You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – July 2018

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

Hackers reportedly stole 600 gallons of gas from gas station

Police in Detroit, Michigan, are looking for two suspects who allegedly managed to hack a gas pump and steal over 600 gallons of gasoline, valued at about $1,800. The theft took place in the middle of the day and went on for about 90 minutes, with the gas station attendant unable to thwart the hackers. The theft, reported by Fox 2 Detroit, took place at around 1pm local time at a Marathon gas station located about 15 minutes from downtown Detroit. At least 10 cars are believed to have benefited from the free-flowing gas pump, which still has police befuddled.

Here’s what is known about the supposed hack: Per Fox 2 Detroit, the thieves used some sort of remote device that allowed them to hijack the pump and take control away from the gas station employee. Police confirmed to the local publication that the device prevented the clerk from using the gas station’s system to shut off the individual pump.

That isn’t a whole lot of information to go on. The most likely explanation seems to be that the attackers would target the fuel-management software used by the gas station. Motherboard pointed out earlier this year that at least one maker of such software was, at some point, vulnerable to attacks that would allow malicious actors to manipulate gas prices and steal fuel.

These systems have long been considered potential targets because many include web-based interfaces. Security firm TrendMicro reported in 2015 that a number of gas-monitoring systems were easy to find online using Shodan, a search engine for internet-connected devices, and other tools that can scan for open ports. Most of those systems were discovered to not be password protected, allowing anyone with enough know how to hijack the controls.

Even then, there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding the theft, including what the device could have been and how it apparently blocked the gas station attendant from shutting down the pump. The employee described his experience during the incident to Fox 2 Detroit: “I tried to stop it but it didn’t work,” Aziz Awadh told us. “I tried to stop it here from the screen but the screen’s not working. I tried to stop it from the system; nothing working (sic).”

Aziz says the system wouldn’t respond and it wasn’t until he says he got an emergency kit that he was able to shut the pump down, and then call police.
These types of gas thefts seem to have become a trend in the last couple months. Just a few days before the incident in Detroit, a man in Texas was accused of using a “device” to steal $800 worth of gas from a gas station after hours. Last month, it was discovered that a BP employee in New Jersey manipulated computer records for years to steal more than $300,000 worth of gas from the company.   [Source: Gizmodo]

Woman arrested after stealing puppy

A woman is facing felony theft charges after allegedly stealing a puppy in front of a Conway, Arkansas store.  Just call him “Pet Detective!” Detective Williams tracked down this stolen French Bulldog puppy to Little Rock and arrested April Folsie. Folsie faces a felony charge of theft of property for allegedly stealing the pooch. According to the owner, who is a breeder, she was showing the woman the puppy outside of Sam’s Club in Conway when the woman grabbed the puppy and drove away. After some investigating and a little help from Little Rock Police, Det. Williams found the woman, arrested her and rescued the puppy. The little guy is safely back with the breeder.  [Source: ABC7 News]

911 caller locks theft suspects inside gas station

Police in Dayton, Ohio, are investigating a reported theft at a Dayton gas station. It happened at the Shell gas station the 1400 block of S. Smithville Road, near Linden Avenue, around 1:30 a.m. Friday. A 911 caller told authorities people were inside his store stealing items. According to the caller, a man and two women were stealing items. The caller said he had locked the people inside the store to keep them there until police could arrive. Police have not said what was taken or if anyone was taken into custody.   [Source: WDTN2 News]

Kidnapper assaults women, pees on merchandise

A woman working at Fry’s Electronics in Renton, Washington, was answering a 30-year-old man’s questions about Batman DVDs last month when he grabbed her by the wrist and forced her into the men’s restroom. The woman managed to punch him in the groin and wriggle out of her sweater to escape his grasp. When police interviewed him after being detained by loss prevention associates, the man called himself a “knucklehead” and “intoxicated fool.”

Fry’s workers also determined he peed on two air conditioners, amounting to more than $1,000 in damage. Kevin Brown was charged last week with second-degree kidnapping and second-degree attempted kidnapping last week for the episode at Fry’s and another alleged assault that occurred just before at a nearby Target in the south-of-Seattle suburb.  [Source: Seattle PI]

Orange ‘Trump-shaped ecstasy pills’ seized

Police say orange-colored ecstasy pills bearing an image resembling Donald Trump’s face are making the rounds in northern Indiana. Indiana State Police said in a statement that a face is stamped on the front of the illegal pills and the rear bears the words, “great again,” in apparent reference to Trump’s “Make American Great Again” campaign pledge. Friday’s release doesn’t say how many of the pills have been seized.

Police say 129 arrests were made during a six-day traffic-stop operation in June. LSD, cocaine and other drugs were also seized. Traffickers sometimes produce uniquely shaped or colored illegal drugs as a marketing technique to distinguish their wares from the competition and encourage buyers to return for more.     [Source: NWI.com]

Cops on stinky stakeout for stolen swag

A man posing as a customer at a Leesburg, Florida, jewelry store Thursday first tried to buy a pair of expensive diamond earrings with a bad credit card, and when that failed, gulped them down in hopes of walking out with $700 worth of ice in his belly, police say. Friday morning, he was in police custody, in a cell without a toilet, while corrections officers waited for him to pass the evidence.

According to an arrest report, Ryan A. Penman and his girlfriend were shopping at Kay Jewelers at the Lake Square Mall late Thursday when Penman asked to see a pair or earrings. An employee handed him the princess-cut, 1/3-carat earrings, and Penman reportedly put one on his girlfriend’s ear and the other in his own.

He provided a credit card in a different name, and when the clerk said she couldn’t accept it, Penman reportedly asked her to hold the earrings until he returned the next day and handed them back. The clerk noticed that they weren’t the same earrings but instead were fakes. Employees and store loss prevention searched the store but quickly began to suspect that either Penman or his girlfriend had swallowed the jewelry.

Both were taken to the hospital, where the woman consented to an X-ray of her stomach. Penman initially would not consent to an X-ray but finally agreed to one in exchange for a sandwich. The X-ray revealed that the earrings were indeed in his stomach. He was taken to the Lake County Jail, where corrections officers were waiting for the earrings to emerge. Penman was charged with retail grand theft and tampering with evidence   [Source: Daily Commercial] 

Woman sips stolen wine at coffee shop

Police in Madison, Wisconsin, responded to a retail theft on Friday afternoon at the Target next to the Hilldale Shopping Center. According to Madison Police Department Chief’ Mike Koval’s blog, a 55-year-old white woman allegedly took two 4-packs of wine from the store and went to the nearby Starbucks “where she took a seat and began enjoying the wine.”The woman was charged with retail theft.    [Source: Channel 3000]

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