06/09/2016 09:26 EDT | Updated 06/13/2016 09:59 EDT

Apple Store Thief Dresses Like Staffer To Lift $16K In iPhones

Talk about a trick even the "Genius Bar" couldn't think up.

Talk about a trick that even the "Genius Bar" couldn't think up.

An Apple Store in the New York City neighbourhood of SoHo is out over US$16,000 in iPhones after a thief dressed like a staffer and took them right out of a drawer, Dnainfo reported Wednesday.

The thief took 19 phones out of a repair area at around 1 p.m. on June 1, wearing a shirt very much like the one seen below.

The suspect then hid the phones beneath his shirt and handed them to an accomplice before they walked out.

An employee wears a blue Apple-branded t-shirt and name badge at Apple Inc.'s Spanish flagship store, June 20, 2014. (Photo: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

It's at least the third time this year that thieves have successfully lifted product from Apple Stores in New York using the very same tactic.

In February, three thieves, one of them dressed as an employee, stole eight iPhones worth over $5,000 from a store in the Upper West Side area, The New York Post reported.

Then, in the following month, three thieves took 59 iPhones worth a total of $44,000 after one dressed as a staffer and took them right out of the Genius Bar.

That theft took place in a "training location" so it would have been more difficult to tell who worked there and who didn't.

People look at smartphones at the Apple store, April 19. (Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Gizmodo noted that Apple Store employees' uniforms used to change with the seasons, but they switched to a permanent, blue shirt in an attempt to look more professional.

Perhaps — but it also, apparently, makes it easier to masquerade as a staffer.

Police hadn't returned Dnainfo's request for comment by press time.

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