Hundreds of iPhone 5 units stolen in Japan and UK

The iPhone 5 is just barely available to the public and already two high-volume burglaries have cleared out the inventory in some stores. In the UK, an O2 store assistant from Ilford is suspected of stealing some 252 iPhone 5 units and an unspecified amount of cash from the store's safe at around 1:30 AM this morning.  Meanwhile in Japan, 191 iPhone 5 handsets were stolen in three separate incidents in KDDI au and Softbank stores between 2:30 AM and 4:24 AM local time. On the domestic front, thieves in Tennessee busted in to a Best Buy and stole over $100,000-worth of iPhone 5 and iPad units earlier this week. 

While I'm not too worried about the store owners that have this kind of inventory insured, it does mean that there will be more than a few disappointed customers that will either have to wait for restocking or go hunting around somewhere else for their iPhone 5.

The iPhone has always been a popular target for robbers, so those of you who have just picked up a new one, don't to be too flashy with it. Have you guys every had any direct contact with iPhone robbers? Ever in a carrier or Apple store? 

Source: The Independent, WSJ, News Channel 5

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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There are 9 comments. Add yours.

revfast says:

you misspelled insured :).... but these guys will get caught once they try to sell or use them :)

Plazmic Flame says:

How so? Will the serials be blacklisted by Apple? Will it not complete the standard setup process when booted? Just curious.

Adirolfx says:

I'm guessing that's what will happen. I'm sure apple knows where every phone went and already knows which ones were stolen. Just is going to suck for the buyers

lungho says:

Unfortunately, they will probably sell them on the street. They'll get a fraction of what the phone is worth but they don't care cause they got em free and they will be long gone after the sale is done. The real suckers will be the people who buy them and try to get them activated.

UnifiedTechs says:

This makes me mad.... why did those store get hundreds of iPhones!

Most my local stores only had stocks of 25 to 50 phones! Only managed to pick up 3 of the 4 we wanted.

agentmobile says:

People seriously suck! Think about all the people who were ready to buy those iPhones at those stores and now they are screwed! On a lighter note I got mine this morn at 8 am on the dot , there were only like 25 people waiting outside the big corporate AT&T store here in west palm beach , Florida. It surprised me at first because u would think the line would be unbearable but someone pointed out to me that Verizon got pretty popular all the sudden now that the iPhone is LTE capable. Loving the phone though its perfect. I already dropped it too like an idiot but not a single scratch on it :)

andyheron says:

I work in a carrier shop in the UK and I've seen many display models stolen from several stores, but I've never known stock to go missing, and definitely no thefts by staff! I can't believe that one store had 252 units in stock!! We only had 25 and we're a fairly busy store!!

nitinparmar1985 says:

London store, large city thats why they had that volume.

im guessing they Lightning leads, chargers and headphones will make them a fair amount of money and then breaking the phone down for parts will also make alot more ......

sad really....

very sad.....