More than $3,000 in Apple kit was nicked from the research and development complex in Mountain View, California, over Christmas. There was no sign of a forced entry at Building 5 on La Avenida Street, whose staff use electronic cards to enter the offices, said Sgt Sean Thompson.
The five fondleslabs — two iPad 2s, two iPad 3s and an "iPad 4" — were taken from three offices. The latter is understood to be the latest generation of Apple's tablet rather than a secret new device.
Microsoft reported the crime to the police on 2 January but believes the electronics were stolen between 19 and 26 December. Police are waiting for CCTV footage from the campus.
Word of the theft spread after a photograph of a report in the Palo Alto Daily Post — strap line: "news you can't get on the internet" — appeared on websites Imgur and Reddit. The article was not available online, but the story was confirmed to The Reg by the Mountain View Police Department this afternoon. Many netizens had assumed the tale was yet another web hoax."