01/08/2013 03:27 pm ET Updated Jan 08, 2013

Confirmed: Thieves Break Into Microsoft Offices, Steal Only iPads

When thieves broke into Microsoft's offices in Mountain View, Calif., last month, more than a few of the company's products -- perhaps even new Surface tablets -- were presumably lying around.

But instead, they swiped five Apple iPads -- and nothing else, according to police.

Thieves broke into Microsoft's offices at 1075 La Avenida Road sometime between Dec. 19 and Dec. 26, Mountain View Police Sgt. Sean Thompson confirmed to the Huffington Post on Tuesday. It remained unclear how they entered the building, he said.

A Microsoft employee told police that the staff owned iPads because they were testing Microsoft software applications for Apple products, Thompson said. He said police have no suspects and are still looking over surveillance video.

"Theft of iPads aren't unusual, but the place where it took place is, to me, unusual," Thompson said. "It's an Apple product at a Microsoft office."

News of the theft, which was first reported in the Palo Alto Daily Post, is the latest sign that Apple's iPad remains the most sought-after in the tablet market, which since October has included the Microsoft Surface.

In November, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said sales of Microsoft's tablet were "starting modestly." But NPD, a retail sales tracking firm, said sales of Windows 8 tablets had been “almost nonexistent" during a four-week period from Oct. 21 to Nov. 17, making up less than 1 percent of all Windows 8 device sales.

In addition, Wall Street analysts from Piper Jaffray said they found shoppers at an Apple Store on Black Friday in the Mall of America in Minneapolis bought an average of 11 iPads per hour, while not one Microsoft Surface tablet was sold at a nearby Microsoft store during a two-hour period when analysts monitored the store.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company was still looking into the theft at its Mountain View offices and declined to comment.

Apple products have proven especially attractive to thieves. Last month, the New York Police Department attributed an increase in the city's crime index to a rise in thefts of Apple products -- with no mention of other companies' devices.

This story has been updated with additional comments from Mountain View Police Sgt. Sean Thompson.



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