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Thieves steal truck with 5,200 PlayBooks inside

With only a few days left in 2011, Research In Motion executives must have been hoping all the bad news was in for the year, and that they could start looking forward to putting things right in 2012. But not so.

News has emerged that a truck transporting between $2.8 million and $3.8 million worth of PlayBook tablets on its way to RIM’s head office in Waterloo, Ontario was stolen from a truck stop off Interstate 69 northeast of Indianapolis. It’s just a hunch, but there’s a distinct possibility the thieves had no idea what was inside the truck when they stole it. I mean, what on earth are they going to do with 5,200 PlayBooks?

The incident occurred late last week when the driver of the truck parked up and went off for a shower and a bite to eat. When he returned about an hour later, the truck, with its haul of PlayBooks inside, had vanished.

Indiana’s FBI office is currently investigating the theft while the Canadian mobile company said in a statement on Monday: “RIM is aware of the reported theft and is working with authorities.”

The year has steadily gone from bad to worse for the Ontario-based company. In the last 12 months its market value has taken a nosedive while its PlayBook tablet failed to strike a chord with consumers.

RIM has also been struggling in the US smartphone market in the face of strong competition from iOS and Android devices, a situation made worse when its BlackBerry service was hit by a four-day service outage in October affecting millions of users around the world. More recently, the company disappointed many when it announced it would have to postpone the launch of its new highly-anticipated mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10.

To cap it all off, RIM co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and James Balsillie are ending 2011 with a self-imposed salary cut to just a single dollar (each) per year while they try to get the company back on track.

Today is December 20. There are still eleven whole days left in 2011. No doubt eleven too many for Research In Motion’s liking.

[via Vancouver Sun]

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