So why do they nick mobile phones?

I’m still fuming slightly over my mobile phone smash and grab encounter. The police are investigating, but there’s no CCTV and I didn’t see his face. Yet what puzzles me is ‘why did he steal the phone?’ After all it’s blocked and blacklisted so that it can’t be used by any network, so what does he have to gain?

It was done in a very professional and practiced way. This wasn’t an opportunist. The police have informed me that the thieves are targeting this street as MoneySaving Towers is in a media office complex, so it’s rich pickings.

As a good journalist I wanted to know why someone would steal the phones then. Not for 10 minutes of call time that’s for sure, as grabbing my phone this way is covered by the robbery squad (theft with violence) and therefore is not trivial.

The answer it seems is the phone is only blocked in the UK. It can be sent abroad and unblocked and un-blacklisted there.

This must mean (supposition only) that there are gangs behind the robbery who then export phones; I doubt the 18 year old who actually stole the phone runs an international trading firm himself.