• Paranoia Looms After Apple Store Shoppers Targeted By Follow Home Thieves

    A story first reported by the LA Times last week has resurfaced again today with additional - but unverified - reports emerging that some Apple Store shoppers are being followed home by would-be thieves. According to the initial report, approximately one hundred recent burglaries have been linked to individuals who just returned from shopping trips to Apple's retail stores in and around Los Angeles.

    The blogosphere has begun buzzing again this week with reports of "suspicious characters" similarly following home Apple shoppers - but now such reports have begun appearing outside of Los Angeles. Are these reports legit or just instances of paranoia taking hold after the recent wave of "follow-home" burglaries. After all, for now, there haven't been widespread cases of similar burglaries elsewhere, only "concerns" that a comparable crime wave could impact other metropolitan communities.

    From the LA Times:

    Last month, the Orange County district attorney's office charged three Los Angeles residents -- Garzon Diaz, Louis Lopez and John Rodriguez -- with burglary and grand theft in connection with 28 cases in which thieves broke into vehicles and stole computers from customers who had visited Apple retail stores.
    Last year, there was no shortage of attempted burglaries at physical Apple Stores around the country. While most were foiled and led to arrests, some law enforcement officials suspect that since the retail outlets have proven difficult to penetrate by thieves, customers may be the next best option for burglarizing - particularly those that leave an Apple Store carrying a large and potentially expensive package.

    But law enforcement officials said despite the arrests in Orange County, they believe these follow-away burglaries are the work of a larger ring that has taken more than 100 computers in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties.
    For now, paranoia seems to be taking hold more than concrete evidence of a widespread or growing problem. But anyone shopping at Apple or a similar electronics outlet should always be mindful of their surroundings and take necessary precautions to reduce the likelihood of being followed and consequently victimized.

    Image via NY Daily News
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