In the early hours of Monday morning the Apple Store in Covent Garden was subjected to a smash-and-grab raid by a group of between (depending on which report you read) seven and 14 thieves. Riding mopeds or motorcycles and wearing helmets to conceal their features, the group smashed into the store at around 1am, making off with a haul of Apple booty.
Later in the morning, a 16-year old boy and a 21-year old man were arrested in St John's Street, Islington on suspicion of the robbery; police had spotted a moped similar to one of those used abandoned outside an address at Wycliff Court.
Police have appealed for eyewitnesses, and lucky for them one man did indeed watch the robbery unfold: Robert Shoesmith, who runs something called the iPhone 5 Experiment, a marketing stunt which basically involves him camping outside Apple stores and waiting in line for new product releases. He saw the whole thing, and has posted about it on his blog.
This type of smash-and-grab theft at high-end stores is becoming more common in London. Last year Westfield was hit, while an audacious theft from a Bond Street jewellers in 2009 saw £40 million worth of goods pinched.
Photo: Simon Wicks