It's often said that "Teamwork makes the dream work," and that's true whether you're completing a company project or, in the case of a Verizon theft, stealing smartphones.
Verizon Smartphone Theft
According to police, as reported by NBC Washington, six women walked into a Gaithersburg, Maryland Verizon store and, through plain 'ole distraction, stole $24K in smartphones. They accomplished this infamous task through inquiry, getting store employees to help answer questions while one woman went into an open storage room and stole 29 smartphones in sixty seconds.
The woman responsible for grabbing the phones appeared pregnant when walking into the carrier store, more than likely a rouse to steal the smartphones and not appear suspicious. Two children came with the six women as well.
Smartphone Theft: A Booming Business
The Gaithersburg Verizon store isn't the only carrier store or general store to experience a smartphone theft.
Earlier this year, $20K worth of smartphones were stolen from an Indianapolis Cricket Wireless store at around 10:30am. Two thieves walked into a store and, with a gun, forced an employee to go to the back of the store and open the safe. At that point, the thief took the smartphones and quickly fled the scene.
In December 2017, two Gainesville teenagers stole thousands of dollars in smartphones from smartphone repair store Orange Phone Care and then sold them to various places (among them, a Repair Store). The two teenagers stole a 16GB iPhone 6 worth $50, a 128GB iPhone 6 worth $95, and a 128GB iPhone 7 worth $205.
Earlier this Spring, two men with masks entered an AT&T store in Salt Lake City and stole an unknown number of smartphones.
One suspect pulled out a gun and told the AT&T employees to get on the ground. Then, made them go to the back room of the carrier store while the other suspect stole smartphones and cash and placed them in a duffel bag.
The two thieves then left the store on foot. It was a day later when one of the suspects was apprehended.
In June, Delhi police arrested seven men who stole 90 iPhones and 321 high-end Android smartphones from east Delhi and then smuggled them into Nepal.
One of the men was a Nepalese national. Sources say the seven men in question were former smartphone repairmen whose jobs slowed down. After unemployment set in, they decided smuggling smartphones and illegally selling them was the next job of choice.
On December 1, 2018 at 10:30 pm, two Hispanic males used crowbars to break into the electronics section of a Post Falls Walmart and walk off with $40K worth of smartphones. This included 41 iPhones and 2 Samsung Galaxy Notes.
Smartphone and cell phone theft statistics
In 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported that in New York, half of all robberies were smartphone robberies, and that nationwide, one out of every three robberies are smartphone thefts. 3.1 million smartphone owners saw their smartphones stolen in 2013, up 200% from the year before (1.6 million stolen in 2012).
Mexico City is one place where phone theft has been booming for years. In 2016, smartphone theft in the major city rose 197% to 7,314 stolen cell phones for the year, an average of 20 per day. 2017 saw stolen cell phones rise to 14,141 stolen, or 39 per day. In 2018, Mexico City recorded 21,722 cases of stolen phones, an increase from 39 per day in 2017 to 60 per day in 2018.
The FCC says that 40% of all smartphone thefts occur between the hours of 12 noon and 5 pm, 29% occur between 6 pm and 9 pm, and 18% occur between 10 pm and 5 am.