Last night, something scary happened at the Macomb mall in Michigan: a man passed a pretzel stand employee a note demanding cash and stating that he had a gun. The employee handed over cash, and the robber left on foot. Police and mall security didn’t have to look very far, it turns out… they spotted the suspect at a standalone Chili’s restaurant that shares a parking lot with the mall. [More]
Here’s the thing with surveillance cameras: the video that they capture usually goes somewhere. Somewhere else. We don’t know whether the men who were caught on camera removing the very camera that caught them thought that they were destroying the evidence by stealing the cameras, but removing a camera does provide a nice, up-close view of the person removing it. [More]
Recently here at Consumerist, we’ve reviewed some very unsuccessful ways to open up ATMs and get at the money inside. Smashing the machine with a forklift, for example, is not a useful method. Neither is pouring acid on it. Now we have a new addition to the list: you also cannot gain access to money inside a cash machine with an explosive. [More]
It’s important to do your research and learn everything you can before embarking on a project so you can anticipate what things might go wrong. For example, your plan to steal air conditioners and disassemble them for parts could go wrong when you accidentally release freon into the air. That’s what happened to an Ohio man who recently took a federal plea deal…not for theft, but for violating the Clean Air Act with his ill-gotten ACs. [More]
It must be so tempting for the criminally minded to know that there are boxes filled with money on just about every corner of the non-residential areas of this great nation. One man in Colorado had a brilliant scheme to crack open an ATM on the CU-Boulder campus. The only thing he succeeded in doing was injuring a student who later used the ATM. Oh, and destroying the machine. [More]
We’re all about multitasking here at Consumerist: as I write this, I am also running a load of laundry and petting a dog with my foot. For example. If you want to save time while running errands, though, don’t follow the lead of a man who combined robbing a store with applying for a job at them, leaving behind an application with his real contact information. [More]
Earlier this week, we posted about the public adjusters and contractors who show up at the scene of a house fire, often before all of the flames are even out. Reader Josh’s family has been through a fire recently, and he wrote in to warn people about a whole different set of entrepreneurs who might stop by your home after a fire…looters. [More]
When an alleged shoplifter was caught at a New Hampshire Home Depot store, loss prevention staff brought him to the front office to speak with him, which is the normal procedure. As police put it, though, “the subject became agitated” and fled the store: stabbing an employee in the hand with a pair of scissors, and losing police in a high-speed chase that apparently reached 100 MPH. [More]
Cops love finding iPhones at crime scenes because the phones carry so much priceless data about your usage habits, or as the cops call it, evidence. That email you typed months back about feeling stabby when you drink? It’s still there because there because the iPhone captures everything you type to help fuel its spellcheck abilities—even emails you thought you deleted. And that’s not all. [More]
So, Darth Vader robbed a bank yesterday. Actually, it was just a guy in a Vader costume. How do we know this? Because the real Vader would have sent a minion, or just done the whole thing remotely, using the Force. Come on, people. [More]
Albert Gonzalez, the mastermind behind most of the multi-million dollar credit card breaches in the past few years, is being sentenced this week. (Feds are asking for 25 years.) Now his former accomplice, Stephen Watt, has told Wired that while Gonzalez was busy stealing and selling credit card data he was also being paid under the table by the U.S. Secret Service to inform on others, earning as much as $75,000 in cash annually. [More]
The Secret Service has apprehended an alleged ring of ATM skimmer crooks in eastern Massachusetts. The group set up skimmers with pinhole cameras on Bank of America and Citizens Bank ATMs in the greater Boston area. According to authorities, when one of the suspects was caught, he had almost $100,000 in twenties in his possession. [More]
I’ve always found Apple Stores to be open and inviting. A team of thieves in New Jersey evidently agree with me. They smashed the front window of the Promenade at Sagemore store in Marlton, N.J. and cleaned out the display models. How long did it take them to steal 23 Macbook Pros, 14 iPhones, and 9 iPod Touches? Thirty-one seconds. Yes, there’s surveillance video.
That Sears website exploit we posted about a couple of weeks ago was funny, mainly because it seemed more embarrassing for Sears than a true security risk. However, an independent security researcher had also discovered a more significant issue with the site—it allowed for an unlimited number of gift card verification attempts via an external script, so a criminal could use the site as a brute force method to identify valid gift cards for Sears and Kmart.
Hey dumb crooks, if you’re going to rob a place be sure not to wear a uniform with your company’s name on it and drive a van plastered with a nationally recognized logo. It makes it really easy for the police to catch you. On second thought, do just that, please.
It turns out our Social Security numbering system, which launched in 1936, isn’t very foolproof against some types of hacking. The New York Times reports that researchers at Carnegie Mellon University “used statistical techniques to predict Social Security numbers solely from an individual’s date and location of birth.”
Leo Gao, the co-owner of a BP station in Rotorua, New Zealand, applied for a $10,000 NZD ($6,142 USD) overdraft line from Westpac bank. An error by a bank staff member somehow put $10,000,000 NZD ($6,139,614 USD) in his account. He and his business partner haven’t been heard from since.