stolentractor_20100324160709_320_240After having his business equipment stolen numerous times before (worth around $50,000), Scott Williams, a Tampa businessman, decided to take the matter of protecting his property into his own hands. He installed GPS trackers in his business truck and all of his landscaping equipment, so that he would be able to track its exact location in case it was stolen again.

And when it did get stolen yesterday morning, he logged on a friend’s computer and was able to see exactly where the truck and stolen equipment was heading. He then called up the police and gave them the exact location of the truck.

“When the vehicle was taken, he got with a friend who could track it on his home computer and was able to give our officer a play-by-play, street-by-street location of that vehicle as it was fleeing the area,” said Lt. Bruce Leidholdt.

Thanks to the GPS trackers, within a few hours, all of Scott’s equipment and truck was returned to him and he was able to get back to work.

Now most people wouldn’t normally expect lawnmowers and landscaping equipment to be tracked by GPS, but when you really think about it, all of this equipment is really expensive.

“A mower is $15,000. A weed eater is $400. Back pack blower is, like, $600. This stuff gets expensive,” Williamson said.

As of right now, the police haven’t found the thief, but they have found what seems to be his car and a gun inside it. And as for Scott Williams, he is just happy that the thieves didn’t put him out of business.

(Via MyFoxTampaBay)

Read More →

office-theftBeing in a busy office can make it hard to keep track of all your property. Besides the standard borrowing of pens and office supplies, some offices have experienced theft of personal property or information, and when it happens, it can be devastating. Whether your office already has a theft problem, or you’re looking to prevent theft from happening in the first place, there are a few simple steps you can take to increase your office security.

Read More →

gestolen-iphoneOver the weekend, burglars in Belgian used a ladder to climb onto the roof of a warehouse in Willebroek, Belgium, cut a hole in the roof, and stole $3 million worth of iPhones. That’s a lot of iPhones.

The crime is believed to be the largest iPhone heist to date. Considered an inside job, the hole in the roof was made directly over where the iPhones were located, suggesting that the thieves had prior knowledge of where the phones were stored. The warehouse was American owned and was holding phones to be transferred to Mobistar, Apple’s exclusive Belgian carrier. “We have the serial numbers of the stolen iPhones block[ed] anyway so they cannot be used,” said Verdoodt (Google translation). But because Belgium is one of only three countries in Europe that sells iPhones without a SIM-lock, that would not prevent the thieves from fencing them for use on another carrier’s network.

There is some disagreement as to how many phones were actually stolen, ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 phones with a street value close to 2 million euros or 3 million USD. Despite the great loss, Patti Verdoodt, a Mobistar spokesperson, stated that the company has been notified and assures that they will receive a new shipment in time for the holiday season.

(Via CNN)

Read More →

puzzle-thiefIn Brookline, Massachusetts, a woman was caught on tape stuffing $200 worth of puzzles into her bag at Eureka Puzzles. She later returned to the store and was immediately spotted when a store employee recognized her from the tape. However, when confronted, Mary Lane, 52, claim that she had never been in the store until that time and is denying the charges.

On the other hand, the video clearly showed a woman who strongly resembled Lane walking into the store shoving puzzles into her bag and then looking at the camera, bowing her head, removing her sunglasses and moving off the screen. Despite having the same bag as the culprit in the video, Miss Lane insists that it was not her. But unfortunately for her, when police searched her bag they found one of the stolen puzzles. Employees also recognized Lane as a customer who had previously ordered games for the store to put on display. Those games were stolen just a few days later.

Read More →

screenshot_05In Oregon City, Oregon, a man was caught on a store camera celebrating a winning lottery ticket that he had just purchased. This same man had just come from robbing some firefighters.

The man walked past a park where some firefighters were training and stole a wallet and three cases of special equipment from them, before walking into a grocery store and buying $75 worth of lottery tickets. The suspect then won $45 off the lottery ticket and is seen on the store’s surveillance footage dancing in celebration. He then left and used one of the firefighters credit cards to purchase two skateboards and a hat. Between the stolen merchandise and the emergency equipment, the thief made off with about $1000 worth of items.

Read More →
David Krop, Laptop Theft Victim

David Krop, one of the very few laptop theft victims that end up with a smile on their face

David Krop, the vice president of marketing at Nationwide Diabetic, was rushing to a meeting one morning when he left his two laptops inside of his car. He later returned to discover that the car’s door window had been smashed in and that both of his laptops were stolen. He reported the theft to the local police but they were not too enthusiastic about getting his laptop back.

When Krop got home, he remembered that he had installed a remote access application called LogMeIn on one of his laptops.  Using the service he was able to log into his laptop from his home PC and view what was happening on his lost laptop. Shortly after entering his information he was able to see that the person who had his laptop was using it to watch porn, download videos, talk with friends and occasionally change his Facebook status. Krop took notes and still frames of his laptops activities before deciding to go to video. He got especially lucky when the new user entered into a video chat with a friend and he was able to see the suspects face.

Read More →

robberyRecently in Albany, Georgia, a convenience store was robbed and the entire robbery was caught on tape. The Climax convenience store was robbed at gun point just an hour before its closing time. The thief made off with $300 from the cashier register but left the two employees working there at the time unharmed.

Despite the fact that the entire robbery was caught on tape, the police still have not been able to find the burglar and are asking for any one with information to come forward. The police arrested two men that matched the suspects description, and while both had warrants neither was the person they were looking for. Needless to say some of the workers are still very worried about coming back to work.

“Just to view what happened on the camera made me cry because these are my employees,” said Nicoa West, an employee of Climax who was not on duty during the time of the robbery.

Read More →

kindle1Items like the iPhone and the Kindle make it possible to cram books, music, pictures, and games into one single device with ease. With these devices closely linked to GPS and Internet, consumers would assume that locating these devices would be easy if stolen or lost. High tech gadget companies are telling consumers, think again.

Makers of these high tech devices have taken different approaches when it comes to handling theft and misplacement. Amazon’s Kindle is quickly becoming a favorite for techies but if it’s lost or stolen, well that’s a different story. According to Amazon, the only way the company will deactivate a stolen Kindle is with a phone call AND police report from the cops. This has outraged one  customer in particular who said,  “Amazon knew the device was being used and preferred to sell content to anyone who possessed the device, rather than assist in returning it to its rightful owner.” An Amazon spokesman replied, stating that the company acted in accordance with the law and cooperated with law enforcement officials. “Beyond that, we aren’t going to speculate on hypotheticals.satelliteradio1

Amazon is not the only company with this policy. Sirius XM Radio also needs a subpoena from a police officer before it can discontinue service or release information about one of it’s radios.  Company spokesman Patrick Reilly said the goal of this policy is “to protect the original subscriber who has lost the radio, but also not to incriminate someone who legitimately comes in possession of a radio.” He added “Radios that have been reported stolen are reactivated only after someone provides a “proof of purchase,” like a receipt from eBay.”

iphonepic2iPhone users have a few more options when it comes to lost phones. Using GPS technology, iPhone users can attempt to track and locate a misplaced phone, or they can remotely wipe the phone clean of any sensitive information. Mark Siegal, a spokesman for AT&T, stated “When we address lost or stolen iPhones, all we’re focused on is preventing any charges from accruing to that account. We don’t disable the phone.”

With no policy changes in the works, consumers can look forward to years of frustration from high tech companies. Until then, I recommend being careful with your high tech toys.

(Via NewYorkTimes)



Read More →

turtle2Turtles have a rough life. The last thing they need to worry about is some crazy idiot interrupting their well-earned peace and quiet and sticking them down their pants. For one poor turtle in Spring, Texas, being stuck down someone’s pants was more than just some crazy nightmare. Instead it became a strange, strange reality. Good thing there were surveillance cameras there to witness the scene.

On Wednesday, August 12, a thief targeting a pet store in Spring posed as a customer and searched the store before using a piece of metal to pry open one of the store cabinets, from where he then removed the fist-sized Indian Star Tortoise and shoved it into the left pocket of his jeans. He lucked out in not grabbing a snapping turtle. That would have been uncomfortable.

“We’ve been here twenty years and I’ve never had a customer shove a turtle in his pants,” said Sherry Stack, Pet City owner.

Read More →