Entire iPhone 5 shipment stolen from London O2 store

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


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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  • Just stupid

    If any one of those stolen iPhones gets activated, Apple and most likely the carrier will know exactly where they are.
    • true but if he sells them on the street

      or ships them to Pakistan, the money will change hands before Apple can turn the stolen handset off. He makes money, leaves the buyer stranded with no handset.

      In the end, they'll be worthless bricks. Maybe one of his other victims will turn in Mr. Sethi in an attmpt to get his money back?

      Who knows, maybe this theft will encourage carriers to do better with stolen phones?
    • Is it stupid?

      Well, obviously it is stupid, but if one of those iPhones are activated, all it means is that he successfully sold one. It'll be the person that bought it from him that gets busted.

      Granted, it'll at least give the police an area to search.
    • Unfortunately mobile phones have no theft prevention.

      Stolen phones keep woking until the networks block the imei, but that's just the UK. All they have to do is sell the phones in the weeks it takes for all the networks to block them, sell them abroad or damage them and get them replaced on their warrenties.

      Find your iPhone only works on thick criminals; if they've flashed the phone, it's only the imei thry need worry about.
      • And why would carriers do that?

        they wont because carriers are another bigger version of theives. all they need is someone paying in hefty for their lousy services. My daughter lost her iPhone couple of years back and AT&T has the information of her phone, school police have it, but they didn't do it even after we complain and the response we got from them was that theif might have tampered with IMEI after steeling it.
        Ram U
        • ZDNET it is time for bringing back the edit feature

          This version of board sucks. period
          Ram U
    • Map 'quest'

      " Apple and most likely the carrier will know exactly where they are."

      Or not, if they are using the Apple iOS 6 map app. See

    • I'm not so sure they will do anything

      We had an iPhone stolen from us. Picture of the guy stealing it and everything (made the news that night). We had the IEMI number and all and call up AT&T (our carrier here in North Carolina)...and do you think they did anything to stop it?! NOPE, Nothing! The guy was caught due to the picture of him being on the news, but the phone....he sold that to someone else and AT&T would not block it and we never received the phone back (or any compensation for that fact). I agree with you, they should just shut them down....but I'm not sure they will even bother....at least I know they would not if it happened here in the States...the UK, maybe a different story.
  • Or just maybe...

    They will be used as triggering devices.

    Oh how trendy for the Pakistani Taliban..... >_
  • Latest release news

    Latest news about iPhone 5 (Updating Live) from Gizmodo - now working link http://l4f.co/go/iphone5
    Brian Bice
  • Samsung did it!!! Or that guy, Susman, was working for Samsung...

    which wanted the iPhones to examine the internals, to see if Apple had any components that violated Samsung IP.

  • Not to worry

    When Apple Maps on the iPhone 5 leads the thieves to the end of a dead-end road in the country, they'll dump their booty at the roadside and drive away. Next time it will be a shipment of Samsung smartphones with Google Maps (assuming that they haven't been banned in the UK).
    Rabid Howler Monkey