Apple’s swanky flagship store in Paris was attacked on New Year’s Eve by an armed gang that injured a member of staff before making off with a reported £1 million ($1.6 million) of smartphones, tablets and laptops.
The raid happened after-hours on December 31 at around 9 p.m. local time as large crowds assembled on the nearby Champs-Élysées for New Year celebrations, a moment police believe was chosen to mask the robbery.
One member of the store’s sales team was injured as four robbers loaded the store’s stock into waiting vans before leaving the scene.
“They were well prepared,” said police union spokesperson, Christophe Crepin in a translated statement. “As the majority of police were busy watching the Champs Elysees, the robbers took advantage of this opportunity.”
The exact value of the stock taken has not been confirmed but it now believed to be over €1 million. Police have a CC TV video of the raid to begin an investigation.
Armed raids on Apple stores are extremely rare, and for France this sort of organised attack represents a first.
In the UK, large-scale thefts of valuable branded tech goods tend to be inside jobs such as the September loss of 250 iPhones, taken by an O2 South London store manager who later fled the country.