$38,000 Russian GPU heist goes horribly wrong

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With the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, sanctions imposed by countries upon Russia have meant that the import and export of goods is becoming extremely limited. This includes graphics cards, which are already a very hot commodity in the global market. With the collapse of the Ruble, ordinary Russian citizens now face a crisis of living costs, where their money is worth less, and there are significantly fewer luxury goods to purchase in the country as a result of Russian aggression towards Ukraine. It’s an unfortunate side-effect that people are being driven to acts such as stealing, but this case, in particular, didn’t go as planned for a group of staff at online retailer ‘Wildberries‘, when they attempted to make off with a load of RTX 3070 Ti graphics cards, as Videocardz reports.

At least three Wildberries employees were involved in the heist itself, wherein you can see that employees were taking stock from the company’s warehouse, and managed to make off with at least 20 of the GPUs, and get them outside by seemingly throwing them out of a window, and having another accomplice catch them from below. Graphics cards are a prime target for resale, as you can imagine that each GPU has been raised in price in accordance with the collapse of the local currency, compounded with the ongoing global supply constraints. It meant that the RTX 3070 TI was a prime target, with a resale value of over $1,900 apiece. You can see a video of the culprits taking the GPUs below.

So, off the band trotted, to get rid of their stolen haul of RTX 3070Ti’s to get some sweet cashola, but that’s where this story turns awry.

Where it all went wrong

After making off with the graphics cards, the group went to sell off the cards… all at the same pawn shop. Of course, when bringing in twenty graphics cards that are not only rare but also incredibly expensive, and seemingly brand new, the shopkeeper clearly had some alarm bells ringing in his ears and contacted the local authorities. After law enforcement got involved, the group has since been detained, and the graphics cards have been confiscated and returned.

If you were going through all of the effort to steal the cards in the first place, surely there would have been a better way to get rid of them, instead of just dumping them all at the same pawn shop? In total, the cumulative value of the graphics cards totaled around $38,000, which would have been quite a haul if the perpetrators managed to pull it off. Remember kids, crime doesn’t pay.

If you want to get your hands on a graphics card, you’ll have to wait for a restock like the rest of us.

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