Updated A UK computer distributor has warned the channel to keep an eye out for a shipment of software stolen from a lorry bound for Warrington last month.
Cheshire-based VIP said that the theft was reported to police on 14 January. The firm added that the software is largely worthless because Microsoft has already de-activated the license keys on all affected stock.
Essex police confirmed to The Register that the incident had taken place and added that they are currently investigating the theft of computer software worth a five figure sum, stolen from a lorry in Dolphin Way, Purfleet.
An Essex police spokeswoman told us: "The theft was reported to police just after 3.30am on Monday, January 14, when the lorry driver noticed that the curtains to the side of the vehicle had been cut. It is thought the theft may have occurred sometime between 8am on January 13 and when it was reported to police."
She said that anyone with further information about the theft should contact Grays police station on 01375 391212.
Microsoft told us it was unaware of the theft. We asked it to tell us what steps it might take to warn the channel about the possibility of being offered stolen goods, but no statement was available at time of writing. ®
Following our chat with Microsoft yesterday – in which it told us it had no knowledge of the theft – the firm has confirmed this morning that it is now working with police to understand how the incident happened. The software giant also said it was in the process of de-activating the license keys from all the stolen products.
Anti-piracy UK head at Microsoft, Michala Wardell said in a statement:
"Microsoft is committed to ensuring the channel remains a place in which all retailers can compete on an even footing and that lawbreakers are brought to justice. As the threat of piracy continues to evolve, so too will our efforts to meet this challenge and it's important that we remain as vigilant and committed as ever to addressing software piracy in the UK".