Chaos erupted in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood after a bold daytime iPad theft caused a traffic accident last Wednesday. Authorities say that a man plucked an iPad from a Peet’s Coffee shop patron’s hands and jumped into a waiting SUV with two accomplices.
Bystanders called the cops and a chase ensued. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the fleeing Mercedes SUV hit a motorcyclist and a TV news van during the pursuit. The chase ended in a violent crash at Buchanan and Hayes streets when the SUV hit a Mazda minivan. Footage of the wreck shows the side of the Mazda completely demolished.
The impact of the crash sent debris flying throughout the area, striking an 11-year-old boy at a nearby playground. The Mazda driver and two of the robbery suspects were rushed to San Francisco General Hospital and released by Thursday according to a spokeswoman for the facility. The three robbers were arrested, and the driver of the getaway car was also booked on drunk driving charges.
“Obviously these people had absolutely no regard for public safety,” a police spokesperson said.
Police officers have called smartphone and iPad thefts a “chronic” problem in the San Francisco area because these devices have extremely high resale values.
“There is such a high resale value for iPads and iPhones – criminals are taking them left and right,” a police spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle. “And recently they’re not just taking them, but they’re assaulting people severely.”
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “IPad robbery suspects held after crash,” John Coté, Sept. 27, 2012