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Belgian theft grabs approximately $3 million in iPhones

updated 09:40 am EST, Tue November 17, 2009

Robbery appears carefully planned

Between 3,000 and 4,000 iPhones have been stolen from CEVA Logistics in Willebroek, Belgium, according to regional newspapers De Standaard and Gazet van Antwerpen. Although the exact number of phones taken is uncertain, each one is estimated to have been worth between 575 and 675, putting the total value of the robbery around 2 million, or $3 million US. It is suspected that the thieves had inside information, as they cut a hole in the roofing precisely over where the iPhones were being held.

Most affected by the incident may be local carrier Mobistar, which was anticipating the iPhones in order to cope with an already difficult level of demand. Another shipment is expected within days, though the company could conceivably run out of units in the intervening time period. The thieves may meanwhile have some trouble selling the stolen phones, as Mobistar plans to block their IDs from its network.

Police are said to have made no progress in their investigation.

by MacNN Staff





  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Blocked usage

    Don't you think this sort of information should be given to ALL carriers to block the phones from use? Not just for iPhones, but for any phone. If your phone is stolen, you report it to your carrier and the phone becomes blacklisted. Sure would help cut down on stolen phone trafficking.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    tip for european craig's listers...

    don't buy any iPhones off CL, no matter how good the price...

  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can only be jailbroken..

    if they are low enough firmware. Other than that, they NEED to be opened by iTunes, aka Apple, online - so that is 3-4000 not very usable iPhones.. what a shame!

  1. tortenteufel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mobile me

    Apple: use Find My Iphone te retrieve them. 6000 dots on Google maps are easy to spot....

  1. Le Flaneur

    Joined: Dec 1969


    they're worth a lot of money

    Remember that all iPhones sold in Belgium are factory-unlocked, so jailbreaking isn't necessary in most cases. These stolen iPhones are worth a lot of money on the open market.

  1. Le Flaneur

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MobileMe won't work

    Tortenteufel, the iPhones can't be located via MobileMe as they haven't been configured with a MobileMe account.

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Inside info

    Inside Information... a daring robbery... sounds to me Like Mobistar was robbed by the Mob. And probably not just anyone from the mom... Mobistar was robbed by the Mob Star ...

    Oh how ironic ;)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh, sure

    Always blame an 'inside' job just because some criminals guessed the right spot. Or maybe they just cut a hole in the roof and took whatever happened to be under there, and they were just lucky.

    And knowing how cops are, they'll probably see some employee wearing new sneakers or something and just assume he was in on it (where else could he have gotten the money?) and haul him down to jail and get him to talk.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Blocked usage

    Don't you think this sort of information should be given to ALL carriers to block the phones from use?

    But it certtainly can't be too hard to change the IDs on phones. I'm sure its done all the time.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yea, no the ID's aren't changed.

    Anyways, you have to activate them to use them, even with a working sim card.

    Whomever stole these didn't think it through very well. Apple will be looking for them everywhere they could be sold.

    - A

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