Internet café heist sees over $7,000 worth of graphics cards stolen

midian182

Posts: 6,798   +61
Staff member
WTF?! With their ever-increasing price and rarity, graphics cards are turning into the hardware equivalent of gold. Some thieves in China decided to take advantage of the current market by stealing a load of cards from an unsuspecting internet café, making off with almost $8,000 worth of property.

Chinese news outlet 浙样红TV (via Tom’s Hardware) reports that six unspecified high-end graphics cards were taken in the heist. The café’s owner told police each one is worth around 7,000 yuan ($1,094), though he puts the total loss at 50,000 ($7,812)—likely due to the motherboards being stolen as well, judging by the site’s video.

The robbery was no simple middle-of-the-night smash and grab. One of the criminals first contacted the café’s owner about renting the premises, for which he used a fake ID. The perpetrator was also wearing a facemask because of the pandemic, meaning the owner couldn’t verify it was the same person on the ID card—and yes, asking him to remove the mask would likely have been prudent.

Claiming a friend was coming for a gaming session, the thief asked the owner for a garbage bag so he'd leave the room, at which point the cards and motherboards were snatched. Disconnecting and removing seven mobos with the GPUs attached in the time it takes to collect a bag is pretty impressive, to be honest.

The chip shortage, cryptominers, and scalpers have led the market to a situation even worse than when Bitcoin saw its first surge at the end of 2017. BTC hit a then-record $20,000, causing massive demand from miners that resulted in graphics card shortages and hugely inflated prices, something we’re all familiar with. The current issues have resulted in chaotic scenes like these at retail outlets when restocks arrive. Consumers are hoping the crisis will end soon, but normality might not return until 2023.

Permalink to story.

 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,803   +5,577
I have a, (albeit harmlessly passive), moderate case of antisocial personality disorder.

But why do people have to go so far out of their way to help further develop and enhance it?
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,912   +5,456
The only way to fight the scalpers is NOT TO BUY.

If not for credit cards and cheap credit, I'd say most of these scalpers wouldn't be doing what they're doing. After all, they aren't spending "cash" to buy these things...and the consumer isn't spending "cash" either.

This is what happens when you have high access to cheap credit.

It's really no different than a hedge fund. Scalpers use credit, They buy the cards, they hold the cards and if they must, they'll pay a premium per month on their holdings, but because they are charging so much markup, they can easily profit just by selling one or two cards.

I bought my 3090 FTW3 for MSRP from Microcenter for just $1799 which was $1955 with tax.

The average 3080 is being sold higher than I paid for my card. Damn shame.


If you refuse to buy from the scalpers, the premiums will force them to either sell or to lower their price to something more reasonable - but at the end of the day, they'll get whatever the market will bear.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,803   +5,577
The only way to fight the scalpers is NOT TO BUY.

If not for credit cards and cheap credit, I'd say most of these scalpers wouldn't be doing what they're doing. After all, they aren't spending "cash" to buy these things...and the consumer isn't spending "cash" either.

This is what happens when you have high access to cheap credit.
So basically what you're saying is that if we dismantle the US credit system, then everybody will have graphics cards? Or, that you;d just have to start saving for one by the time you're eight? :confused:.
 

bviktor

Posts: 407   +724
The only way to fight the scalpers is NOT TO BUY.

If not for credit cards and cheap credit, I'd say most of these scalpers wouldn't be doing what they're doing. After all, they aren't spending "cash" to buy these things...and the consumer isn't spending "cash" either.

This is what happens when you have high access to cheap credit.

It's really no different than a hedge fund. Scalpers use credit, They buy the cards, they hold the cards and if they must, they'll pay a premium per month on their holdings, but because they are charging so much markup, they can easily profit just by selling one or two cards.

I bought my 3090 FTW3 for MSRP from Microcenter for just $1799 which was $1955 with tax.

The average 3080 is being sold higher than I paid for my card. Damn shame.


If you refuse to buy from the scalpers, the premiums will force them to either sell or to lower their price to something more reasonable - but at the end of the day, they'll get whatever the market will bear.
Do they release 3090 drivers for Windows XP Unhackable Edition(tm) though?
 

EdmondRC

Posts: 129   +101
Pretty crazy stuff, but at least no one was killed. If it had happened in Chicago or one of our other glorious inner cities in the US, probably would have included at least 3 murders. Not that stealing is okay or that China is somehow a better alternative, just the US is mess right now with soaring crime and murder rates.
 

Freddie159

Posts: 85   +49
The next cafe will have the pc's locked up tighter than a drum and be alot more careful of who's who when coming and going.
 

Austinturner

Posts: 159   +165
If not for credit cards and cheap credit, I'd say most of these scalpers wouldn't be doing what they're doing. After all, they aren't spending "cash" to buy these things...and the consumer isn't spending "cash" either.

This is what happens when you have high access to cheap credit.
That’s not what the data says at all, consumers have been deleveraging since Covid, lockdowns have reduced services spending (on holidays, entertainment etc) and consumers are paying down their debts. That is also freeing up extra cash to buy consumer durable goods for use at home like graphics cards.

But sure, scalpers are probably making more use of credit to maximise their returns but they are a small number of all purchases.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 300   +431
Pretty crazy stuff, but at least no one was killed. If it had happened in Chicago or one of our other glorious inner cities in the US, probably would have included at least 3 murders. Not that stealing is okay or that China is somehow a better alternative, just the US is mess right now with soaring crime and murder rates.

In Minneapolis it would be some kind of law enforcement (just recently it was the US Marshals) that will end up shooting someone that might be a darker skin tone and riots will ensue. Then folks rioting and protesting will continue to demand that the police be defunded.

Then you'll have state officials or city officials cut back on police funding.
Then you'll have less officers because they'll fear for their lives due to having a smaller police division or cut backs will be made due to less funding.
Then you'll have crime up.
Then you'll have slower response times due to a smaller police force.
Then you'll have officials complaining that crime is up and the response time is too slow.
Now, because you have more crime, you'll have empowered the criminals to be more bold and brazen. They'll defy police and try to do something dumb such as getting back in their car when they're told not to or fight back or try to reach for a cop's gun....
To all those involved - be it a criminal, city/state official or police - if you do stupid things, you'll get stupid rewards.
Once something stupid happens, it repeats, over and over and over again....
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,734   +2,061
First...they came for the catalytic converters. Now, they are stealing video cards. LOL.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,803   +5,577
It took me a couple of days to "catch on" (??), but really, this smacks of being an inside job.

The joke starts like this, "a guy wearing a mask walks into an internet cafe and asks the attendant for a garbage bag", For what? Where on earth did the attendant go to get it, out of the country?

Any of that notwithstanding, this has to be the most incompetently run public business going.

In every BIOS I've ever seen, there's a "case open" anti-tamper provision. When you've basically got, "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves", for the majority of your customer base, why wouldn't you make provisions for case side switches? Commercial cases already have them, and it wouldn't be hard to equip fancy, "gaming cases" with them, and wire them to the store's burglar alarm system

So, somebody yanks a case side off, a 110 Db siren goes off, and the alarm system is busy calling the police.

One of the boxes takes a crap? No problem. You disconnect it, unchain it from the desk, and get a backup out of the locked .storeroom. You still don't have to pull a case side off. Needing to replace the tower is a worst case scenario, you simply move the customer to another machine if available

This whole fiasco is absurd, and you need to get that particular employee hooked up to a polygraph, ASAP
 
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