesa store was also hit that month.
Then, just two weeks ago, it happened at an Apple Store in Bakersfield.
Roseville police are looking to see if there’s a connection between them.
"All a part of the investigation is coordinating with other departments that have had similar situations like this," said Rob Baquera with the police department.
However, it could be tricky for the thieves to turn a profit out of these crimes.
"As soon as they know that they’re stolen, which is almost immediately, they lock down the devices so that they can’t be used," said Don Vilfer.
Vilfer is founder of the VAND Group and a court certified expert in cell phone forensics and cell phone location evidence. He says the criminals will more than likely be trying to sell the stolen phones online, again making victims of buyers looking for a deal.
"You know I’m afraid that they do make easy money off of stealing the iPhones because there are unsuspecting victims out there that aren’t going to check the IMEI," Vilfer told FOX40.
The IMEI, or International Mobile Equipment Identity, is a number Vilfer says all phone buyers should be asking for when purchasing a used phone. With it you can go onto websites and check to see if the phone is stolen.
"And usually if you ask for it then you won’t hear from that seller again," Vilfer said.
But if you don’t check it and buy a stolen phone it will be blacklisted, meaning it won’t work on any carrier or in any country.
"They’re out of luck. They’ll have a dead phone," Vilfer said. "The carrier won’t let that phone talk to the network basically. You know it wouldn’t work on even Chinese cellular networks."
Roseville police say the suspects at the Galleria did not threaten or hurt anyone else who was in the store at the time. If you recognize the two men in that photo, Roseville police want to hear from you. You can contact Roseville Police Detective Gaines at NGaines@roseville.ca.us.
Investigators are looking at the store's surveillance footage to gather more evidence. Apple would not agree to release the surveillance video publicly.