More than a dozen people have been charged following an investigation into a robbery series that resulted in the loss of more than $1 million at Apple Stores across California, state prosecutors said Thursday.
A total of 17 individuals are facing charges in connection with the wide-ranging scheme that spanned 19 counties, including six in Southern California, according to a news release from Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office.
The group would allegedly go into the tech giant's sleek retail locations wearing hoodies and begin grabbing products on display within seconds.
Seven of those charged were arrested Wednesday and booked into the Alameda County Jail, while an eighth is being held in Sonoma County, officials said. There are arrest warrants out for the nine remaining suspects.
The AG's office did not immediately respond to requests for information on when and where the incidents involved took place. However, prosecutors did say that the probe began after a series of thefts at Apple Stores in San Luis Obispo.
Stores were also targeted in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties.
In a tweet announcing the charges, Becerra shared video of a robbery at the Apple Store in Fresno.
“Organized retail thefts cost California business owners millions and expose them to copycat criminals," Becerra said in a statement. "Ultimately, consumers pay the cost of this merchandise hijacking.”
Authorities have not released the names of the suspects, but said they facing charges of conspiracy to commit grand theft in Fresno, Santa Clara and Alameda counties.