In late 2021, there was a truck heist on GPUs in California. EVGA’s product manager, Jacob Freeman, confirmed at the time that a shipment of EVGA GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards had indeed been stolen from a truck bound for Southern California from San Francisco.
The cards are said to retail for between $329.99 and $1959.99, so there are some pretty high-end cards out there. When they were confirmed stolen, EVGA also warned that serial numbers were recorded, so anyone trying to register them for warranty or potential sales would run into problems.
Tips and Advice
How to buy a graphics card: Tips for buying graphics cards in a barren silicon environment in 2021
According to reports Video Kaz, as it turns out, some of those cards are now in Vietnam on the other side of the world. A Vietnamese retailer known for loading GPUs into mining rigs may have been caught distributing some of the stolen cards.
Customers reported after purchasing the card that the serial number was an EVGA-stamped serial number and therefore could not register a warranty claim. According to reports, someone bought two Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPUs and each had the same problem. Customers say the cards get a 1-month warranty at the store, as well as a reasonable price for illegally imported cards.
VideoCardz did not name the retailer, no doubt to avoid getting more customers to buy stolen cards. However, they did say it’s not a small local retailer, which means we might see a well-known chain store, which is a bit of a hassle. It is likely that many uninformed customers, who may not be aware of current PC gaming and prices, consider themselves lucky to be able to get a good GPU deal without knowing the underlying issues.
Chip shortages coupled with eager crypto miners continue to make getting a new GPU feel more like a dream than a reality. It’s hard to get excited about anything new when scarcity is such a big issue. Having said that, we will see GPU shipments grow by 10% in 2022, so hopefully there will be slightly less truck robberies illegally imported in Vietnam.