Police arrest nine men over £3m mobile raid

£100,000 reward may have done the trick as officers recover some of the 10,000 handsets stolen from a Heathrow warehouse last month

Police investigating the theft of £3m worth of mobile phones announced on Friday they had arrested nine men in connection with the offence.

The arrests come only days after insurers for Hawk Precision Logistics -- from whose warehouse the phones were stolen -- offered a £100,000 reward for information about the robbery. Officers carried out raids on 14 addresses across the Midlands and the South of England. They recovered some, but not all, of the 10,000 stolen handsets.

The nine men were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to handle stolen goods.

The raid took place at Heathrow on 24 June. Two employees of Hawk Precision Logistics were kidnapped the night before, held at gunpoint and then doused in petrol and forced to unlock the premises. Both men were later treated in hospital.

The mobile phones stolen were Nokia 8850's and 8210's, worth around £300 each, which were packaged and ready for sale throughout Europe. Police sources believe that the raid was a professional and well-planned operation.

There are concerns that criminals are increasingly targeting high-tech equipment. Last year police raided 20 London addresses in an attempt to crack a suspected computer theft ring responsible for a number of multi-million pound robberies across the capital.

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