SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — You might see new faces at Apple stores across the Sacramento region because Apple has contracted with several local police departments to bring police officers in as extra security.
This follows a months-long rash of store thefts by a criminal ring. So far, that ring is suspected of stealing a million dollars worth of Apple products. Sacramento police say the Apple store at Arden Fair Mall was targeted in the last month.
Apple is contracting with Sacramento police for tighter security, and so far, it's helped thwart potential robberies. Unfamiliar but friendly faces now stand behind glass windows at Apple stores in Roseville and Sacramento.
The police officers are paid by Apple and are privately contracted, no taxpayer dollars at use.
These police officers are doubling up as security, and they're on guard for potential thieves, looking to swipe up expensive goods.
"I feel much safer with him in there," said Dennis Morin.
Morin was waiting for his appointment at the Apple store inside the Roseville Galleria. If the officer wasn't inside, he said wouldn't have stuck around.
"The police officer is gonna chase the guy down, they got radios, call for backup, the security guard is gonna go 'oh well'," Morin said.
Morin says seeing the officer is a welcomed sight.
"I came from the Bay Area and I said 'oh God it's coming up here now!'" Morin added.
A rash of Apple store robberies, up and down the state, over the past few months is taking law enforcement by storm.
Video of a recent snatch and grab in the Bay Area shows a group of men in hoodies enter an Apple store, emptying out the display tables within seconds. Apple's Roseville location is one of many stores targeted.
"With Roseville, it's estimated at anywhere of upwards of a hundred thousand dollars," said Roseville Police Spokesman Rob Baquera.
The robberies were traced back to a ring suspected of swiping a million dollars worth of Apple products in 19 counties.
"We do believe that there are some individuals that were arrested recently that are connected with the cases we have here," Baquera added.
While Roseville police say it's common to hire police officers for security at retail giants during holidays and large events, this is a bit unusual.
"Since we have had officers at the mall, we have had no incidents," Baquera added.
Both the Roseville and Sacramento Apple stores have been robbery free for several weeks now. Officers are putting many consumers at ease, and some are even walking up for a friendly chat.
"It just makes me feel comfortable," said another Apple consumer.
Mall management says security guards can still detain a thief, but once they walk out of the mall, there's nothing security can do.
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