Over the weekend, burglars in Belgian used a ladder to climb onto the roof of a warehouse in Willebroek, Belgium, cut a hole in the roof, and stole $3 million worth of iPhones. That’s a lot of iPhones.
The crime is believed to be the largest iPhone heist to date. Considered an inside job, the hole in the roof was made directly over where the iPhones were located, suggesting that the thieves had prior knowledge of where the phones were stored. The warehouse was American owned and was holding phones to be transferred to Mobistar, Apple’s exclusive Belgian carrier. “We have the serial numbers of the stolen iPhones block[ed] anyway so they cannot be used,” said Verdoodt (Google translation). But because Belgium is one of only three countries in Europe that sells iPhones without a SIM-lock, that would not prevent the thieves from fencing them for use on another carrier’s network.
There is some disagreement as to how many phones were actually stolen, ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 phones with a street value close to 2 million euros or 3 million USD. Despite the great loss, Patti Verdoodt, a Mobistar spokesperson, stated that the company has been notified and assures that they will receive a new shipment in time for the holiday season.