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iTheft: robbers steal $1.3m worth of Apple goods from Paris store

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Robbed ... the Apple store near the Opera Garnier in Paris.

Robbed ... the Apple store near the Opera Garnier in Paris.

The Apple store in Paris’s Opera district was robbed by armed, masked men on New Year’s Eve under the noses of riot police.

Reports claimed the raiders stole 1 million euros ($1.3 million) worth of gadgets while police patrolled the nearby Champs-Elysees. However, the gendarmes refused to confirm the total, claiming that the store’s director was still processing the lost inventory.

The gang, armed with handguns, forced their way into a back entrance about 9pm as a caretaker was leaving, three hours after the store closed. The caretaker was ‘‘lightly injured’’ by the intruders.

Rather than snatching the iPhones, iPads and Apple Macs on display, the thieves went straight for boxes of stocked material.

Accomplices waited in a parked truck nearby, in which the goods were loaded. They escaped about 9.40pm.

Four or five men are believed to be have been involved in the robbery.

‘‘They prepared their coup well,’’ said Christophe Crepin, of the French police union Unsa.

He said the escape was relatively easy because large boulevards near the store just behind the Palais Garnier opera house, led to several parts of the city.

Mr Crepin added: ‘‘Since the essential bulk of police forces were mobilised to patrol the Champs-Elysees, the thieves clearly profited from the opportunity to make their move.’’

Another police source said there was no shortage of security forces in the city.

Riot police were brought in to patrol areas such as the Champs-Elysees, where about 300,000 people saw in the new year.

A video of the robbery is expected to provide clues.

Daily Telegraph, London