By Sean Bowes
Some people will do just about anything for an iPad 2. On January 13, a group of six burglars in a stolen Nissan Maxima went to the New Tampa Best Buy at 18071 Highwoods Preserve Pkwy. in The Walk at Highwoods Preserve plaza and took every iPad 2 in the store.
On January 13, at 4:48 a.m., one of the burglars crashed the stolen Maxima into the bay door at the rear of the electronics store. The collision made a large enough opening in the aluminum door for the burglars to enter the Best Buy. Once inside, the six burglars, all dressed in black and wearing white masks, used sledge hammers to destroy the display cases that held the iPads.
According to a report by the Tampa Police Department (TPD), the burglars stole 75 iPad 2s from the display cases.
Best Buy currently sells the 32GB iPad 2 model for $600. Other higher- end iPads with more memory sell for up to $830 on the Best Buy website. The company estimates that some $60,000 of electronics were stolen in the robbery that night, according to the TPD report.
Once all of the iPads were loaded into bags, the burglars then loaded the bags into a waiting car and escaped before police arrived. Detectives were still working to solve the case at our press time.
The stolen 1997 Nissan Maxima that crashed in to the bay door was abandoned at the scene of the crime. On the same morning as the robbery, three other Nissan Maximas were stolen from the Temple Terrace area. TPD detectives believe the car thefts could be related to the Best Buy burglary.
All of the Maximas stolen on January 13 were taken from apartment complexes in Temple Terrace.
All of the cars have been found abandoned by the TPD, with the exception of one Maxima, which was stolen from the River Chase Apartments in Temple Terrace. One of the cars that was stolen had tools inside it that were left at the scene of the iPad burglary.
TPD officers are still on the lookout for a 1997 Nissan Maxima with the Florida license plate 551TCZ. Anyone with any information regarding any of the stolen Maximas or the burglary at Best Buy should call TPD detective Michelle DeSmith at 931-6569.