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Raiders steal Japanese iPhone 5 hours before launch

Three stores in Osaka robbed of iPhone 5 stock in early hours of Friday

Raiders steal Japanese iPhone 5 hours before launch
Not all Japanese iPhone 5 buyers were as lucky as these two, after stocks were stolen from three stores just hours before launch.

Three stores in the Japanese city of Osaka have been robbed of their stocks of iPhone 5, just hours before the devices were due to go on sale.

Japanese police reported that 191 iPhone 5s, worth around 7.45 million Yen ($95,000) were stolen in the early hours of Friday morning from two stores in the au brand chain and one Softbank store. In one of the robberies a store window display was also taken.

Police did not say if the robberies were related, but the stores are located near each other and the raids happened around the same time. Police say they are hunting for three men.

Tech site Nikkie reported that robbers did not take the new nano SIM, which is required for the iPhone 5, so that any customer trying to get a nano SIM from a phone operator is likely to raise suspicions. Operators could also use the GSMA's IMEI blacklist, which records the serial numbers of stolen handsets, which prevents stolen handsets from being used on any network that is part of the scheme.

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