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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Belgian newspaper De Standaard reports [Google translation] on the theft over the weekend of nearly 4,000 iPhones from a Willebroek warehouse of CEVA Logistics, a distribution company. The iPhones had been destined to be delivered to Mobistar, the sole official iPhone wireless provider in the country, and have been valued at approximately 2 million Euro or nearly $3 million.

Reports suggest that the burglary may have been an inside job, as the thieves used a fire ladder to access the roof of the large warehouse, where they cut a hole directly over where the iPhones, which had just been delivered to the building, were being stored. Mobistar notes that the devices have been blocked from the company's network, urging customers to be wary of purchasing iPhones through unauthorized sources.
"We have the serial numbers of stolen iPhones block[ed] anyway so they can not be used," says the spokesperson of Mobistar. "[For] people who want to buy an iPhone, [it] is best done in an approved outlet and not on street or on the black market."
Local police have launched an investigation into the burglary, but appear to have little information to go on at the moment.

Article Link: Nearly 4,000 iPhones Disappear in $3 Million Heist
 

clmason

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2008
180
0
MacHeist!

I bet it was those MacHeist guys! They're going to be giving them away during MacHeist 4! :)
 
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swissmann

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2003
784
38
The Utah Alps
They've been blocked from the network but can they be jailbroken and unlocked to be used on any network? If so they can still be sold for a pretty penny.

Hope those thieves get caught. I don't agree with stealing.
 
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tcphoto

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2005
758
2
Madison, GA
Can I buy Applecare with one of those phones? It sounds like an inside job and it is a matter of time till the police figure out who was involved.
 
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Drumjim85

macrumors 68030
Oct 7, 2007
2,601
224
DFW, TX
Can I buy Applecare with one of those phones? It sounds like an inside job and it is a matter of time till the police figure out who was involved.

Can't tell if you're being serious. But applecare is linked to the product's serial number. So it'd be sure way of being caught with stolen goods.
 
Comment

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
11,622
5,024
Bay Area
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

I bet they're trying to create an iPhone supercomputer.

;)
 
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matthewHUB

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2005
499
4
those people likely to buy from a secondary source, jailbreak, and unlock, are probably more likely to read these forums or others like it too.

There should be more coverage of the theft, and a system whereby you can check your serial with those that were stolen, offering information from where you bought the units etc.

I doubt you can blame someone for purchasing the stolen unit if it's from ebay or something and they are unaware.
 
Comment

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,216
1,607
They could be blocked from apples end if they wanted too
 
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griz

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2003
581
220
New London, NH
Wouldn't a swapped out SIM just bypass any issue that a block imposes? Sure it's a first line of defense of the manufacturer, but these are thieves, not legitimate users with legitimate customers. These phones will likely make it into the drug trade where they will be used in whatever manner they deem necessary and then tossed.
 
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Kobekes

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2007
49
5
Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium
no sim-lock

there is no sim-lock on the Belgian iPhones, which makes them popular in surrounding countries.

I don't think Apple will block the IMEI numbers, they still receive their payment by the insurance company, so they don't care.
 
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segers909

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2009
193
0
Belgium
They do block the IMEI number. I repair iPhone's (don't work for Apple tough), and i often get people who have no reception on 2 of the 3 belgium networks. There are lists with imei numbers of stolen mobile phones which are passed between carriers, but some carriers (like proximus in belgium) don't accept these lists. Result; only a signal on that carrier.

On the iPhone 2G, using Ziphone, it was possible to change the imei number of the device. This feature is no longer available in newer "jailbreak tools" because it's (very) illegal, but a decent hacker should be able to change it without to much trouble.
 
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zjrhens

macrumors newbie
Jan 8, 2004
23
0
How ironic

How ironic that all of those phones are equipped with GPS yet can't be found
 
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Man4allsea

macrumors newbie
Sep 2, 2008
29
0
For the big guys they do it

How come when my Iphone gets stolen, ATT doesn't permanently disable it? Or help me track the thief? it would be easy, they could hard wire a chip with the GPS, and unauthorized logins would trace back to where the user was.
 
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Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,579
5,099
Los Angeles
Making money off the stolen phones will be easier than fencing a stolen Rembrandt painting that everyone is looking for, but that's a lot of phones to sell in a dark alley. How will they be distributed and sold? Will they try to trick purchasers into thinking they are buying authorized iPhones?
 
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