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  • "Acrobatic" Burglars Swipe MacBooks from Best Buy


    In a daring theft early Thursday morning, burglars cut a hole in the roof of a Best Buy, used climbing gear to rappel down 16 feet and snatched twenty MacBooks without touching the floor, which would have set off an alarm. South Brunswick, New Jersey police said that the break-in - which has caused a net-wide shortage of Mission: Impossible references - earned the criminals $26,000 worth of Apple laptops.

    Best Buy employees in the New Jersey suburb, about an hour outside New York City, discovered that some MacBooks were missing when they opened the store at 6:30 Thursday morning. Noting the one-meter-square (3 feet by 3 feet) hole in the ceiling, the employees deduced that perhaps there had been some foul play. The South Brunswick police were called to the scene, and discovered boot prints on a gas pipe running up the side of the building. Climbing to the roof, the police found the saw that the thieves had used to cut through the roof, slicing through several inches of rubber weatherproofing and insulation, and that the roof section had been removed with some kind of suction cup apparatus.

    A report in the Newark Star-Ledger that calls the thieves "acrobatic," notes that the police arriving at the scene were impressed by the "high-level planning" that went into the burglary. "High level of sophistication," Detective James Ryan, a police department spokesman, said tersely. "They never set off any motion sensors. They never touched the floor. They rappelled in and rappelled out."

    If they had come in contact with the floor, they would have set off an alarm. According to John Harris, an expert in security expert contacted by the Star-Ledger, the effort was very much out of the ordinary. "I would say they were a professional crew," Harris said. "At least I’ve never dealt with anything like this. From time to time, people break in, but not usually through the roof."

    The hole was cut directly over the Apple display area. Once in, the thieves rappelled down to the racks where the MacBooks were stored, and then rappelled back up or hoisted the laptops somehow, as climbing while holding a computer would have been hard work. Once they had all twenty computers, they shimmied back down the gas pipe and made their getaway without triggering any alarms.

    It was an impressive piece of work, but it seems like an awful lot of effort for a fairly modest reward. Maybe this was practice for a diamond heist or something.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "Acrobatic" Burglars Swipe MacBooks from Best Buy started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 53 Comments
    1. moorean32's Avatar
      moorean32 -
      Nice...lmao
    1. battlecrushr's Avatar
      battlecrushr -
      Wow haha
    1. Badass37000's Avatar
      Badass37000 -
      wow, i must say that's pretty impressive lol
    1. stash459's Avatar
      stash459 -
      that **** is to real to be true...it look like it came out of a movie!! well let me see? oh yeah (mission inpossible)lol is not funny but if you think about it and picture it it all make sense...these guys are profesional maybe? i know they plan that ****...who knows maybe the people that work in the apple store part of it...perfect heist...not touching the floor?? wow that's gangsta!!! for real...sorry apple..props to the thieves?? I wonder how much they be selling it for? each macbook....like i said that's gangsta......
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      All that trouble for $26k? There's definietly more to this than meets the eye...using such techniques and probably very expensive and not so easy-to-come-by equipment....I'd say the real reason behind this probable practice run would soon become apparent!

      How did they know that touching the floor would trigger an alarm? Inside info perhaps??
    1. pyrotek's Avatar
      pyrotek -
      I live about 10 minutes from this Best Buy. Unbelievable that this could happen in my area, lol. It's in a small shopping center with a Target right on a major highway. It definately took a lot of balls to pull this one off.
    1. ajl917's Avatar
      ajl917 -
      From what I've read about this, it looks like it might have been done by an employee because not only did they not trip the security system, I saw that they were hidden from the security cameras. With all of these crazy things they did to get only $26K, it seems like someone almost scouted out the location...
    1. iTouch-Warrior's Avatar
      iTouch-Warrior -
      Wow...These guys MUST be professional...No ordinary "drug-craving" burglar would have pull all this. These guys knew exactly where to look and how to get in and out of there. Not to mention that they probably should have planned this with much anticipation since they knew what they needed to get in.
    1. iTitoThemes's Avatar
      iTitoThemes -
      people will do anything for a Mac.
    1. mastaryan's Avatar
      mastaryan -
      Stunned that the only sensors are on the floor? Interesting to note. I would have figured a motion sensor by the front door or by any exits. Crazy what people would do but interesting to see such skills. I'm still curious about the floor senors? Is it pressured or some type of lasers? I thought my local best buy was some type of commercial vinyl and carpet flooring!
    1. nhreminh's Avatar
      nhreminh -
      Quote Originally Posted by iLaw-One View Post
      All that trouble for $26k? There's definietly more to this than meets the eye...using such techniques and probably very expensive and not so easy-to-come-by equipment....I'd say the real reason behind this probable practice run would soon become apparent!

      How did they know that touching the floor would trigger an alarm? Inside info perhaps??
      Rappelling gear and a saws aren't expensive, or hard to come by. 180 feet of climbing rope (way more than they needed for this) is only around 100 bucks, and you can buy cordless saws for about the same. This was a nice pay off for what they spent on equipment, and who's to say they paid for that either.

      Now all they have to do is explain why they've got a van full of laptops that "MUST GO!"
    1. Nicholas Knight's Avatar
      Nicholas Knight -
      lol thats talent
    1. Ichwohneinloche's Avatar
      Ichwohneinloche -
      Im agreeing with nhreminh here. the only thing that i could see costing a good bit of money would be the "suction cup apparatus" which even then may have been much simpler then we are thinking. So lets see 500 for rope, 75 for the saw, give another 500 for the rappelling gear, and maybe(way over) 1000 for the suction cups. That comes out to 2,075 paid to get 26,000 worth of Laptops. Thats one hell of a pay off. And who said anything about selling em? Some will probably get used by the thieves the others will more than likely go to graphic design students who are usually required to have MacBook Pro's and not all of them have 1200 to dish on a laptop and then another 1000 for Adobe. Yeah seems like an easy deal once you get the candy out of the bag.
    1. jdm.accord's Avatar
      jdm.accord -
      Seems like Best Buy likely has the serial numbers for these and will work with Apple to track them once someone fires it up within range of a network. Apple can't be happy that their stuff was targeted in a news-making heist (even if Best Buy already paid for them) either.

      Clever though for sure.
    1. blkcadi's Avatar
      blkcadi -
      Amazing, well planned. Must be professionals for sure.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Gotta give them props.
    1. r0bErT4u's Avatar
      r0bErT4u -
      I was thinking how the thieves would be caught, and came up with a few ideas:

      * Check ALL MacBooks going up on eBay, Craigslist, etc. from time of the heist. Serial Numbers, etc.

      * There's 26 MacBooks with Serial Numbers that are going to be setup, registered, and going online.

      I predict most if not all (26) will be found, that will lead to the thieves.
    1. JLHardesty's Avatar
      JLHardesty -
      I worked at a Best Buy once, it is to easy for any customer to see the camera angles since they have the monitor at the front door. These thiefs could have easily sat out side watching it to know where the "black zones" are at. They also cannot have to many motion monitors due to them hanging ballons and other ads from the ceiling, that would cause the alarms to go off all night. Also, I know the local store does not keep track of the serial numbers purchased and I do not believe the warehouse keeps track of this either, since apple laptops come in a brown sealed box from the warehouse, so it may be harder for Best Buy and Apple to locate these laptops then they think. Very impressive indeed though.
    1. avenger's Avatar
      avenger -
      So...were can i get a cheap mac from hahaha
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Wow that is crazy. That must have taken some serious scouting.