updated 08:50 pm EST, Wed January 15, 2014
Daring raid fraught with risk, removed loot from back at 50MPH or more
An unusual tale of a daring robbery of Apple equipment sounds like it came directly from an action thriller like the spy spoof Danger Diabolik. Thieves in Germany, copying similar thefts by a Romanian gang, apparently followed a moving truck full of Apple devices, broke open the lock on the rear of the truck and made off with about $95,000 (€70,000) worth of iPads, iPhones and other items -- all while travelling at around 50 miles per hour.
An SUV was apparently riding directly behind the truck and thus invisible to the driver's mirrors. Thieves climbed out onto the hood, cut open the lock with a bolt cutter, and stole some 130 iPad models, roughly 30 iPhones and some other equipment like keyboards, according to the police report. The driver of the truck was unaware of the events until he stopped for a break in Kassel, and discovered the broken lock and missing equipment.
Trucks typically travel at around 80kmph (50mph) on German highways late at night, when these types of thefts occur. A string of about 50 such incidents happened last year, according to local police, despite the insanely high risk of accident and injury. While a theft of this nature takes only a few minutes, the driver of the SUV must exactly match the speed of the victim's truck, and if the truck should brake or make any sudden changes, the SUV would almost certainly crash into it, injuring or killing some of the thieves.
The truck in this latest raid was apparently headed to the Czech Republic from the Netherlands. Thanks to surveillance footage at a stop for fuel about two hours after the journey began, authorities know that the break-in occurred between that stop and the second one in Kassel. Police admit that they will have difficulty catching the perpetrators, as the event happened in the middle of the night, meaning there are probably few or no witnesses.