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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

iStore on hunt for criminals who robbed Pretoria store of Apple iPhones, iPads and Macs

The thieves have a pile of useless junk as all devices in an iStore are fitted with remote management software allowing them to be disabled

Apple’s authorised reseller in South Africa, the iStore, is on the hunt for three suspects who robbed one of its branches in Pretoria stealing a number of iPhones, iPads and Macs.  

According to iStore, the establishment in Woodlands Mall was robbed at gunpoint last week.

The criminals stole a number products including iPhones which were on display.

Useless junk

While the gang who made off with Apple tech last week think they hit the jackpot, they actually have a pile of useless junk as all devices in an iStore are fitted with remote management software on them –  which allowed the retailer to hard-lock all the stolen devices.

If the devices are stolen, they can be disabled remotely. This feature makes all stolen goods from the iStore unusable.  Powering on such a device will display a message that reads, “This is a stolen device, please return to iStore”

This prevents the device from being accessed or used.

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Unsuspecting victims

However it is unlikely that the thieves will be keeping the “unusable” products for themselves, but rather selling them to unsuspecting customers who think they may be getting a good deal on an Apple product.

Chris Dodd, CEO of iStore, said they have implemented stringent security measures to protect staff and customers.

“This is our priority. iStore is consistently approached by unsuspecting customers that have purchased used Apple products that are either remote locked or network sim locked and as a result unusable. Customers should be extremely cautious to always buy Apple devices from trustworthy sources with certification and warranties. If the price seems too good to be true it usually is!”


While one person tied to the robbery was arrested, the others are still at large.

The iStore said the suspects in the robbery at their store in Woodlands Mall were captured on video surveillance.

“There is a reward offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the other suspects. Confidentiality is guaranteed. Please contact Police Sergeant Motau on 066 191 7907.”

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