Around $1.9M USD worth of Microsoft Xbox 360 game consoles have been stolen from a U.K. depot center located in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. An initial shipment of consoles worth $1.4M USD was stolen from a depot center. Police later revealed that there was another theft on Thursday morning after two vehicles flagged down a truck that was carrying around $500,000 worth of Xbox consoles.
According to U.K. police, At least three men, believed to be driving a Range Rover and Rover Saloon, were involved with the truck jacking. Police have successfully recovered the stolen truck. An investigation is underway to see if the two thefts are related.
Police believe the consoles are being stolen so that they can be sold on the black market for the Christmas holiday shopping season. The Xbox 360 retails from $386 to $579 in the UK and is a top choice for consumers, according to The Times of London.
The police have made statements to the public warning them that anyone purchasing stolen consoles could find that their warranty is no longer valid. Also, the Staffordshire police department put out the following statement to viewers in the UK: "We are appealing for information from anyone who is offered games in suspicious circumstances, such as in a pub, at a car boot sale or off the back of a lorry."
Approximately 4,000 consoles were stolen in the heist by rough estimates.
That last sentence reminds me about the time my father bought some speakers from a guy selling them off the back of his lorry, err, truck. Yeah, my brother ended up having to break them down small enough so that the garbage men would take them. And what a strange coincidence, as I just told Bill Harris about that exact story the other day. It's like deja vu all over again.
Anyway, I digress, as far as stealing 4000 Xbox 360 consoles goes, that's a pretty ballsy move. I mean, sure, the thieves probably have some distribution channels and I imagine good ol Ebay will end up with more than a few of them on their site, but still 4000 consoles? I was beginning to feel pretty pathetic for owning a half-dozen of the blasted things. But the real victim in this crime is the hapless gaming enthusiast who visits Gametab.com tomorrow and is bombarded with all sorts of proclamations from such bastions of journalism as Kotaku and Joystiq proclaiming that the thieves stole the Xbox 360's because it "pwns all consoles"! Or because the Nintendo Wii and PS3 were so desirable there weren't any to steal but there were plenty of Xboxes sitting around in warehouses because nobody wants one. This will likely be said by at least 1000 fanboys, of course if not in the articles themselves then in the comments which, by the way, are often less intelligible than a random spoonful of alphabet soup. And the latter will be said -- and repeated -- in spite of the fact that the Wii and PS3 haven't been released in Europe yet.