SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Brazen thieves stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from Apple Stores in University City and Mission Valley over a roughly half-hour period Friday.

The first theft took place at Westfield UTC mall on La Jolla Village Drive about 10 a.m., according to San Diego police. The three bandits, each wearing a hooded sweat shirt, escaped with an estimated $20,000 worth of electronics, Officer Tony Martinez said.

About 10:30 a.m., a trio of similar-looking men -- believed to be the same ones who had committed the first crime -- stole a dozen iPhones and four computers from an Apple store at Fashion Valley mall on Friars Road after one of them used a knife to cut anti-theft cables attached to the display items.

The bandits, who appeared to be in their 20s, fled to a nearby parking lot and left the area in a silver four-door Chevrolet sedan.

Since the thieves apparently threatened no one during the crimes, the cases were being investigated as grand thefts, not robberies, Martinez said.