THOUSAND OAKS, CA (KCAL/KCBS/CNN) - Authorities have five people in custody who are accused of robbing numerous Apple stores in California.
The rash of robberies was halted thanks to a group of Good Samaritans.
Capt. Garo Kuredjian with the Ventura County Sheriff's Department described the incident as "extremely unusual." Even so, he is happy the shoppers got involved after three men walked into the Apple store at the Oaks Mall and started snatching goods.
"These items are relatively small and very expensive, so if they get away with a few things in their hands, these are very easy to transfer into cash," Kuredjian explained.
Other Apple stores up and down the Golden State had already fallen victim to the same gameplan. Last month in Fresno, four men took more than $30,000 worth of merchandise from an Apple store in less than a minute.
The same thing happened in Costa Mesa a couple of weeks later.
And a customer snapped a photo in Valencia of four people running out with computers, as well.
"They're actually targeting these Apple stores because of what they have there and there's a network in place to sell these on the secondary market," Kuredjian said.
Detectives believe at least two stores were targeted Sunday.
First, an Apple store in Northridge was hit at 1 p.m. Ten thousand dollars worth of products were taken.
Two hours later, detectives believe the same men came to Thousand Oaks, but this time, customers tackled two of them.
Deputies pulled over the third in a getaway car leaving the mall.
Detectives ended up arresting three men and two women believed to have been in the getaway car. Four of them are from northern California and one is from Fresno.
That's why investigators believe this wasn't their first day. They said this group has been doing this for weeks, which makes the Good Samaritans Apple's newest heroes.