When four L.A. teens hatched a plan to break into the iconic Apple Store along the 3rd Street Promenade last week, theirs wasn't a heisty plot of censor-dodging and lock-popping.

Nope. According to Sergeant Richard Lewis at the Santa Monica Police Department, these geniuses simply smashed the glass door down with a sledgehammer, grabbed what they could off the display tables — $31,000 in laptops, iPhones, iPods, and iPads — and booked it toward Wilshire. Needless to say, it didn't take an FBI probe to track them down:

After a 20- to 30-minute runaround with cops, the four hooligans were on their way to Santa Monica jail.

On May 9, Police responded to the Promenade around 4:15 a.m. on a call from Apple's alarm company. (As well as three separate households nearby, who had apparently woken up to the screeching.) The store was a mess: The sledgehammer and broken glass littered the floor, and severed security cords dangled from display cases.

Surveillance footage soon revealed that the suspects were two males and two females, all apparently in their early 20s. “Three of them went northbound toward Wilshire, and one went southbound toward Arizona,” says Lewis.

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First big mistake (aside from the whole sledgehammer thing): A quick area check turned up a bag full of “multiple pieces of the stolen property” at 233 Wilshire, according to Lewis. The suspects had tried to stash it behind a wall near a giant office building and a grassy incline.

That's when our youngsters made their grand-finale blunder. In an apparent attempt to retrieve the bag of loot, they drove their Chevy Impala back by the wall at 233 Wilshire.

“We pulled them over with no issues,” says Sergeant Lewis. “Evidence inside the vehicle” quickly tied them to the crime.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the suspects are Markeishia Harris, 19; Orenthal Sanders, 19; Aaron Sanders, 18; and an unidentified 17-year-old.

They're all from Los Angeles. And although the Times lists Harris as “homeless,” Sergeant Lewis laughs and says the young woman was lying.

He says “sometimes suspects lie and say they're homeless when they don't want to give up an address,” thinking this will somehow prevent cops from identifying them.

Hey, at that point, it's worth a try, right?

[@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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