Amazon warehouse workers allegedly stole $600,000-worth of iPhones

iPhone 12 Pro Pacific Blue
iPhone 12 Pro Pacific Blue (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Amazon employees in Madrid, Spain are accused of stealing $600,000-worth of iPhones.
  • They were switching inexpensive items out for iPhones when packing orders.
  • Five people have been arrested so far.

Five people have been arrested after they were found to be stealing iPhones from an Amazon warehouse in Madrid, Spain. The people were swapping inexpensive items out of orders and replacing them with iPhones, according to reports.

The value of the iPhones, according to reports by iPadizate and AppleInsider, was around €500,000 or $600,000.

Issues were first noted when packages didn't weigh what they should have.

Amazon began the internal investigation by detecting that there were certain packages whose weight did not match the one registered. That's when he decided to place hidden cameras to see if something strange was happening.

It seems that the people were putting iPhones in packages that they had no business being near, making it easier to get them out of the building.

These workers changed the content of certain shipments by introducing the new iPhones into them. That is, someone, probably an accomplice, bought something relatively cheap on Amazon, and before it was sent they exchanged the contents of the package for an iPhone.

At the time of writing, there have been five arrests, although local authorities aren't ruling out the chance that others will be joining them.

Three of those involved were arrested upon leaving their job, a fourth was arrested while he was working and the fifth accomplice surrendered voluntarily to the police station. The five have been fired from the company and are awaiting trial, although as we say, no more arrests are ruled out.

Madness. We've seen plenty of weird scams all in the name of stealing iPhones, but this is one of the strangest. Though perhaps not quite as crazy as the great Swiss AppleCare scam of 2020.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.