Apple is the largest American company, and it's worth billions -- but employees at metro stores were duped by a trio of swindlers who took one of the oldest schemes in the book and added a modern, technological twist.
Investigators say the three young men who traveled from New York to the metro area are now sitting in the Hennepin County Jail after they walked out of Apple stores with more than $44,000 in high-tech merchandise.
The trio is accused of swindling the maker of the iPad and iPhone, and the criminal complaint says the crimes committed on Aug. 10 were oddly similar to old-school credit card fraud, but the suspects did have some sophistication.
Using a Capitol One credit card that they knew would be rejected, the men pretended to call their bank -- but instead, the call went to another member of the scheme who would then speak with the Apple employee.
Somehow, the alleged fraud on the phone would give the store a six-digit authorization code that allowed the sale to go through. A couple of stores fell for the ruse before the men struck out at the Mall of America location early on Friday.
The Southdale location was the first to fall prey to the scheme, and they let the men leave with $21,000 in Apple products. Next, they went to the Uptown store and walked away with $23,000 worth of equipment before they headed west.
In Minnetonka, their luck ran out. The plan seemed to fall apart at the Apple store in Ridgedale Mall, and the suspects were arrested in the parking lot on the way to their vehicle.
Inside, investigators found $44,000 worth of new, fraudulently purchased Apple products -- and they told officers they specifically came to these Minnesota stores because they thought they could get away with the heist.