Three Chinese men have been arrested for stealing
240 iPhones 6 handsets ( http://ht.ly/2T0PnO ) ,
worth almost 1.4 million yuan ($225,350) from a
warehouse in Beijing. The heist by three “big
rats,” as the Chinese state news agency Xinhua
described them, using a phrase sometimes used to
mean burglars, is one of the more creative iPhone
thefts in China, which have increased as the phone
has become a status symbol in the world’s largest
smartphone market.

The men broke into a warehouse storing iPhones
by digging a 50 cm hole (about a foot and a half)
in the wall; one of the men was a driver for a
logistics company that owned the warehouse.

Police tracked some of the stolen phones by their
serial numbers to the northeastern province of
Heilongjiang where a seller confessed to
authorities the identities of the three men.

According to Xinhua, the men spent most of the
money “on cars, gold, and gambling.” When the
men were caught in late December, only 300,000
yuan ( http://tech.163.com/15/0107/21/
AFCU7M1C000915BE.html ) (link in Chinese) of
the 1.34 million they had earned by selling the
phones was left, according to police.

IPhone theft in China, where the phones sell for
around 6,000 yuan, is common, especially now
that China accounts for more iPhone sales (
%3A+PennOlson+%28Tech+in+Asia%29 ) than the
US, according to new data from UBS.

In February, a 19-year-old wielding a Japanese katana knife
robbed a mobile phone store ( http://
sh/2014/06-26/6324617.shtml ) in Wenzhou.

Stolen iPhones ( http://www.businessweek.com/
articles/2013-02-22/your-stolen-iphone-may-be-in-china-or-africa ) in the US are also often sold on the black market in China—last year, authorities
arrested a California couple for selling stolen
iPhones in Hong Kong through a scheme that
earned them almost $4 million ( http://
international ) in less than a year.
— URL : http://qz.com/322974/three-big-rats-

Author : Lily Kuo


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