Typical lootings are often carried out through smash and grab techniques by small parties. However, because Apple assigns unique serial numbers (such as IMEI) to its devices, stolen items will often be blacklisted and "bricked". In 2018, seventeen suspects in California were arrested and charged with being part of a robbery ring to steal merchandise from Apple stores.
Though in a legal gray area, scavengers are known to go "dumpster diving" around Apple stores to recover discarded merchandise in the hopes of finding a salvageable iPhone, especially when a store location is in the process of relocating. However, Apple's security discourages this practice as it may be hazardous.
Yellow vests movement
On December 8, 2018, looters broke into the Apple Store on rue Sainte-Catherine in Bordeaux, France during the Yellow vest protests across France. By December 9, Apple stores in Paris on the Champs-Élysées and next to the Théâtre National de l'Opéra were boarded up and fortified after being damaged during ensuing riots.
George Floyd protests
On May 30, 2020, Apple stores in the United States were targeted for vandalism and/or looted during protests over the death of George Floyd. Melrose Mac, an Apple Authorized Reseller and Premier Partner based in Hollywood, was looted and burned. On May 31, only 42 of 271 locations in the United States remained open out of concern for customer and employee safety. 56 were closed due to the conditions related to the protests while others remained closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Damaged stores were closed for repairs, and high-risk locations were pre-emptively boarded up. Some boarded-up stores were decorated with murals and became gathering places for Black Lives Matter marches. Stores that were hit included:
- Apple Scottsdale Fashion Square — Scottsdale, Arizona (reopened September 9, 2020)
- Melrose Mac — Hollywood, California
- Apple Century City — Los Angeles, California (reopened June 22, 2020)
- Apple The Grove — Los Angeles, California (reopened June 22, 2020)
- Apple Carnegie Library — Washington, D.C. (reopened July 8, 2020)
- Apple Uptown — Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Apple Downtown Brooklyn — Brooklyn, New York (reopened June 17, 2020)
- Apple Walnut Street — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (reopened July 8, 2020)
- Apple Pioneer Place — Portland, Oregon
- Apple King Street — Charleston, South Carolina
- Apple City Creek Center — Salt Lake City, Utah (reopened June 9, 2020)
- Apple Georgetown — Washington, D.C. (reopened July 1, 2020)
- Apple Union Square — San Francisco, California (reopened June 8, 2020)
- Apple Bellevue Square — Bellevue, Washington (reopened June 17, 2020)
- Apple Main Place — Naperville, Illinois (reopened June 24, 2020)
- Apple Providence Place — Providence, Rhode Island (reopened June 24, 2020)
- Apple Stores smashed and looted amid George Floyd protests by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider. 2020-05-31.
- 17 people busted in $1 million Apple store robbery ring, California officials say by Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle. 2018-09-27.
- How to Dumpster Dive, wikiHow. 2020-03-29.
- Found working iPhone 8 Plus!! Apple Store dumpster diving!!! by Wauconda Broke Boy, makrus.net. 2019-02-17.
- Apple Store looted by French ‘yellow vest’ protesters, PhoneWeek UK. 2018-12-11.
- Bordeaux Apple store robbed and vandalized in French riots, 9to5Mac, 2018-12-09.
- Apple Stores in Minneapolis and Portland were hit by Rioters Overnight by Jack Purcher, Patently Apple. 2020-05-30.
- 'Burnt but ... not broken' by Bryan Denton, L.A. Biz. 2020-05-31.
- Here are the 42 US Apple Stores open today. by Michael Steeber, Twitter. 2020-06-01.
- Apple Stores smashed and looted amid George Floyd protests by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider. 2020-06-01.
- George Floyd mural on boarded up Apple store by Sergio Olmos, Twitter. 2020-06-01.
- Boarded up Apple Stores become unofficial canvases for peaceful protest by Michael Steeber, AppleInsider. 2020-06-03.
- Apple temporarily closes US retail stores in wake of widespread looting and protests by Michael Steeber, AppleInsider. 2020-05-31.
- Police arrest 8 more people tied to Saturday night’s riots in & around Scottsdale Fashion Square, bringing the total number of arrests to 20 for crimes committed during Saturday’s civil unrest. Police recovered more than $46,000 of stolen property. by Trisha Hendricks, Twitter. 2020-06-04.
- Reopening tomorrow, September 9: by Michael Steeber, Twitter. 2020-09-00.
- [The @Apple store in the @WestfieldCC was looted last night. Employees are assessing the damage now. by Jacki Karsh, Twitter. 2020-05-31.
- Update: Over 30 stores in the US and Canada open this week by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac. 2020-06-23.
- Reopening tomorrow: Apple Carnegie Library in DC and Apple Walnut Street in Philadelphia, two of the most heavily damaged during protests. Reclosing tomorrow: Apple Augusta in Georgia and Apple Fashion Fair in Fresno by Michael Steeber, Twitter. 2020-07-07.
- NYC protest aftermath shows burned NYPD car, vandalized Apple store by Jackie Salo, New York Post. 2020-05-31.
- Downtown SLC protest turns violent: National Guard called, Mayor issues curfew by Mark Klekas, KJZZ. 2020-05-3o.
- Just went by Apple Georgetown. Was broken into even though they boarded up last night. by Drew, Twitter. 2020-06-01.
- Looks like looters tried to break into San Francisco Apple store. by Michael Kan, Twitter. 2020-05-31.
- Updated the reopening tracker with exact dates for all stores this week. 5 in Canada and 55 in the US open tomorrow. 16 in the US open Saturday. Bellevue Square, reopened and then vandalized, reopens again tomorrow. by Michael Steeber, Twitter. 2020-06-16.
- (Naperville IL) Peaceful heart shaped signs with BLM on them, yet yelled at & ripped down from people driving by. Absolute disgusting, but not surprised. by Katie McNally, Twitter. 2020-06-02.
- Apple Stores continue reopening this week, including locations in Chicago, Minnesota, Ontario, more by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac. 2020-06-23.
- Providence Place was on the night of June 1: by Michael Steeber, Twitter. 2020-06-03.
- Photos show Apple stores being boarded up across the US as protests over George Floyd's death sweep the nation by Lisa Eadicicco, Business Insider. 2020-06-01.
- Microsoft Is Permanently Closing Its Retail Stores by Todd Haselton, NBC4 New York. 2020-06-26.
- Microsoft is closing all of its stores by Shannon Liao, CNN Business. 2020-06-26.
- George Floyd mural on boarded up Apple store by Sergio Olmos at Twitter (2020-06-01)
- The decimated model and 8K texture are free to download on SketchFab (Thank you @albn) by Spencer Lindsay (2020-06-15)
- These 56 US Apple Stores are open today. Most of the additional reopened locations are in California, and a few that were marked open yesterday are closed today. 84 previously reopened stores are still closed, many of which are boarded up: by Michael Steeber at Twitter (2020-06-02)
- We're up to 62 US Apple Stores open (new locations today in bold.) Stores in Virginia marked open yesterday are closed today. (2020-06-03)
- Just under half of the previously reopened Apple Stores are open today. Only a few added day by day, but it seems that Florida and California have seen the quickest return. (2020-06-04)
- Today’s Apple Store reopening numbers. Almost every previously reopened store at an indoor mall has reopened now. (2020-06-05)
- Very slow return for US stores today. Just a handful of locations reopened. (2020-06-06)
- It’s been a week since Apple closed almost every reopened US store over looting concerns, and now 100 of the 140 are back open. (2020-06-07)
- 117 of the 140 originally reopened Apple Stores are marked open again today. (2020-06-08)
- There are just 7 previously-reopened Apple Stores still closed today. 4 are damaged, and 3 are in malls that are still closed and scheduled to reopen this week. (2020-06-09)
- Looting and George Floyd protests at Wikipedia
- Amid protests and riots, Apple Stores are being looted. by Sami at Apple Terminal (2020-06-03)
- Boarded Up Apple Stores Prove Perfect Spots For Peaceful Protest Landmarks by Oliver Haslam at Redmond Pie (2020-06-05)