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Nokia gets £2 million of phones nicked

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Thieves have stolen a shipment of Nokia mobile phones worth £2 million.

Thirteen palettes of Nokia handsets were taken from the Securicor Omega distribution warehouse in Rainham, Essex on Saturday night.

Three men broke into the building, attacked and tied up a security guard, then made off with the phones in a Securicor lorry.

The Finnish company, which was forced to take back thousands of WAP phones destined for UK users due to a software fault earlier this year, was unable to say which phone models had been stolen. It was also unsure how many phones in total had gone walkabout, but confirmed the handsets did not contain SIM cards.

The theft highlights the growing grey market for mobile phones. Many stolen handsets are believed to end up in Eastern Europe, where certain countries have made it illegal to sell goods at less than the price paid for them - hence no subsidised handsets.

The suspects of the Nokia theft are described as white, aged between 32 and 40, and two were dressed in blue jackets.

The third sported a brown shirt, a dark blue baseball cap and white trainers, but the fashion police are not believed to be involved.

Anyone with information should call Romford CID on 01708 779137 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Last month masked robbers kidnapped a driver and his van during a theft of memory modules worth £55,000. The driver was later found dumped on a golf course in Slough. ®

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