Watch: Brazen theft of laptop computer from Sioux Falls store

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls tech store is out $899 after a thief walked out of the store carrying a MacBook Pro.

Heartland Computers Inc. owner Carl Bootsma says this is the first time they’ve experienced this kind of theft.

“We had the two break-ins years ago, but that was when we were closed at night,” says Bootsma, “but this is the first time we’ve actually had somebody physically come in and steal a laptop right from underneath us.”

Bootsma says that usually their products are secured as the computers locked in their cases, only being taken out when a customer wants to see them, and being locked back up immediately after.

In the case of the theft, the laptop was not locked back in the case, Bootsma said.

He says this lapse can be contributed to a number of circumstances. The theft happened at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday, and the store was about to close, the employee was alone, and the thief had asked to purchase another computer before the MacBook was put away.

“This gentleman asked to see the MacBook so we took it out, showed it to him, and he said it was just priced too high. He started walking out and then he said Chromebooks, I’ll take one of those,” explains Bootsma.

The employee then went over to the Chromebook case to take one out and that’s when, as can be seen in the video, the man made his move, grabbing the MacBook from the counter and tucking it under his jacket while walking out of the store.

Bootsma says the employee wasn’t even aware the man had exited the store with the laptop until he turned around and saw it was missing. The employee went outside but the man, who was on foot, was already gone. Bootsma says it appears that the man tipped his hand to the camera on the way out, acknowledging that he was being recorded. “It’s very brazen,” he says.

Bootsma says the store is working with a police detective but that they have not heard back from the department.

He says the computer won’t be much use to the thief however.

“We have all our serial numbers recorded,” he says. “The other thing is it is password protected — unless he somehow figures out that password, he won’t be able to use the computer.”

Because the laptops are ready for purchase, Bootsma says they are not logged into any accounts that would allow the computer to be tracked.

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