How the Grinch stole RIM's Christmas: BlackBerry PlayBook heist

BlackBerry PlayBook loving thieves snatch $1.7 million US worth of RIM tablets in Indiana, just days before Christmas.

Can it get any worse for Research In Motion in 2011? After taking a $485 million US hit on unsold PlayBooks despite deep discounts, further delaying its next-gen BlackBerry 10 "super phones" until late 2012, and slashing Co-CEOs James Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis' cash salary to $1 US per year, it looks like the Waterloo-based company will be short 5,200 PlayBooks in Canada just before Christmas. A multi-million shipment was stolen last Thursday en route from Indiana to Canada.

Ontario-based driver Jason Garant apparently made a pit stop at Pilot Travel Plaza off Interstate 69 for a bite to eat and a shower. When he returned to the parking lot after an one hour break, his semi tractor-trailer was no where to be found. Unfortunately for RIM, the stolen truck did not have any tracking devices that could help authorities quickly pinpoint its location and recover the tablets.

Estimated value of the missing cargo is worth between $1.7 and $5 million US, depending on the storage capacity of the PlayBooks on-board.

Chesterfield Police believes, "the theft appears to have been meticulously planned and suspect the tablets may be headed for re-sale somewhere in Florida, a common destination for stolen electronics." FBI Interstate Theft Task Force has now taken over this investigation and reviewing surveillance videos for clues.

It's hard to imagine an entire truck carrying 5,200 tablets could disappear into thin air without anyone noticing. Just don't tell the thieves the 7-inch PlayBooks are not iPads.

[Source: Vancouver Sun, The Herald Bulletin]