Roseville police say a trend of “crew”-style thefts has been on the rise in recent months, with tens of thousands of dollars in electronics being stolen from the city’s Apple store and a number of other cellphone stores.

The Roseville Police Department said in a statement Monday evening that the city has had eight reported instances of crew-style thefts from cellphone/tech stores so far in 2018. Four of the eight have taken place at the Apple store inside Westfield Galleria, which had merchandise taken both Sunday and Monday, according to a news release from the police department.

Three suspects also reportedly stole 15 iPhones and fled the Apple Store on Aug. 29, according to Roseville police crime logs.

In mid-August, four males in hoodies walked out of the mall with more than $21,000 worth of products. Similar in nature to other Apple store thefts in the state and nationwide, the alleged thieves entered during operating hours, snatched display products and left the store, with the process taking just a few moments.

A very similar crime occurred in early July at the Apple store in a Fresno mall. Police described that incident as a “large grand theft.”

A week after the four-man Roseville mall theft, authorities reportedly arrested five people, ages 19 through 26, suspected of being involved in an organized retail theft crew. One of the five was a Sacramento resident, one was from Fresno and the rest were from the East Bay Area, Ventura County sheriff’s officials said.

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These and other recent Roseville cellphone store thefts do not appear to have been armed robberies, the Roseville Police Department said in Monday’s news release.

Roseville police are working with mall management to attempt to ward off future thefts and attempts at Westfield Galleria, according to the news release.

It’s not just the Apple store. Roseville’s Monday announcement said that a police pursuit — involving spike strips that deflated all four tires on a suspect vehicle — led to four suspects being apprehended Friday after reportedly stealing cellphones from the T-Mobile store on Pleasant Grove Boulevard. And Aug. 28, a single suspect was taken into custody after allegedly taking several cellphones from the AT&T store on Douglas Boulevard.

Additionally, a woman was accused of purchasing more than $3,000 in goods from the store using a stolen credit card during an $8,000-plus shopping spree, Roseville police said last week.

Police advise not to intervene in these crimes, but to be a good witness and provide accurate descriptions of suspects and suspected vehicles to authorities. And, especially at malls and shopping centers, Roseville police reminded shoppers not to leave items of value in their vehicles.

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(c)2018 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

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