California’s top law enforcement official, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, announced Thursday that police had busted a robbery ring that hit Apple Store locations across 19 counties. Seventeen people have been indicted over the scheme to steal more than $1 million in Apple products from stores in Butte County in the north of the state to San Diego County in the south.
Becerra’s office said that seven people, who were not named, were arrested in Oakland on Tuesday and booked into the Alameda County Jail. Another suspect, Kennith Martin Jr., also of Oakland, is in custody in Sonoma County, roughly an hour’s drive north. The remaining nine are at large.
Oakland Police Chief Anne E. Kirkpatrick and Lieutenant Burch talk with media about the criminal search warrant arrests officers made in connection with the Apple Store Robberies. pic.twitter.com/bwV3D3tDYq
— Oakland Police Dept. (@oaklandpoliceca) September 27, 2018
According to the , Martin has been charged with grand theft in Fresno County, along with suspects Leo David Smith III, Leo David Smith IV, Yoshua Neshon Barker, and Armon Darzell James.
Earlier this month, police in Roseville, California—just outside Sacramento—arrested suspects Juwan Potter, 20, Melvin Barlow, 21, and Quincy Carter Jr., 21, according to CBS Sacramento. The men are currently being held in the South Placer County Jail on suspicion of a heist from the Apple Store in Roseville’s Westfield Galleria mall.
“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.”