Razorianfly and Cult of Mac report that several Apple retail stores across the UK emptied their show floors amid fears of continuing riots in several cities across the UK. Photographs from users on Twitter show the normally-bustling stores devoid of the usual iPads, iPhones, iPods and Macs. Given the amount of exacting attention Apple puts into its visual merchandising, it would have been a big effort to remove all the stock from display -- not to mention putting it back out again. But it's a necessary precaution: a number of Apple Stores feature large street-level glass fronts, making them highly vulnerable to looters.

Riots began in Tottenham, a district in London in the UK, after police shot dead suspected drug dealer Mark Duggan. Duggan was originally said to have fired on police, but an inquiry found this to have not been the case -- though he was reportedly carrying a loaded weapon. A vigil demanding justice for Duggan on Saturday night turned nasty and set off the first riots, which over the course of the last few days spread to numerous other UK cities including Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester. As the riots spread and looting problems grew, the original motivation for them was lost amid increasingly selfish, materialistic motivations. Many looters have posted pictures of themselves online with their hauls, which often include video games, computers and other technology, making it rather easier for the strained police force to identify and bring them to justice.

Following the troubles, Apple has reportedly emptied a number of its stores across the UK amid fears of further rioting, including one in Liverpool, one in the Manchester Arndale shopping mall (heavily attacked by looters) and an Apple reseller in Kent. There has been a strong police presence outside the flagship Apple Store on London's Regent Street. The company is doing rather well right now, so it's perhaps unsurprising it's taking loss prevention very seriously.

This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as Apple Guts UK Retail Stores Amid Riot Fears