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Thieves recently tunneled through a bathroom wall at a Seattle Apple store and stole $500,000 worth of merchandise, including iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. The incident is part of a growing problem of retail theft across the country, with Walmart stores closing in Portland due to rampant shoplifting.

Even when stores do report shoplifting, only 46% of misdemeanor theft cases are being prosecuted in Multnomah County, Oregon.

The Seattle Apple store burglary is just one of many similar incidents across the country. Retail theft has become a massive problem nationwide, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing an increase in unemployment rates leading to a rise in theft and other crimes.

The situation has become so dire that Walmart CEO Doug McMillon warned that if laws that take a more lenient approach to fighting crime are not addressed, then prices will be higher, and/or stores will close.

There is no one solution to the problem of retail theft, but stores could invest in better security systems, increase the number of security personnel, and work more closely with local law enforcement to identify and apprehend criminals. Lawmakers could also consider tougher penalties for those convicted of retail theft and address underlying issues like unemployment and poverty.

The following is from the owner of the coffee shop on Twitter:

Good morning Twitter fans! Yesterday was a weird day…

1. Two men broke into one of our retail locations. Why? To cut a hole in our bathroom wall to access the Apple Store next door and steal $500k worth of iPhones.

2. Later that night on the way to the grocery store my wife and I happened upon a truck pulled over to the side of the road, the driver was giving the passenger really bad CPR. My wife and I jumped into action. I pulled the woman from the truck and my wife began CPR while coaching the other person what to do. 5 minutes-ish later medics arrived and they were able to revive her before loading her into an ambulance. Man, did we ever need a margarita last night

Here’s hoping the young lady we helped is doing fine this morning and the crooks are going to get caught!

The Seattle Apple store burglary serves as a wake-up call for retailers and law enforcement across the country. Solutions are needed to stop retail theft, and it starts with acknowledging the problem and working together to find effective solutions. By taking steps to improve security, increase penalties for theft, and address underlying issues, we can make our stores and communities safer and more prosperous for everyone.

On a historical note, the 1972 burglary of the FBI office in Philadelphia by the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI was a significant event in American history. The group’s theft of FBI files and subsequent leak to the media revealed the agency’s illegal activities and the extent of its surveillance of American citizens, leading to major reforms within the FBI and a national conversation about civil liberties and government surveillance. The legacy of the burglary continues to be felt today, as the debate over government surveillance and civil liberties continues.

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