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Apple store in Paris hit by New Year's Eve raid

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An Apple store in Paris was hit by an armed raid on New Year's Eve, with authorities warning that thieves are now actively targeting Apple devices.

Police said that four masked men forced their way into the shop behind the Paris Opera at around 9pm on Monday (December 31), three hours after it had closed.

A customer compares his black iPhone to a white iPhone at the Apple store on New York's Upper West Side, Thursday, April 28, 2011

© PA Images / Richard Drew/AP



They stole a range of goods and then escaped in a van. Paris police did not reveal the value of the products stolen, but the BBC says that the heist is estimated to have netted stock worth one million euros (£813,000).

A spokesman for the Paris police said: "As the majority of police were busy watching the Champs-Élysées [for the New Year's Eve celebrations], the robbers took advantage of this opportunity."

Apple stores and distribution networks have often been targeted by thieves due to the big demand for devices such as iPhones and iPads.

In October 2011, the flagship Apple Store in London's Covent Garden was hit by a smash-and-grab raid that saw a gang of motorbike thieves steal up to £75,000-worth of goods.

Then last November, criminals stole a shipment of Apple's iPad Mini tablet computers worth around $1.5 million (£945,000) from a cargo building at JFK airport in New York.

Photo gallery - Apple iPad Mini launch:
Apple products are also apparently driving an increase in street crime. According to the New York Police Department, around 3,890 Apple products were stolen in 2012, prompting the city's mayor Michael Bloomberg to warn that thieves were showing a preference for the devices.

Bloomberg's office said that if the increase in stolen Apple products was removed, then the city's figures would have shown a fall in crime for last year.

London's Metropolitan Police also warned that criminals in the capital are going after electronic gadgets as they are easy to steal from people.

A spokesman for the Met told BBC News that street thieves were now more likely to demand phones than cash due to them being "highly sellable on the second-hand market".

"Victims now are far less likely to be a bashed-up pensioner and more likely to be a young professional who has had a phone grabbed out of their hand or pocket," he said.

The spokesman did not indicate a preference for Apple devices but said that "in general the more you paid for a gadget the more interest it will be to street robbers".

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