Entire iPhone 5 shipment stolen from London O2 store

Summary:Police want to interview an O2 shop assistant after a shipment of iPhone 5s was stolen ahead of the Apple handset going on sale this morning.

Police want to question an O2 shop assistant over the theft of iPhone 5 handsets from one of the operator's stores in London.

Usman Sethi
Usman Sethi. Image: Met Police

Around 250 handsets, worth about £100,000, were stolen from the O2 Store in the Tandem Centre in Colliers Wood near Wimbledon at 1.30am this morning. The stolen devices included the store's entire stock of iPhone 5 smartphones that were due to go on sale at 9am the same day.

The arrival of the iPhone 5 on Friday generated huge queues outside Apple Stores in London and across the world. However, the number of buyers at shops run by networks such as Three were much lower.

Metropolitan Police want to speak to 23-year-old Usman Sethi of Ilford in Greater London, who works as an assistant at the O2 store. He was captured on CCTV footage in the shop in the early hours of Friday morning.

Sethi is an Asian man, 6'1" in height and a Pakistani national. Police believe he may be driving a grey Ford Mondeo.

O2 said that it had alerted the authorities to the theft of the handsets, which include other devices besides the iPhone 5 stock.

"We notified the police and are doing everything we can to help them with their investigation," a spokesperson for O2 said.

A quantity of cash was also taken from the safe in the store. In addition, police are looking to interview Sethi in connection with the theft on Friday morning of jewellery belonging to a family member. They are appealing for anyone who sees Sethi to call Merton CID.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Legal, Mobile OS, Mobility

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Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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