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Burglars cut through wall to access Apple Store backroom, get away with $500k worth of iPhones

Seattle Coffee Gear Regional Manager Eric Marks says whoever broke in must have had knowledge of Apple Store layouts.

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — Right after the shops at Alderwood Mall closed Sunday night, Lynnwood Police say burglars came to the sprawling complex with one target in mind: the Apple Store. 

However, to avoid setting off the store's security system, the burglars broke into a neighboring business, Seattle Coffee Gear. The coffee appliance shop's owner tweeted about the brazen break-in.

Eric Marks, the regional retail manager, says he didn't know what to expect when he got the call Monday morning. The shop he oversees sells to a very specific clientele. However, his talk with police confirmed their business was used as a conduit to get to the Apple Store.

"I would have never suspected we were adjacent to the Apple Store, how it wraps around I mean," Marks said. "So, someone really had to think it out and have access to the mall layout."

Credit: KING 5
Anyone with access to a smartphone can pull up this map of the layout at Alderwood showing how Seattle Coffee Gear and the Apple Store are connected.

Marks says the attention to detail, how the burglars managed to cut through their bathroom hall and not hit any pipes, makes him believe it was someone who spent a significant amount of time planning this.

Lynnwood Police tell KING 5 436 iPhones were stolen estimating the total loss at $500,000.  There is surveillance video but because it's part of an active investigation, LPD isn't releasing it yet.

Marks is taking this in stride knowing their losses aren't that expensive to make necessary repairs. Seattle Coffee Gear is out $1,500 to replace locks and repair the hole in the bathroom. Marks says he's thankful no employees, at Seattle Coffee Gear or Apple, were there when the burglary happened.

A spokesperson for Alderwood says they are "angry" and "working with Lynnwood Police" to help solve this isolated, targeted incident.

At the time this article was published, Apple has not responded to KING 5's request for comment.

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