Masked Men Hijack $1M Worth of Video Games

Dennis Faas's picture

Hi-tech thieves used low-tech means to steal a half a million dollars worth of video games last week. The way it was done almost sounds like a plot from a video game -- but this incident was no laughing matter.

One truck was passing through Creteil, in the south of Paris; a car then crashed into the truck, stopping it. Two masked men then appeared, used tear gas on the truck drivers, and drove away with the truck containing about 6,000 copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

The estimated value of the heist is more than $500,000 US dollars.

A second robbery took place on the same day in Mantes-la-Jolie. The method of operation was somewhat similar, though three men wearing hoods made off with the truck after blockading the road. Together, the two hauls total well over $1 million US dollars in video games stolen. (Source:

Warehouse Burglar Pirates Game

These aren't the only thefts related to the game.

Last month, someone broke into a warehouse containing stocks of the game and stole a single copy. The offender then uploaded pirated copies of the game to the Internet. Fortunately for game-maker Activision, the thief only stole one of the two discs needed to play the game.

Criminals and gamers alike have such extreme interest in the game because it is the sequel to the highly successful Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. That version sold nearly 5 million copies on its launch day in 2009, then went on to become the second biggest-selling game of all time, behind only Nintendo's Wii Play.

Early Release Prompts Online Questions

Though the much-anticipated release of Modern Warfare 3 was officially scheduled for Tuesday, November 8th, 2011, some players were able to obtain legal copies in advance, because a few independent retailers ignored the sales embargo.

One US retail chain briefly put the game on sale by mistake, and several online retailers mailed the game to customers for Tuesday arrival, but it arrived earlier.

While it's perfectly legal to play the game once bought, Activision warned players not to try the game's online features before Tuesday, as this could result in exclusion from Microsoft's Xbox Live service. However, officials have decided not to enforce this rule. (Source:

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