At least two Target locations in San Diego were selling iPod touch boxes where the device had been removed and replaced with erasers and index cards to approximate its weight.
When a man took the box he purchased as a Christmas present for his wife and explained what it held, Target believed him and replaced it. He asked the customer service rep to open the replacement so they could both be sure the new one was good, and lo and behold, it was also filled with erasers and index cards.
The story comes from KFMB, a San Diego TV station, which ran two separate stories on the subject (both Flash). According to the report, Target found him a box with an actual iPod in it, but the man said he bought the first one from one Target, but exchanged it at a second location, meaning the theft and fraud happening behind the scenes was likely widespread.
The Consumerist reported that Target was blaming their distributor, saying the fraud had taken place between Apple ad its stores. Either way, this seems likely to result in a messy situation for Target, not to mention some less than happy Apple customers.
Apple devices have long been the target of thieves because even used and out of a box they retain very high resale values. Apple Stores are the subject of burglaries, and muggings for Apple devices have been a problem in large cities, but now even its distributors are being targeted.