Unlucky thieves snatch $1.7m-worth of PlayBook tablets

Ah, the irony: over the past few weeks even RIM has admitted that the BlackBerry PlayBook is so unloved it can't even give it away, and now $1.7m-worth of the 7-inch slates have actually been stolen. A truck transporting 22 pallets of the PlayBook to Ontario, Canada, was parked up for the driver to take a rest break, The Herald Bulletin reports, when it was stolen by person or persons unknown.

The daring PlayBook getaway took place at the Pilot Travel Center off State Road 67, west of Interstate 69, in Chesterfield, Indiana. The driver had been away for an hour, returning to the lot to discover that the semi was gone, complete with RIM's tablets and his own belongings.

Our guess is that the thieves didn't know it was a QNX tablet they were getting  - as far as we know, RIM doesn't brand its haulage with "BlackBerry On Board" – and the theft was relatively blind. Considering muggers are now refusing to steal anything but Apple hardware in some areas, we can only imagine the disappointment when the PlayBook rustlers opened up their ill-gotten load and discovered RIM's finest inside.

The $1.7m loss of tablets is a drop in the ocean compared to the $485m hit RIM took over unsold PlayBook tablets earlier this month. Only 150,000 of the tablets were shipped in Q4, with RIM reporting falling profits and depressing its share price even further with the admission that the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones now won't arrive until the tail-end of 2012.

[via CrackBerry]