Phones stolen from Sprint stores are worthless

Police say burglars who stole 100 or more new cellphones from Sprint stores in West Michigan may now try to sell them on websites like Craig's List.
WZZM-TV
Apr 9, 2014

No matter how good the deal may seem, experts are warning consumers not to buy. They say the phones won't work.

"You can still get music on it, but absolutely no service from a cellular carrier," said Nick Brinks, general manager of Genius Phone Repair in Cascade.

The smartphones were stolen during early-morning burglaries at Sprint stores in Muskegon and Allendale.

Even though they are new and still in the box, the phones can't be activated. Their electronic serial numbers are in the stolen phone database.

"At that point, it can't be activated … can't be unlocked, can't be activated on any service provider whatsoever because, in their system, they’re bad,” Brinks said.

After reviewing surveillance video of the robberies, Sprint Regional Manager Korey Bryant said it's impossible to identify any of the half-dozen burglars.

"No faces, everything was covered, hoods, masks and gloves," he said. "They came in and took everything that had a lot of value. … They look like young people but you can't tell."

Sprint managers said they know of other burglaries at other phone stores in Michigan over the past eight months.

Before buying a second-hand phone, they suggest customers Google the electronic serial number to make sure it isn't stolen.
 

Comments

dhbreezy1234

Any idiot would of known that.

jenkem

Any idiot would know that "would of" is not correct grammar.

zwesterhouse

The crooks most likely know that. They must have some way to reflash the BIOS chips or PROM's or they would not have went through all the trouble to steal that many phones. It may not be for sale to the public - they may be using them for their internal crime syndicates.

mlouiswolf

Looks like a bunch of Trayvon Martin supporters.

It might be that it is worth it to sell them for the parts / batteries or to send them out of the country. ...Or just maybe it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

mlouiswolf

Looks like a bunch of Trayvon Martin supporters.

It might be that it is worth it to sell them for the parts / batteries or to send them out of the country. ...Or just maybe it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

Wolverine49457

The phones (any phone) can be unlocked, these guys don't have to know how or have the software. They need only know someone from the next tier up who can rechip with a new ESN.

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