You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – July 2017

A collection of odd and whacky news stories that caught the Loss Prevention Media staff's attention

Woman complains of purse theft, ends up getting charged with petit larceny

A Salamanca, New York,  woman told police her purse was stolen, but she ended up getting arrested on a theft charge herself. The Erie County Sheriff’s office says Dawn Bish, 41, issued a complaint to authorities that her purse was stolen while at the Walmart store in Springville. She said the theft took place on Friday evening. The Sheriff’s office began to review in-store surveillance video, but reportedly made an ironic discovery. According to them, Bish was not only a victim of theft, but a thief herself. Authorities say Bish and fellow Salamanca resident John Ray, 55, were seen taking two pieces of clothing from the store. Each of them were charged with two counts of petit larceny and were given tickets to appear in Village of Springville Court. Bish’s purse was not found.  [Source: WIVB4 News]

CIA hacked for junk food worth $3,300

The Central Intelligence Agency admitted this week that it had been compromised for months in 2013 by a network of high-tech snack thieves. A report released this week shows the premier US intelligence body discovered that insider hackers had stolen more than $3,300 worth of potato chips, chocolate bars and other snacks from its vending machines. The culprits weren’t undercover agents or veteran Al-Qaeda chasers, but instead “contractors” of which the CIA has thousands, doing everything from terror analysis to servicing the machines that answer American spies  junk food needs. A CIA Inspector General s report on the candy cabal was released following a Freedom of Information Act request by BuzzFeed journalist Jason Leopold.

Unsurprisingly for the CIA, the report is heavily redacted, no names, or sources and methods behind the investigation. But it shows that an unidentified contractor figured out how to get snacks without paying. The machines took stored value payment cards from the FreedomPay company. The contractor figured out that if you disconnect the cable that connects the machines with FreedomPay’s cloud-based payment systems, they would accept a card that has no more funds. The culprit told friends who also disconnected the machines  cords to download snacks for free. But, of course, the agency finally caught up. After suspicions were raised, CIA officials put surveillance cameras on the machines, and figured out the scam. The main perpetrator “admitted to originating the idea of how to effect the thefts based on his knowledge of computer networks,” according to the report. Members of the cabal were rounded up, interrogated and then escorted from the building and fired by their employers.  [Source: DunyaNews]

Employee takes car from repair shop after being fired for stealing, police say

A former employee allegedly took a car from a repair shop after the owner fired him for stealing, according to testimony Tuesday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.Timothy George Mays, 40, pleaded not guilty to burglary and theft by taking motor vehicle. He was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail after being denied bond on the burglary charge. Judge Julius Hunter bound the case over to Superior Court. Columbus police were called to the Untouchable Auto N Detailing at 4104 Forrest Road on December 24 to investigate a burglary. The owner told police that his shop was burglarized after he closed it around 7 p.m.

Someone entered the business, ripped the air conditioning unit from the window, and stole the keys to a maroon 2006 Ford Explorer that was under repair. A $139 AutoCraft battery was also stolen. Police said the suspect cut a hole into the fence and drove the car off the lot. The owner called authorities the following day and stated that someone informed him that Mays, a former employee, committed the burglary with a man.
Before the break-in, Mays was terminated after allegedly stealing from the shop.  [Source: Ledger-Enquirer]

Texas Man tried to steal 12 shirts by wearing all of them out of the store

Austin police say a man tried to walk out of a Nordstrom Rack store wearing 12 layers of stolen men’s shirts, among other items, on Thursday. The man, identified by police as 35-year-old Adam Lee Cart, was seen by store loss prevention taking a mix of items into a dressing room at the Nordstrom Rack, an arrest affidavit said. When Cart exited the dressing room he appeared to be wearing the items and headed for the exit, the store security staff told the police. According to the affidavit, Cart was stopped by LP and found with the following items: 12 men’s shirts; 4 wallets; 2 watches; A camera, and a Soul speaker. The total value of the items was $878.40. Cart was charged with theft, a state jail felony, and was being held Monday in the Travis County Jail with bail set at $8,000.  [Source: Statesman]

Suspected shoplifter nabbed by automatic doors at Florida store

Maybe he was just too fast. A fleeing theft suspect in a Harbor Freight store was nabbed after he reportedly ran into a set of automatic sliding doors before they could open. According to an arrest affidavit, a Mount Dora police officer was in the store on Saturday when he was told that a man just had just slid a hammer down his pants. When the officer confronted the suspect, the man reportedly pulled the tool out of his pants, threw it down and ran toward the front door. But the suspect ran into the automatic doors before they could open and the officer grabbed him by the shirt and took him into custody. Store management declined to file theft charges against the suspect, later identified as Shannon Anthony Dugan, 37, of Orlando. But police arrested Dugan for resisting arrest.  [Source: Daily Commercial]

Rhode Island man finds stolen bike in pawn store window

A worker at Seven Star Marine left his bike outside the shop on Connell Highway on March 31. When he went back outside, he couldn’t find it. The man reported the theft to Newport police that same day at 4:44 p.m. Police took the report and a description of the stolen bike. Then last week, the man saw his bike in the window of Fall River Pawn Shop on Broadway.

Officers went to the store. After confirming it had the identifying marks the victim had reported, they obtained the name and address of the person who pawned it. Steven Alvarado, 20, of Newport, was charged June 18 at 12:10 p.m. with Receiving stolen goods and Obtaining money under $1,500 on false pretenses. Alvarado denied he stole the bike, police said. However, they had an affidavit for his arrest for receiving stolen goods. They took him into custody and booked him. The bicycle may be returned pending the outcome of the court case. The store that sold it to the Seven Star Marine worker said it was on layaway and not paid for entirely yet.  [Source: Newport Patch]

Pennsylvania man possibly high on meth uses infant son to hide stolen power tool

Nicholas Rodweller, 39, of the Huntingdon Valley section of Upper Southampton, was charged last week after attempting to steal a M18 Fuel 18GA Brad Nailer kit from the Fairless Hills Home Depot in Falls Township by concealing it under his 1-year-old son and diaper bag earlier in the month, according to police. The tool was reported to be worth $350. Court papers state that Falls police were called to the store due to a theft in progress. A loss prevention associate from Home Depot followed Rodweller through the store and watched him leave through the garden center without making any effort to pay for the tool. Rodweller was stopped by police outside of his car. He appeared to be under the influence of something and quickly admitted to recently using methamphetamine, according to officers. A search turned up a cut green straw with white residue. The straw was field tested and showed positive for methamphetamine, police said. The child was taken to the police headquarters where he was picked up by his mother and Bucks County Children and Youth were notified, police paperwork stated. The 39 year old was released from custody to await charges, police said. Rodweller was charged via summons by Falls police with endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of minors, retail theft, receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and the possession of drug paraphernalia. Rodweller was jailed a few days after the Falls incident by Lower Southampton police after he allegedly was involved in an altercation.  [Source: Levittown Now]
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