updated 11:55 am EDT, Mon May 9, 2011
Glass facades proving inherent vulnerability
Apple's Crocker Park retail store in Westlake, Ohio was hit by a smash-and-grab robbery on Friday morning, reports say. Surveillance video obtained by police shows three people smashing the front doors at about 4:30AM, which set off an alarm. The suspects were already gone in a minute however, having managed to take 24 notebooks and a lone iPod.
Smash-and-grabs have become a growing problem at Apple Stores. The worst incident was one in Chula Vista, California in early April, which erupted in a firefight leading to the death of one of the suspects. The standardized layout of Apple Stores is thought to be partly to blame; glass facades make it easier to break in, and once inside expensive goods are conveniently laid out on tables.
In Detroit, meanwhile, WXYZ TV says that Quicken Loans owner Dan Gilbert has been talking with Apple's retail team about the prospect of a downtown location. The shop would be based in the ground level of Chase Tower, a 14-story building formerly home to banking offices. Talks are said to be related to efforts to revitalize Detroit's core by moving suburban workers into the area. For Apple the site might have two advantages: it would be the company's first downtown site, and Chase Tower's retail space already employs the glass facades Apple prefers.