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Thieves in Germany steal $95K in Apple gear from moving truck

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. juraiprince

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-27-06

    It seems like some type of infra-red camera/recorder should be installed along the very top edge of trucks like these so that there is physical evidence of any tampering of the doors while in transit and at any time thereafter.

  1. sibeale1

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-23-06

    Nice alibi.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Driver is not aware of it? I would not surprise at all if the driver is part of this operation.

  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    My immediate thought was inside job, too.

  1. olePigeon

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 12-05-99

    I've actually seen Diabolik thanks to MST3K. :)

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