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The value of a stolen iPhone

When it comes to financial value, smart phones are worth much more overseas.

Posted: May 14, 2018 11:04 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - A cell phone is something most people use everyday, and isn't cheap.

Super Target, located on Marketplace Drive, is out 42 iPhones after they were stolen Saturday night. The search continues for the two suspects, who are being described as black males in the twenties.

Sandra Monty is no stranger to stolen iPhones.

"I know when my phone got taken I was pretty devastated," Monty said, "because I just got a new great granddaughter and all her pictures were in there."

When it comes to what happened to Monty or even at the Super Target in Rochester over the weekend, many can agree the primary reason people steal iPhones is to either sell or trade them.

Carson Amundson works at Fast Phone Repair. He said every phone has an IMEI number, which is a 15-digit code assigned to all phones that identifies the device within a mobile network.

Amundson sees plenty of iPhones come in and out of the store each day, and talks about the street value 42 iPhones could have.

"Here in the U.S., the phones aren't going to be worth quite as much due to the fact that they're going to be blacklisted right away," Amundson said. "So you can't activate them on AT&T, Verizon, any of your major carriers. The value might go up if they get taken overseas because there's a lot less control over there with how you can activate the phone."

Rochester Police believe what took place on Saturday night may have been part of a larger retail theft ring that operates in Minnesota and the greater Midwest.

Amundson said if the suspects know what they're doing, they could get more money.

"If they do send them overseas, yeah they will get more money due to the fact that they can't blacklist them over there," Amundson said, "so they could sell them as just a normal phone at retail price. Over here they're going to get blacklisted so they're going to be worth significantly less."

Amundson breaks the numbers down of how much the phones would be worth locally.

"Retail price on them is, on an 8, 64-gig is gonna be right around $650-700," Amundson said, "so you can see the significant decline in value if somebody tries to sell them here in the United States. Maybe a quarter to half of the price because you can't use it as a cell phone, you can use it to basically take pictures. That's about it."

If you iPhone is stolen or even missing, experts advise you to call your carrier. They will put a blacklist on your phone so it's not able to be activated. Then if someone tries to activate it, the carrier will know it's been stolen by the IMEI number and contact authorities.

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