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£200,000 reward offered for stolen phones

Emma Nash
As mobile phone operators continue to grapple with ways to prevent phone theft handset manufacturer Samsung has lost £4.2 million-worth of phones in a raid on a warehouse near Heathrow Airport.

Thieves made off with 26,000 top-of-the-range Samsung A300s on Sunday evening after disabling an alarm and breaking into a freight-forwarding warehouse in Hayes, Middlesex, just miles from the site of yesterday's $4.6 million heist from a British Airways van at Heathrow.

Samsung is so keen to get the handsets back it is offering a reward of £200,000.

The theft, from a warehouse owned by Frans Maas, took place just hours after the Metropolitan Police announced a scheme to crackdown on the rising problem of mobile phone theft. Some 330,000 mobile phone thefts were reported to police last year and it is believed that as many thefts again went unreported.

"The phones were recently imported into the UK and were awaiting distribution. It is not known how many suspects were involved and no arrests have been made in the case," said a Scotland Yard spokesperson.

The silver phones had already been branded with Orange and One-2-One logos and have apparently been electrically deactivated, making them worthless.

The phones were imported last week and were awaiting delivery to shops. They were stacked on 61 pallets and police said that a 40-foot truck or a fleet of transit vans would have had to be used to steal the phones.

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