Police from Newport Beach and nearby cities teamed up to arrest five men in connection with the heist of 38 iPhones on Tuesday night at Fashion Island.
According to Newport police, eight men entered the mall’s Apple Store at about 8:30 p.m. and took phones with a combined value of about $32,000, then fled in two cars. Authorities said police followed one of the vehicles, a Dodge Challenger, until it stopped about 15 miles away in Westminster. Officers recovered 22 phones and arrested five men, police said.
Kenyae Emil Buyard, 18, of Compton, Deavon Justice Guillory, 20, of Long Beach and Kovey Le James, 18, Hysanii Kiesean Rice, 18, and Dejon Amere Sanders, 20, all of Los Angeles, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and burglary. Guillory also is suspected of driving without a license.
At least three other young men escaped in a black Mercedes-Benz sedan, authorities said.
The grab-and-dash theft was similar to a string of crimes that have occurred across the state recently, including when a group of people entered the Apple Store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa on July 23 and swiped $29,000 worth of display items before running away. The same type of heist occurred at an Apple Store in Fresno on July 7.
Police have not determined whether the crimes are related.