WTF?! Not for the first time, a heist has taken place in which the target wasn’t art, diamonds, or gold, but something just as valuable these days: graphics cards. Twenty RTX 3070 Ti cards, to be exact, but while the trio of thieves did manage to escape with the GPUs, they were later apprehended by police, and the stolen items (however many were left) confiscated.
Mash (via VideoCardz) writes that the heist was carried out by two employees working at a warehouse owned by Russia’s largest online retailer, Wildberries. The video, complete with pounding Beastie Boys soundtrack, shows the two men wheeling unmarked cardboard boxes around the facility and leaving them hidden in a stairwell; it seems they stole the goods from a safe after pretending to collect an online order.
We then see the men removing Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics cards from the boxes, taking the GPUs upstairs, and dropping them out of the window to a third person—there are conflicting reports over whether they also worked for the company—who was waiting below. He strolls off, presumably to the getaway vehicle.
While the robbery itself appeared to go off without a hitch, it was when the thieves tried to unload the goods that their plan came undone. They sold one of the cards to a pawnshop for 60,000 rubles, or around $572, but the establishment owner was suspicious and decided to inform the police.
Authorities tracked down the men, detained them, and confiscated the stolen cards, though it’s unclear how many of the original 20 were still left by this time. If the thieves had managed to sell all the RTX 3070 Ti GPUs for the same 60,000-ruble price, it would have totaled the equivalent of around $11,440. Split that three ways, and it comes to $3,813, which doesn’t seem worth the prison time.
Russia is currently being hit with sanctions from countries and companies around the world, meaning that overpriced, hard-to-find graphics cards are going to become even rarer and more expensive within its borders.
This isn’t the first graphics card robbery we’ve seen. In November, thousands of EVGA RTX 3000 cards were stolen in a truck heist—they later turned up in Vietnam—and $7,000 worth of GPUs were solen from an internet café in June.
Main image credit: LightField Studios via Shutterstock