Video game fans have been highly anticipating the launch of the PlayStation 4, which was finally released to the public on Friday. However, because of the high demand, access to the new video gaming system was largely limited to those customers who pre-ordered their $400 PS4 months in advance.
But that didn’t stop a number of criminals from robbing PlayStation owners just minutes after they left the store with their merchandise in hand.
In Bakersfield, California, 19-year-old Marcus Jenkins and 20-year-old Maurice Boyd, were arrested after allegedly robbing a customer who was leaving the story shortly after midnight on Friday with his PlayStation 4 .
"For the thieves, that's going to be a hot item for them, as well," Bakersfield Police Sgt. Joe Grubbs told Bakersfield News. "Either for selling, or then 'gifting' it."
The Bakersfield News says a similar attempted robbery occurred as another customer was walking out of a Best Buy. Two armed men wearing ski masks approached the customer. But somehow, the customer was able to foil the attempted robbery and call police.
Thousands of customers lined up on Thursday in advance of the PlayStation 4 release and industry experts say they expect demand for the new system will exceed availability for several months. The Xbox One is set to release next week and has also already sold out pre-sale orders through online retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.
Meanwhile, in Kansas, 22-year-old Jordan S. Vincent made it home with his new video game system. However, at around 1:30am, he says that a number of unknown assailants forced their way into his home and stole his new PlayStation 4 .
Police say the shopping thefts aren’t limited to the new PlayStation launch. Business Insider reported that more than 100 million shoppers are vulnerable to identify theft on Black Friday and police say the risk remains high throughout the holiday season.