BUNGLING burglars smashed their way into a Carphone Warehouse store in Oxford to steal the latest iPhone – but left with useless demo versions.
The thick thieves are thought to have used a large hammer to pull off the heist at the Westgate Centre yesterday morning – with the suspected weapon left behind at the shop.
At the scene yesterday it looked as if the hammer had been flung to the side and the raiders had stepped over the shattered glass before ripping out the gadgets from display holders and making a dash for freedom.
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Staff at the Westgate Centre shop said they first knew about the incident when they got calls at 5am yesterday morning from the company in charge of the unit’s alarms.
One shop assistant said it was ‘only a matter of time’ because it was common knowledge that the swish new iPhone – the 11 Max Pro, worth about £1,500 – had launched on Friday.
He said: “It was only a matter of time. The new iPhone came out on Friday. But that one was a demo phone.”
They explained that to the untrained eye the demo looks like a normal phone, however, these models only do the basics to show buyers how they work.
WATCH: Videos of the scene
Another staff member said: “Those phones are all clamped in so they can’t really come out very easily without breaking.”
He said some thieves have buyers lined up before stealing the goods, meaning they could pass on the stolen phones before buyers realise they will not work.
When staff and police arrived at the shop, the door could be seen in bits all over the floor with the handle among the rubble.
Wires could also be seen dangling from the display units inside the un-lit shop.
The shop, which is next door to Itsu, was cordoned off until the afternoon while police officers collected fingerprints and evidence.
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A force spokesperson said that an investigation was being carried out, but no arrests had been made.
A Carphone Warehouse spokesperson said: “We can confirm a break-in occurred at the branch and police promptly attended.
“Thankfully, no colleagues or customers were impacted by the break-in as it occurred out of opening hours, and there has been minimal loss to stock.”