SALEM — Two men employed to sell iPhones at the Apple Computer Store in the Mall at Rockingham Park went into business for themselves, stealing 332 of them before being caught by their bosses, police said.

Police yesterday arrested Joshua Garrand, 28, of Methuen, Mass., and Christopher Nashed, 22, of Sandown on felony theft charges of stealing $132,468 worth of the popular computer phone and reselling them on the black market, police said.

Garrand and Nashed were taken into custody at their homes yesterday afternoon without incident.

"These (phones) are in very high demand," said Deputy police Chief William Ganley.

The iPhones retail for about $400.

Police wouldn't say whether the men were selling the phones online or how sophisticated their operation was. Investigators were first contacted by the store in early January. Salem police Sgt. Steve Malisos dug through store records and spent three months on the case.

The iPhones first went on sale in June 2007 after months of fanfare over their Internet access and ability to play music and videos.

Because of limited availability, the company has found itself dealing with iPhones being smuggled and resold worldwide.

Ganley said the department has dealt with a lot of employee thefts over the years, but nothing comparable to the iPhone case.

Nashed is being held on $250,000 bail at the Rockingham County Jail. He is expected to appear today in Salem District Court for arraignment.

Garrand is being held at the Essex County Jail in Middlesex, Mass., on a fugitive from justice charge. He is expected to face that charge today in Lawrence District Court, where he could waive extradition to New Hampshire or fight it.

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