This is the year of the iPhone 5 heist, it seems, with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of phones having been reported stolen from stores across the world with thefts reported in Tennessee, London, and Osaka, Japan. In the Tennessee case, someone swiped $100,000 worth of iPads and iPhones from a Best Buy in Murfreesboro. Another 252 phones were taken from a Wimbeldon store, per a tweet from the BBC's Dominic Casciani. And Japanese authorities discovered 191 missing from three different Apple stores in Osaka, reports The Wall Street Journal's Yoree Koh.
Though Apple's product launches haven't always gone so smoothly -- last year eggs were thrown at a Beijing store -- this is the first time we've seen this kind of criminal surge. "Thefts are an unfamiliar sidebar accompanying the frenzied first hours when Apple’s latest product hit store shelves," writes Koh. It's a pretty impressive feat considering the hype, press, and security surrounding these store launches. The Murfreesboro police called it one of the most "systematic, brazen crimes," writes Chris Conte, for News Channel 5. "The entire time, mind you, the store manager was sitting in front of the store waiting to open up the store for another employee to come in," Murfreesboro's Sgt. Kyle Evans told him.
But we understand why they took those risks. The iPhone 5 has a resale value of somewhere between $700 and $1,100 dollars on eBay right now, depending on the model. Not bad for a phone that costs $200 along with a 2-year service contract.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.