It ain't exactly Gone In 60 Seconds, but at least one thief is now sitting on a pile of electronics worth more than any sportscar. CNET reports that a truck stolen from a Gary, Indiana truck stop contained 22,500 LG G2 smartphones, originally intended for a Sprint distribution center in Kentucky. At the unsubsidized price, the combined value of all those phones is more than twelve million dollars.


At the moment there don't appear to be any leads in the case, though police in Indiana and Illinois are looking for the truck and the thief, and the FBI is aware of the situation. The burglary might hamper the launch of Sprint's LG G2 planned for later this year, at least in the Midwest. That being said, the real question is what the thief or thieves might do with that many phones. We've got a few ideas:

  • Build the world's most expensive play fort
  • Recreate the Cowboys Stadium scoreboard
  • Use the screens to illuminate a dirty note visible from the ISS
  • Collect a five million dollar check from Gazelle.com
  • Give a G2 to every man, woman, and child in Portland
  • Create a glowing, single-use driveway
  • Gut the screens and sell them as Barbie-sized HDTVs
  • Make a Bitcoin mining rig from 22,500 Snapdragon processors
  • Give them out as business cards
  • Create the most exhaustive drop test video on YouTube

...or I guess you could just try to fence them. But since this order is probably a sequential run from the manufacturer, I'm guessing that all those smartphones have easily-traceable ESN identifiers. If ill-gotten G2s start popping up in the wild, especially before Sprint actually releases the phone, it would be relatively easy for the authorities to connect the dots. It doesn't help that Sprint phones can't be used on any other major network. I hope those crooks enjoy the loot while they can.

Source: CNET

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Alberto

    sell them outside USA you got profit. They wont be the dumb to put on it ebay lol but you never know

    • Gabernasher

      They were sprint phones, so CDMA for sprints spectrum.

    • briankariu

      Exactly what I was thinking. Plus those phones are pentaband so they support GSM too

    • howardbamber

      Won't work anywhere else

      • Alberto

        You can flash for boost, & outside of USA you can use it trust me

  • Ryan Callihan

    A single-use driveway made of 22,500 of those would be such a waste! :/

    • Jadephyre

      What else would you use them for? It's not like the phones are usable in any other shape or form since they can be shut off from afar.

  • MeCampbell30


  • mgamerz

    Meh, at least it wasn't the Nexus 5. I'd be in tears.

    • Crispin Swickard

      We can only hope there wasn't any N5s in there as well. After all its STILL not official, so they wouldn't mention them unless they were known. But with that many G2s it would be hard to imagine anything else fitting in there.

    • Gator352

      It was heading to Sprint....no Nexus 5's on board....sad to say...

  • Meir H

    Create an alarm clock you cannot ignore...

  • Lawats Lord

    typo : "CNET reports than* a truck stolen"

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Thanks, fixed.

  • Trent Callahan

    This just made my night! LOL! I hope they get away in all honesty, LG ought to wake up. G2 is their latest and greatest, and it could've been better. I really like LG, shame on them for their recent performance! :p

    • Joris Griffioen

      Really? You hope an honest hardworking company get's screwed out of 12 million dollars by thieves? That's either really dumb or you are just a bad person. This isn't a movie, this is actual money and actual lives that can be ruined by it.

      • Mike

        These devices would barely work with sprint anyways, look at how much money was saved by keeping 22, 000 people from being locked into a contract with poor service. Sprint will aggrevate you to the point to were you will drop them, keep the device, & not pay the termination fee.

    • fonix232

      And how exactly would you make that phone better? It is nearly perfect sized, and to be honest, it has the best performance out of all current flagship phones, with the lowest price tag. The only phone that can actually overcome it is the Sony Z1, but that costs almost the double on contract (at least here).

      • Stacey Liu

        Not agreeing with his idea that the thieves should get away, but I do think the G2 could use a bit of work:

        - Better design and better build quality
        - This is just my complaint, because I'm a girl, but I'd like it more if it was smaller. Maybe 4.7" in a frame slightly smaller than the Nexus 4's.
        -Better stock software. Some of the apps just look terrible. And on a side note, it's ugly. If you're going to skin Android, at least make it look nice (like Sense).

        I probably just described the Nexus 5 though (except the size part).

        • Joris Griffioen

          .. and the ugly skin part, and the size part. So not at all really.

          • Stacey Liu

            I said I don't want an ugly skin. No skin at all is best, but a skin that looks good is acceptable.

            Regardless, I'm not looking to buy any phone. I'm happy with my Nexus 4.

  • bob

    claim 1 petabytes of free box.com cloud storage (50gb per lg android)

  • TylerChappell

    man, and I live in Indiana, why cant a few of those show up here?

  • Julius

    It wouldn't take much to root the OS and use it with a home made system.
    Someone in Gary has to know how to do this. Once rooted, any Sim card can run it.

    • TDN

      They would still have the hardware ID numbers, which would be identified to Google as soon as the device was activated and signed into the Play Store. Google could then forward that information to LG and Sprint. Not to mention that the phones are CDMA, so a US GSM SIM card would not work in it. They could only be used on Boost or Cricket I believe.

      • Vitaly Streltsov

        This G2-truck is a one big fail, imo.
        Or someone has demand on them & this crime is well planned.

  • Brian Menius

    They'll be caught. Only a real dumbass jacks a truckload of phones. The real business is freightjacking of food as that's not nearly as traceable. It's also not nearly as glamorous, but it's what pays.

    • TDN

      Yup, way to easy to trace, they will be shut down as fast as they get activated

  • robert

    This could be a good thing for lg, could build a hype around this awesome phone instead of stupid iphone 5s

    • samrex

      If LG was smart they wld create an ad campaign around the heist

  • Derrick Hodges

    they'll just get them flashed at Cricket.

  • vision77

    That's some GTA sh!znit right there. Trevor would've flown them to Mexico....

  • Eduardo Ortiz

    It is fairly easy to get sprint phones to work on international gsm carriers. I make money by buying bad esn galaxy s4s and htc ones, get them to work on gsm networks in my country and selling them for a profit. Onece unlocked, each stolen G2 could be sold for 480-550 USD.

    • Bloodflame87

      what you're doing sounds sketchy... you're in on this, aren't you?

      • Gator352

        He's the sole reason we pay so much for phones these days...

    • RHG84

      what country is that?

      • Edward

        Mexico. Sprint phones can work on Telcel (GSM) and Movistar (GSM). The HTC One only works on edge but the Galaxy S4 works perfectly on HSDPA

  • meowww

    Im so confused, those phones are essentially worthless because they just need to kill the ESN's and they essentially become bricks right?

    • Jadephyre

      Pretty much.

      • Bloodflame87

        Or you just have 20,500 iPods that are better than the original

  • andrew borrelli

    Maybe that also happened to a truck of nexus 5 and that's why they haven't released yet :-P

  • Mystery Man

    Make a bunch of those tiny arcade machines using these LCD's + raspberry pi's?

  • John Brandenburg

    You could make the best domino video ever.

  • Action Jackson

    They are FU@$ED! They'll probably get caught. They coukd also re re-rommed to CricKet or sent overseas. But yeah, someone is seriously going to go down.

  • Tomáš Petrík

    Similar thing happened a few years ago with Samsung in Australia.
    Later it was revealed that it was not true and the whole story was made up by their PR team to get attention.

  • howardbamber

    Of all the stupid networks to steal phones from. Should of gone for at&t! Duh!

    • master94

      Sprint is the perfect option. The police would never find the phone because they would never get service in the first place. Perfect crime with no chance of getting caught. With At&t, they would get caught as soon as the first phone gets service. Think people

  • martine

    Just sell them as cheap media player or portable gaming device.
    You don't have to connect to the network to use its full hardware potential.

  • Mathias Kenting

    The real question is: How effective would 22500 Snapdragon 800's be as a Bitcoin mining rig?

    • Mike Reid

      Need 22k chargers or USB hub ports.

      Only Verizon versions have wireless charging.

      • bob

        thats wrong there buddy i have wireless charging on my s3

  • Karan O

    giving them to every single men and women is a great idea and the police will try to locate each one of them in WORLD and the thief would say IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY IT'S ABOUT SENDING A MESSAGE in a very JOKERY deep voice ! LOL

    • Pedro Capello


  • Gator352

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple paid some thugs to steal the truck. When caught, they'll probably claim that they were supposed to steal a Samsung truck but Apple maps put them at the wrong truck stop....

  • Hugh Johnson

    So they stole a bunch of Sprint phones. Basically they have a bunch of phones now that they cannot sell.

  • me

    Surely it was order by Samsung

  • TheDrunkenClam

    "At the moment, there don't appear to be any leads in the case."

    • Joris Griffioen

      They don't seem to have a ... connection.

  • HopelesslyFaithful

    damnit.....if they jack the sprint lauch that i have been waiting for to upgrade i am going to be pissed

  • Eric Jones

    I'm sure it's going to be really hard to fence these, for logistical reasons, but aren't these pentaband phones? I thought it was using a wireless chip that had essentially every band in it. If they are smart, they'll just ship the entire load right out of the country. I would be surprised if they actually know what they are doing, and have international ties for selling them.

  • Ancan

    Just completely 100% unrelated to this story whatsoever, if anyone got a brand new LG G2 for sale for, say half the normal price, give me a ping.


  • Matthew Fry

    Make the worlds largest bullet time camera.

    You are right that it is completely idiotic to steal phones from a carrier. They *might* get half the price if they sell them as wifi devices but as soon as someone tries to connect one to Sprint, you have a trail of breadcrumbs leading right back to you.

  • master94

    LG needs to make ad showing that these phones are so beast that people couldn't wait for release and took the effort to jump these trucks

  • black

    The christian think would be to give them back.

  • Mike

    22, 000 potential sprint customers who won't b pissed off behind poor service, yea to the thieves for saving these people the aggrivation of dealing with sprint.

  • Chris Caldwell

    Nobody suggested a bullet-time rig that goes for 12.5 minutes?
    If the were iphones Id expect a spun headline like "Electronic store sells out of 22,500 iphones IN 5 SECONDS!"

  • CHRIS42060

    Wait so Dominic Toretto is real?

  • Maher Salti

    Well this website is Android Police so I suppose you're going to stop them? :)

    It is funny to read what they might do with 20K devices :)

  • anon

    I would be so much happier if it happened with vzw ;-)

  • thefryman7

    create an lg phone worth having

  • RaptorOO7

    What the hell are you going to do with Sprint phones, they can easily block the ESN's from being activated. If these were AT&T or T-Mobile phones I could see the value.

  • vince m

    It could be a part of Fast & Furious 7?!?!? Lol

  • Michael J Carroll

    Anyone from Indiana will tell you that taking expensive stuff through Gary is ALWAYS a bad idea.

  • x425m

    even tho they can't sell it as cell phone bUT would be a nice device as a media player kinda like a beefed up iPod touch player.

    $100 a pop for beefed up iPod touch will sell like hot cakes from the black market for snapdragon 800 media device.

  • Man Of Steel

    Life is good.

  • Me

    I thought the nsa can track cell phones that are powered off?

  • FrillArtist

    20,000 people saved from the horror network called Sprint.

  • Blowntoaster

    wonder if the criminal can root. as soon as he goes online they will find him...
    What I would do with 22500 LG G2's. I'd be in heaven. a G2 a day....

  • Vaughn Teegarden

    I bet those come with a 10 year contract.

  • http://friskychatter.com/ _jsw_
  • Lousville