It sounded like chaos, but this is a citizen arrest after shoppers at one mall said enough is enough.
But Captain Garo Kuredjian was happy the shoppers got involved after three men walked into this Apple store at the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks and started snatching goods.
“These items are relatively small and very expensive so if they get away with a few things in their hands these are very easy to transfer into cash,” said Kuredjian, who’s with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
Sound familiar? That’s because something similar happened in Fresno. It’s a scene we have seen up and down the state.
In Fresno last month, four men took more than $30,000 worth of merchandise from an Apple Store in less than a minute.
In Costa Mesa a couple weeks later – the same thing, and a customer snapped a photo in Valencia of four people running out with computers as well.
“They’re actually targeting these Apple stores because of what they have there, and there’s a network in place to sell these on the secondary market,” Kuredjian said.
Detectives believe at least two stores were targeted Sunday.
First, an Apple store in Northridge was hit at 1 p.m. – $10,000 worth of products were taken. Two hours later detectives believe the same men came to Thousand Oaks, but this time customers tackled two of them.
Deputies pulled over the third in a getaway car leaving the mall.
Detectives arrested three men and two women believed to be in the getaway car.
Four are from Northern California, and one is from Fresno. That’s why investigators believe this wasn’t their first day.
They say the group has been doing this for weeks – which makes these Good Samaritan’s holding down would-be thieves Apple’s newest heros.