Man Steals Display Phones from Radio Shack Stores

In each case, the unknown suspect asks a salesperson if he can see the “demo” phone before taking off with it

Police are searching for a burglary suspect accused of stealing display iPhones from several Radio Shack stores in San Diego.

According to investigators, the suspect’s modus operandi is the same in each case: He walks into the store and asks a salesperson to show him a “demo” iPhone that’s already on display. When he sees the salesperson is distracted, he steals the pricey phone and flees the store.

Detectives believe the phone thief is responsible for at least three burglaries at local Radio Shack stores and one failed attempt. The burglaries all happened between Feb. 16, 2014, and Mar. 11, 2014.

On Feb. 16, at around 5 p.m., the man – pictured above in images caught on surveillance tape – stole an iPhone on display at a Radio Shack located at 6551 Mission Gorge Rd.

On Feb. 21, investigators say the thief struck again, this time at a Radio Shack at 3312 University Ave. He asked a salesperson for a “demo” phone. When the salesperson wasn’t looking, he made off with the stolen iPhone. In this incident, investigators say the suspect was parked a block away from the store and fled the scene in a white, newer-model sedan. He was last seen driving westbound on University Avenue.

The next day, on Feb. 22, the suspect was at it again. At around 6 p.m., he pulled the same scam at a Radio Shack at 662 Dennery Road and asked to see a display phone, stealing it and running off when the salesperson was distracted.

Finally, on Mar. 11, at around 6:30 p.m., investigators say the suspect went into a Radio Shack at 4223 Genesee Ave. and tried his trick again.

However, this time, it didn’t work.

The manager asked to see the suspect’s ID and the man left the business with nothing.

As of Wednesday, the Radio Shack demo phone bandit remains outstanding. Anyone with information on the burglary series or the suspect should contact SDPD Mid-City Division detectives at (619) 516-3000 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Police say the three iPhones stolen by the suspect were each valued at about $600.

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