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17 people charged with stealing $1M in merchandise from Apple stores

By Ray Downs
The iPhone 8 is displayed at the Apple store in Omotesando in Tokyo, Japan on September 22, 2017. This week, 17 people in California were charged with stealing more than $1 million in merchandise from Apple stores. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
The iPhone 8 is displayed at the Apple store in Omotesando in Tokyo, Japan on September 22, 2017. This week, 17 people in California were charged with stealing more than $1 million in merchandise from Apple stores. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 27 (UPI) -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced charges against 17 people in connection with a robbery scheme that bilked more than $1 million worth of merchandise from Apple stores across the state.

Eight people have been arrested and arrest warrants have been issued for the nine other suspects as the investigation continues.

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The suspects are accused of going into Apple stories in 19 different counties and grabbing merchandise, such as laptops and iPads, off of display counters and running out of the store.

The so-called "grab-and-run" incidents were often caught on surveillance camera, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

It is estimate that there have been at least 21 such thefts since mid-May, according to KGO-TV.

"Organized retail thefts cost California business owners millions and expose them to copycat criminals. Ultimately, consumers pay the cost of this merchandise hijacking," Becerra said in a statement. "We will continue our work with local law enforcement authorities to extinguish this mob mentality and prosecute these criminals to hold them accountable."

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