Apple Genius Bar
These are the shirts the thieves copied.Apple

Brazen thieves have walked off with at least 87 iPhones, worth $55,000 (£38,000), from Apple Stores in New York City by dressing as employees.

The spree began in February when a woman wearing the blue shirt and dark pants of an Apple employee grabbed eight iPhones from an Apple Store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A male accomplice distracted the store's real workers while another acted as a lookout, the New York Post reports.

The same place was hit again the following month when a man dressed as a store worker grabbed 59 iPhones out of a drawer at the Genius Bar. A female cohort slipped them into a duffle bag in the bathroom while a male accomplice acted as a lookout, according to police.

The store may have been specifically targeted because it's used for training so that unfamiliar workers come and go.

Nineteen phones were also grabbed from a store in SoHo in June by a man who then hid them under his shirt, reported DNA Info.

Gizmodo points out that store uniform changes could be making it easier for the thieves to operate. Before 2015, employees' uniforms changed seasonally. Now employees always wear a blue shirt with the Apple logo — which gives the thieves time to locate one to use.

In addition, all types of blue shirts with a logo — from T-shirts to polo shirts, long or short sleeve — are now acceptable for employees which makes it harder to notice one that doesn't perfectly fit in with the others in a designated store.

Comedian Tyler Fischer shows how to pretend to be an Apple Store employee.