Did you read about the burglary at an Apple store in Seattle last month? In a theft that had all the markings of a Money Heist-like thriller, burglars reportedly cut a hole in the bathroom wall of an adjoining coffee supplies shop to enter the Apple store. They stole iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches worth $500,000, reports said.
This news came just a few days after the Delhi police arrested five people involved in buying and reselling stolen iPhones in India’s capital. The police said the accused had a nexus with snatchers who would sell them the stolen iPhones.
Though not entirely the same, these incidents reminded me of the 2020 attack on a Wistron factory in Karnataka, where the company’s employees had attacked the premises over payment issues — and thousands of iPhones had gone missing. The company had claimed damages of 440 crore rupees (around $54 million now).
I am not surprised that thieves find iPhones worth stealing. After all, Apple’s aspirational smartphones can cost as much as $2,000 in South Asia.
Beyond just iPhones, the data on smartphone thefts is eye-popping. In 2021, an average of 134 mobile phones were stolen daily in Mumbai alone.
What’s most intriguing is what happens to these phones after they are stolen. Apparently, they travel across borders.
In 2022, the Mumbai police investigated a nexus that smuggled stolen smartphones to Bangladesh. Last year, the Delhi police had arrested a man who bought smartphones stolen by criminals in the capital city and then resold them in his country, Nepal. In Pakistan, the police had busted a 17-member gang involved in snatching mobile phones from locals and smuggling them to Afghanistan.
Now, who’s willing to pay me for this OG movie idea? FWIW, I am open to signing a multiseason docuseries deal with a streaming platform, too 😉.