The company is actively deactivating stolen iPhones from the screens of its retail stores, making them unusable.
Apple’s warning message screens have started to pop-ups on sites like Twitter and Reddit earlier this week amid global protests following George Floyd’s death.
Apple stores, which recently started reopening in the U.S. after months of closure due to the global pandemic, reported vandalism and theft in several locations, including in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
“Please go back to Apple Walnut Street,” read a message, referring to its Philadelphia office, published on Twitter. “The device has been disabled and is being monitored. Local authorities will be notified.”
Apple (AAPL) declined to comment on security issues.
However, the effort is not specific to the ongoing protests. The company has long installed special software on its stores’ iPhones to track the location of stolen items. This software is not provided on purchased iPhones.
In a reminder sent to employees on Sunday, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the killing of “senseless” Floyd and committed to donating to human rights groups, including the Equal Justice Initiative.
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