Hundreds of iPhone 5 Units Stolen on Eve of Launch

apple security iconWith Apple retail stores, carriers, and other retailers taking delivery of their launch-day iPhone 5 stocks overnight last night, hundreds of the units have been stolen in several incidents on opposite sides of the globe. While security is tight at Apple's own retail stores where staff were on hand all night to set up window displays and demo units, carriers whose retail stores were left unattended during the night have been the primary target for thieves.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a total of 191 units were stolen from three separate shops run by carrier partners KDDI and Softbank in the Osaka area in Japan. Police have not confirmed that the burglaries are connected and are still investigating security footage and other evidence. The majority of the stolen units came from a Softbank outlet that was cleaned out of its entire stock of iPhone 5 units.

[A] Softbank Corp store in the western district of Osaka city was wiped clean of its iPhone 5 stock. All 116 devices were stolen, including one store display. The police said they were taken from the locked backroom within a four minute span from 4:24 a.m. as shown on security camera footage. The video recording also showed there were three culprits, all likely to be male. The police said it is uncertain whether the robbery is related to the incident in Ibaraki, located about 20 minutes away by car.

In the United Kingdom, The Independent reports that over 250 iPhone 5 units were stolen from an O2 shop in London in what appears to have been an inside job.

Officers want to speak to Usman Sethi, 23, of Audley Gardens, Ilford, east London, who works as an assistant at the store.

The phones were taken at 1.30am, with a quantity of cash which was also stolen from the shop's safe. [...]

Police also want to speak to Mr Sethi, a Pakistani national, in connection with the theft of jewellery belonging to a family member from his home address in Audley Gardens.

At a median selling price of £599, the 252 stolen iPhones would be valued at approximately £150,000 or nearly $250,000.

Top Rated Comments

phillipduran Avatar
120 months ago
Samsung just got it's next advertising idea!

Buy our phones because no one will steal them on launch day. :D
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PDXoPDX Avatar
120 months ago
Yep, that iPhone 5 is a real dud. So unpopular...
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
8a22a Avatar
120 months ago
Imagining Find My iPhone showing a hundred blue dots in a warehouse somewhere.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Biscuit411 Avatar
120 months ago
Too bad Apple won't be able to find them using their shiny new Maps app... :-)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
STiNG Operation Avatar
120 months ago
Nobody will ever notice!!:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
(http://gifsoup.com/view/1407267/sign-thief.html)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sammich Avatar
120 months ago
Okay, even with this news, the guy who scratched up the display iPhone 5 in-store is worse than the guys stealing the iPhones.

Because those stolen iPhones are still flawless and not scratched.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airtag in hand

Apple AirTag Linked to Increasing Number of Car Thefts, Canadian Police Report

Friday December 3, 2021 7:10 am PST by
Apple's AirTags are being used in an increasing number of targeted car thefts in Canada, according to local police. Outlined in a news release from York Regional Police, investigators have identified a new method being used by thieves to track down and steal high-end vehicles that takes advantage of the AirTag's location tracking capabilities. While the method of stealing the cars is largely ...
macbook pro 13 inch banner

Apple Planning Five New Macs for 2022, Including Entry-Level MacBook Pro Refresh

Sunday December 5, 2021 7:55 am PST by
Apple is working on five new Macs for launch in 2022, including a new version of the entry-level MacBook Pro, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said that he expects Apple to launch five new Macs in 2022, including: A high-end iMac with Apple silicon to sit above the 24-inch iMac in the lineup A significant MacBook Air...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors

2022 Apple Watch Lineup Rumored to Include New Apple Watch SE and 'Rugged' Model for Sports

Sunday December 5, 2021 8:22 am PST by
Apple is planning an entire revamp of its Apple Watch lineup for 2022, including an update to the Apple Watch SE and a new Apple Watch with a rugged design aimed at sports athletes, according to respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Writing in the latest installment of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for 2022, alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple is planning an update to ...
MBA Mock White Front Blue

2022 MacBook Air Getting Major Display Upgrade With One Drawback

Friday December 3, 2021 3:01 am PST by
Apple's next-generation MacBook Air is reportedly set to bring over many of the new MacBook Pro's features, with one noticeable omission, according to recent reports. The latest MacBook Pro models feature a mini-LED "Liquid Retina XDR" display with deep blacks and support for up to 1,600 nits peak brightness. The display also features Apple's "ProMotion" technology, which is capable of...
ipad air arrive feature

iPad Pro With Wireless Charging, iPad Air 5, and iPad 10 Reported to Debut in 2022

Sunday December 5, 2021 8:54 am PST by
Apple is preparing to update three of its iPad models in 2022, including the entry-level iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman reiterated Apple's plans to release a new iPad Pro in 2022, featuring a new design and wireless charging, and clarified the company's intention to release new versions of the entry-level iPad...
Top Stories 87 Thumbnail

Top Stories: iPhone SE 3 in Early 2022, macOS Monterey Tips, AirPower Revival, and More

Saturday December 4, 2021 6:00 am PST by
The rush of Black Friday deals has passed, and while there's likely still some holiday shopping to be done, attention is also turning back to rumors with a look ahead to what we can expect in 2022. Rumors this week included the next iPhone SE reportedly coming early next year and a multi-device charger similar to Apple's canceled AirPower, while we also took a look at what we might see for a ...