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Apple Store pillaged in 31 seconds

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On Tuesday, around 2 o'clock in the morning, a team of well-choreographed gadget-rustlers needed no more than 31 seconds to clear out an Apple Store in Marlton, New Jersey.

Taking only one second longer than it does for Justin Long to humiliate John Hodgman in a "Get a Mac" ad, five masked miscreants tossed a brick through the store's glass door; threatened a security guard with what may have been a gun; gathered up 23 MacBooks, 14 iPhones, and iPod touches; and skedaddled.

WPVI-TV in nearby Philadelphia obtained security-cam footage of the heist and reported on it with typically breathless Action News flair:

Adding insult to brick-induced injury, this was the second time that the same Apple Store had been hit in the past few months. In May, the same left-front door was shattered by a piece of concrete and robbed of eight MacBooks and eight iPhones

News of the 50-finger discount comes to us from ifoAppleStore, which keeps a running tab on Apple Store robberies, including ones in Seattle, Washington; Memphis, Tennessee; Pasadena and Rancho Cucamonga, California; Cherry HIll, New Jersey; Kansas City, Missouri; Ardmore, Pennsylvania; Austin, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; and more.

Clearly, premium pricing attracts more than merely well-heeled status symbol seekers. We'll be anxious to see if Microsoft can match Apple's popularity among the criminally minded when it begins opening its own stores this fall.

Apple's airy open-plan stores may make shopping an uncrowded, casual experience, but the wide aisles and lack of security tie-downs also give fast-moving gangs a clear pathway to success. ®

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