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New Cellphone Thefts Reported At East Bay Stores

CONCORD (CBS SF) -- Another series of cellphone store thefts have been reported in the East Bay, days after authorities announced arrest warrants against 17 people in a rash of burglaries at Apple retail stores in California.

Concord police said three cellphone stores were burglarized on Tuesday, while a fourth was reported in Pleasant Hill.

Two happened at the Sprint and AT&T stores at the Clayton Valley Shopping Center at Ygnacio Valley Blvd. and Clayton Road in Concord around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday. About 15 minutes later, another took place at a Verizon store at the Oak Grove Plaza on Treat Blvd. and Oak Grove Road.

Police said all three Concord burglaries had the same suspect descriptions of two black male adults wearing black or grey hoodies pulled over their heads, over six feet tall with thin builds. Surveillance video was not immediately available and police said investigators were working to obtain it from store management.

The suspect vehicle was described as a black or grey Infiniti, possibly a G35, with black paper plates with yellow or white lettering.

Last week, authorities announced the arrest of 10 alleged members of a snatch-and-grab robbery gang targeting Apple stores throughout 19 counties in California. Seven more suspects are still at large.

Pleasant Hill police said the cases appear to be related to other thefts from Bay Area cellphone stores last month, as the suspects and vehicle have a similar description in each case.

The suspects enter the store and use force and/or tools to break the tether attaching the phones to the display before running away. The thefts have not been isolated to any one particular store, and most of the merchandise stolen has been newer iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones, and Apple watches, police said.

Investigators are sharing information with other local agencies to find out if the cases are linked.


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