Victims of London phone theft find stolen mobiles are ending up in the SAME street in Chinese city
Revealed: Victims of London phone theft find their stolen mobiles are ending up in the SAME street in Chinese city
- Mobile phones stolen in the UK are being taken to a single street in China
- Shenzen, ‘Silicon Valley’s hardware garage’, is a hub for electronic parts
Victims of phone theft in London have tracked down their stolen mobiles to the exact same street in China.
The stolen phones are appearing on Huafa South Road in Shenzhen, 6,000 miles away from their owners.
The south China city, next to Hong Kong, is a hub for mobile phone manufacturers and wholesalers.
It is believed that the iPhones are likely being stripped for parts and filtered into legal markets, or being turned into ‘Frankenstein phones’.
Ketan Aggarwal, 36, had his £1,000 iPhone stolen in London. When he searched for it online, he found it had travelled 6,000 miles to Shenzen in China
Stolen iPhones have been tracked down to this street in Shenzen, where it is believed they are stripped for parts and sold off
Ketan Aggarwal, 36, was talking on his iPhone 14 Pro, worth around £1,000, when it was snatched from his hand in Farringdon, central London.
He then decided to track his phone – and watched it as it made its way out of the capital and across the world to Huafa Road.
He believes the phone was stripped for parts once it arrived in Shenzen, China.
Ketan, from Ealing, West London, said: ‘Phone theft is a big problem in London.
‘I had mine nicked right from my ear, and after tracking it to China, I’ve had an insight into what actually happens next.’
A Reddit user also said: ‘Had my brand new iPhone 13 Pro stolen in London over one month ago.
‘It is now located by Find My iPhone on Huafa Road, Shenzhen, China.
Victims of phone theft in London have little chance of getting their devices back, as many are shipped far overseas
‘I am just shocked that these sorts of black markets are still profitable and a big company like Apple can’t do anything to stop this?’
Shenzen’s electronics district has been described as a bustling downtown bazaar, with crowded streets, neon lights and sidewalk vendors.
A WIRED report described it as ‘Silicon Valley’s go-to hardware garage’ – adding: ‘Chips, circuit boards, sensors, casings, cameras, even raw plastics and metals – it’s all here.’
Professor David S. Wall, an expert in cybercrime at the University of Leeds, could not comment on Shenzen specifically.
But he said: ‘My only thoughts are that the sims must have been active when they were sent to China.
‘Therefore, victims must cancel their service as soon as they know their phone is stolen or lost.’