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Daring Console Heist Nets Broken Machines

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the but-we-wanted-the-busted-ones dept.

The Courts 39

Thanks to the Indianapolis Star for their article discussing an audacious, but ultimately unfortunate heist of videogame consoles. According to the piece: "In a robbery as scripted as some movie heists, armed bandits struck a Far-Eastside [Indianapolis] warehouse Tuesday evening and used forklifts to load six pallets, containing several hundred of the popular PlayStation 2 and Xbox machines, onto a waiting get-away truck." However, The Indy Channel throws a spanner into the works with their follow-up story, revealing: "Police say many of the video game systems that were stolen from a warehouse Tuesday night were in the process of being returned because they didn't work."

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Good god (0)

Ricwot (632038) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627212)

It's not enough to steal software these days, now you have to steal the console as well.
Ah well at least they won't get my soul, mainly cos I don't have one

Re:Good god (1)

ohms (728912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7639314)

Because he had nothing to do with the rest of the mould.

Darwin (-1, Funny)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627218)

So who is going to be the first one to submit this story to the Darwin Awards site?

Re:Darwin (3, Funny)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627240)

Apparently, you either:

a) Didn't RTFA
b) Don't know what the Darwin Awards are about
c) All of the above

Besides, the crooks will still turn a profit. It's the poor shmucks who BUY the consoles off of these guys that'll lose out. I don't think the guy selling out of his van has a return policy...

Did I mention they usually deal in cash only? What are you going to do, call the cops because the STOLEN merchandise you bought is defective and the guy who sold it to you won't refund your money?

Re:Darwin (0)

Ricwot (632038) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627277)

Well the poor shmucks deserve everything they get, since stuff bough off the back of a lorry is obviously stolen

Re:Darwin (0)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627432)

I think warehouses should do this more often - get defective goods stolen.
It might stop people buying stolen goods - and if not, it will at least give the rest of us a good laugh and some measure of revenge.

(And yes, revenge - if someone else buys stolen goods, they don't know where it come from - it could have been stolen from your house)

Re:Darwin (3, Insightful)

RALE007 (445837) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627529)

I think warehouses should do this more often - get defective goods stolen.

Uhm yea I'm sure this is exactly how they planned it. I know when I get robbed I make sure it's only my broken stuff they randomly take in a methodic heist in the middle of the night...

(And yes, revenge - if someone else buys stolen goods, they don't know where it come from - it could have been stolen from your house)

Some receivers of stolen goods aren't aware the wares they're purchasing were stolen. Wouldn't you be pissed to buy a "used" item from a video game shop or pawn shop to find out it's broken? Or the good deal on your dream toy you find on ebay is a little too good to be true? Upon trying to return or have a manufacturer repair you get tangled up in the mess and labeled as a receiver of stolen goods?

Last I checked, sellers of stolen goods more often than not don't advertise "STOLEN GOODS SOLD HERE". Yea we need revenge on the bargain shoppers, they're obviously part of the problem.

Re:Darwin (1, Informative)

eyenot (102141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627637)

At least in Michigan, the laws on secondhand store and pawnshop purchases is that the seller's identification has to be taken down, they have to be thumbprinted, the information along with a description of the item and its SN have to be filed with the police, and the device has to sit for awhile (pretty sure it's a month, or was it two weeks,) so the police have time to do their checks on it before it gets a new owner.

If anything they will be sold in 'flea markets' (a bunch of merchants who deal apparently outside of regulations meeting someplace like a parking lot, happens in Florida all the time,) or why not just take them to Mexico where the news will probably not have hit yet, and sell them dirt cheap to poor people who (who may or, then again, may not ask for a bench test,) who you'll hopefully never do business with again?

Re:Darwin (1)

LePrince (604021) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629531)

(And yes, revenge - if someone else buys stolen goods, they don't know where it come from - it could have been stolen from your house)

Eh eh eh yeah, agree.. A couple of years ago, me and my neighbour's girl bikes were stolen. 2 days after, my neighbour gets approached by someone who says "Hey, I got 2 bikes for sale, 50$ for both, they're great". Not telling the guy he got stolen, he goes and see the bikes, and it was his daughter's and mine ! He said he was interested and could get the cash in a couple of hours after he got to the bank, then proceeded to call the police. I got my bike back that way ! :-)

Re:Darwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7631703)

you dyke

SO you a duff console in a bar... (1)

martin (1336) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627227)

Try taking it back to the guy

Me: hey this console don't work
Guy: Tough - send it back to Sony
Sony; hey this is on list of stolen ones. - tough it's not yours bye.
me: :-(

Re:SO you a duff console in a bar... (1)

eXtro (258933) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627325)

In which case you more or less get what you deserve for buying a console in a bar, speakers off of a van or a wristwatch off a guy who says "Hey, you, want to buy a Rolex?" from an alley.

Re:SO you a duff console in a bar... (2, Insightful)

Inda (580031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627417)

Right, anything you say.

Fences have reputations just like any other businessman. You sell crap all the time and no one will buy off you.

Everyone knows how to get stolen goods?

"Yeah, I just walk into a bar and people come up to me all the time asking if I want to buy a DVD player"

Seriously, people in bars sell stolen meat and duty free cigarettes - end of story.

Petty criminals operate in circles of other petty criminals. You aren't part of the circle; you aren't going to be offered anything. Money back guarantees are not monopolised by the retail industry either.

Too much TV...

Re:SO you a duff console in a bar... (1)

martin (1336) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627615)

Just using the bar as an example....

Sadly... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7627284)

The fact that the consoles don't work won't matter to the criminals that try and sell them. Whether the consoles work or not they'll still get them sold.

And on christmas morning they'll definitely be some broken hearted children when discs cannot be read and consoles won't boot.

Re:Sadly... (2, Funny)

Ricwot (632038) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627349)

Children whose parents are criminals for dealing in stolen goods?
Watch me cry :-D,
oh no wait that's not crying!

Re:!Sadly... (0)

eyenot (102141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627556)

Yeah, but they're the kids of black market consumers so who cares? They deserve coal for their parents' sins! Besides, they will end up with healthier mentalities for not playing that brain-rot all day long. They will have healthier things to do like play in the cesspools outside their Mexican villas (in actual Mexico. Where else can you get rid of six pallets of junk without anyone asking if those are the six pallets that are broken?)

Re:Sadly... (1)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7631984)

Yes, but hopefully, in the end, the parents who bought the stuff (thinking it was too good to be true at that price, or from that shady dealer), are going to learn a lesson that if you want the real goods, you go through real channels. If you don't go through legit channels, you're going to be surprised.

Or at the very least, when buying something that may be from an unknown source, make sure you are able to check and see if it works before you take it home.

That's why eBay has escrow.

When they pulled the mask off of the thief (2, Funny)

Zarf (5735) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627285)

I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't... for those dumb kids and their goony dog! DOH!

this is more like (-1, Troll)

u-238 (515248) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627358)

a story with an amusing anecdote you'd tell your friends over a game of halo, not a discussion topic for the /. cround

true question (1)

skinnedmink (637713) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627365)

Are they modded?

How to sell? (1)

MacBrave (247640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627372)

I'm wondering how these thieves are planning to sell these consoles? Even with the info that X number of them probably don't work they still need to get rid of them.

Door to door? Sell them on Ebay, although that might raise some red flags......

Re:How to sell? (1)

luckymunkey (101903) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627607)

Maybe they were just desperate for Christmas gifts....

Re:How to sell? (1)

viking099 (70446) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628366)

They'll probably just toss a dozen of them into their trunks and drive to a Best Buy or Circuit City parking lot and "hey buddy" some of the shoppers.

Or they can set up a garage/junk sale at a flea market and sell them off there one at a time.

crminals are clever folks, they'll figure out a way to sell what they steal.

Bullet proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7627550)

these guys just got allot of low budget bullet proof vests...

Re:Bullet proof (0)

eyenot (102141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627573)

is that to say one of those devices of satan comes with a bulletproof design? how dare they.

They only want to... (1, Funny)

Omicron32 (646469) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627598)

Put Linux on them all and build a beowulf cluster.

At the Best Buy (3, Funny)

Snowmit (704081) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628343)

"Hi, uh, I'd like to return some consoles."

"Some consoles?"

"Yeah, I bought some consoles for my family and none of the damn things work! I want a refund."

"OK sir, how many consoles are we talking, here?"

"Uh, about four hundred PS2s and about two hundred Xboxes."


"I have a big family is all!"

It's all part of the plan. (4, Funny)

Snowmit (704081) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628403)

Oh, they weren't looking for working consoles. They'd just heard that videogame consoles were bullet-proof [] and wanted to use them to armour their hideout.

Not that stupid (2, Insightful)

anon* (637224) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629124)

If my experience in the retail industry is any guide, probably half those systems work just fine, they were returned by consumers too stupid or lazy to spend five minutes figuring out what the problem was. Like a game disc in upside-down, or a power cord not seated properly.

Some of the reamaining consoles can be salvaged with a little cannibalizing... take a controller from a game with a fried mobo, match it with a console that works just fine but has a bad controller... you know the drill.

Then you sell the rest on EBay and advertise them as broken. Plenty of people will buy them for parts, or bid thinking that they can get a deal on a console hope they can repair it.

If the consoles weren't adequately secured because they were broken, and that's the reason the thieves were able to steal them... then the crime doesn't sound quite so stupid.

"Let's say your family don't LIKE bread..." (1)

putch (469506) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629151)

"...they like broken video game consoles. Would THAT be a crime?"

"hell no!"

obligatory yada yada yada

Spanner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7629837)

What's a spanner? Is that like an I-beam? A bridge?

Re:Spanner? (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7658815)

it's slang for a wrench, so far i've heard it used by a british kid and a south african

Perhaps... (1)

ArmenTanzarian (210418) | more than 10 years ago | (#7630126)

in an unholy union Sony and Microsoft paid some guys to jack the systems so they wouldn't have to fix them or pay to get them shipped back. Or maybe the warehouse is just saying they're broken so they won't look like complete morons.

Wait a Sec! (1)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 10 years ago | (#7631782)

Since when did Gord own a Warehouse.

Re:Wait a Sec! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645956)

Nobody else got this, but I did.

Gord sucks. I dare anyone to buy a game from him, expecting it to be in its advertised mint condition.

I dare anyone I don't LIKE, that is.

Even if they're all broken... (1)

SkylabOps (718051) | more than 10 years ago | (#7633301)

...I'm quite sure they can break them apart and sell them as spare parts. The Xbox (and PS2 I'd imagine) spare parts scene is a pretty good one, just look at places like [] .

Really broken? (1)

sbszine (633428) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635715)

Perhaps the police are just putting about a story that the consoles are broken in order to discourage potential buyers. Like the news stories of pushers adding ground glass and rat poison to drugs (presumably to kill their repeat customers in order to make less money?)

The robbers must be idiots... (2, Insightful)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | more than 10 years ago | (#7636989)

Having worked in a warehouse myself for a couple of years that dealt with computers and electronics, every skid (pallet) we sent out that was for broken goods was shrink wrapped and CLEARLY labeled as defective merchandise to be sent back to the distribution warehouse for them to handle.

Each individual item also had some paperwork stuck to it explaining exactly what was wrong with it.

Now, since I doubt six pallets of non working ps2's and xbox's would be shipped out and not have paperwork and signage (signage on the shrinkwrap or at least visable through the shrinkwrap) saying it's defective merchandise, then obviousely the robbers can't read. :D

More likely I say it could have been an inside job. Perhaps a guy working there has some buddies who could then take all those machines (defective or not) and sell them on the black market or to other friends "under the table" so to speak.
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