Five people are in custody for stealing iPhones and laptops from an Apple store in southern California, and one of the suspects is from Fresno.
Fresno resident Tynisha Noel is due in Ventura County court Wednesday for her part in an attempted robbery Sunday in Thousand Oaks.
Police are investigating whether the group is also responsible for other Apple store thefts throughout California, including the robbery in Fresno at Fashion Fair mall.
“At this point, we think that they are involved in other burglaries, three of them in Thousand Oaks, and then one in Northridge,” said Capt. Garo Kuredjian of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, according to ABC News.
Based off video surveillance, this group tried to steal items in Thousand Oaks seemed similar to other Apple Store thefts.
Three male suspects entered the store wearing hoodie sweatshirts and quickly grabbed merchandise before fleeing.
This time, however, a few mall customers stepped in and tackled two of the three suspects before deputies arrived.
They were identified as Donte Sims and Timothy Terry, both of Antioch.
The third suspect allegedly ran from the mall into a waiting vehicle, which then drove away from the scene, the Ventura County Star reported.
A deputy, however, spotted the vehicle speeding on a highway and pulled them over.
Fresno’s Noel, Edward Benton of Antioch and the driver Mona Benoit of Sacramento were arrested and booked into Ventura County jail on suspicion of felony commercial burglary over $950 and conspiracy.
All are ages 19 to 26.
Noel, 26, also was booked on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance, according to authorities.
Lt. Mark Hudson of the Fresno Police Department said the Apple Store theft on July 7 at Fashion Fair remained under investigation.
In that heist, four people entered the store wearing hoodies and left with $27,000 in Apple products.
Hudson said police departments are working together to determine if the group who recently got busted in Southern California is tied to the thefts at other Apple Stores in California or if this group is a copy cat.
“At this point,” Hudson said, “we’re leaning toward thinking there’s another crew that hit Fashion Fair.”