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Been Robbed Recently? Check Ebay

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the pawn-shop-of-the-new-century dept.

The Almighty Buck 229

fistfullast33l writes "A man from Great Neck, Long Island has been arrested on charges of stealing electronic equipment and selling it on Ebay. The police were tipped off when one of his alleged victims was searching for a replacement GPS device and found a perfect match on eBay — almost too perfect. A quick check of the serial number (note to cyber-criminals: don't post those) showed that it was the exact device that had been stolen." From the article: "Police and prosecutors were hesitant to provide details of how they determined all the devices had been stolen, but at least two of the laptops were stamped 'Property of St. John's University.' Detective Ray Cote noted that the GPS devices specifically had the addresses of the legitimate owners programmed in and police were now contacting those victims to eventually return the items."

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Eventually? (4, Funny)

hahafaha (844574) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517806)

...police were now contacting those victims to eventually return the items.

Just a minute, sir. I'm almost done downloading this pr0n.

well (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517828)

A man from Great Neck, Long Island has been arrested on charges of stealing electronic equipment and selling it on Ebay.

A++++ WOULD DEFINITELY STEAL FROM AGAIN

Re:well (3, Funny)

blantonl (784786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518370)

Reply by blantonl: Didn't steal just borrowed. Enjoy the goods and please come again!

What happens to the buyers? (5, Interesting)

carterhawk001 (681941) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517856)

Ive been wondering, what will happen to the people who bought from him? Will they be required to return what they bought to the original owners? Will they be tracked down by the police for recieving stolen goods?

Re:What happens to the buyers? (4, Interesting)

hahafaha (844574) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517866)

Very good question. My guess is that they will be tracked down and required to return the items, but will be compensated at the expense of the thief.

They will certainly not get into trouble for the purchase of stolen goods, and if they do, any reasonable judge would automatically acquit them.

Re:What happens to the buyers? (4, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518062)


Very good question. My guess is that they will be tracked down and required to return the items, but will be compensated at the expense of the thief.

I seriously doubt the police are going to bother with this, or even have the resources to do so. Most of these buyers aren't going to be from NYC, so there's a jurisdiction problem. Also who's to say EVERYTHING he sold is stolen? It probbably is, but that's not proof.

The best that could be accomplished is to contact each buyer and tell them the seller sold stolen items on ebay, and the item they bought might be stolen. Then ask them to look for information on the items that might identify the owner.

Re:What happens to the buyers? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17518380)

I seriously doubt the police are going to bother with this, or even have the resources to do so. Most of these buyers aren't going to be from NYC, so there's a jurisdiction problem. Also who's to say EVERYTHING he sold is stolen? It probbably is, but that's not proof.

Once the stolen material crosses state lines it becomes a federal case. I had a roommate arrested a couple of years back for receiving stolen material from Florida when he lived in New York. I believe the case was eventually settled in New York courts (for material stolen in Florida), but that was only one option.

Re:What happens to the buyers? (2, Insightful)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518066)

They will certainly not get into trouble for the purchase of stolen goods, and if they do, any reasonable judge would automatically acquit them.

Unless eBay was being used to launder them...

You wouldn't want to do that. (4, Funny)

raehl (609729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518704)

Unless eBay was being used to launder them...

It's not worth as much after it's been washed.

Re:What happens to the buyers? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17518072)

One of the big, unsolved legal questions of all time. I think everyone has their (legal) take on it.

In my country (Norway) such an item would in most cases not need to be returned, if it was acquired "in good faith". The test of good faith is usually harder to pass the more specialist the item is, as the parties would be more careful and knowledgeable about what they are buying, and the shadier the circumstances (e.g. far below market value or buying it on the street). If there is good faith however, the item is considered lost from the original owner and at most what he will get is full compensation out of what is recovered from the thief.

I believe the exception to that is land and housing..

Re:What happens to the buyers? (0, Troll)

dubdays (410710) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518080)

They will certainly not get into trouble for the purchase of stolen goods, and if they do, any reasonable judge would automatically acquit them.

The key word being reasonable. With all of the stupidness in the judicial system, these so-called "reasonable" judges seem to be getting harder to come by.

Re:What happens to the buyers? (4, Interesting)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518184)

Disclaimer: IANAL The legal doctrine here is one of "Reasonable Expectation". For example if I bought a GPS device from a stranger on the street for $20, would a reasonable human assume that the deal is too good to be true and that it was probably stolen? Generally the judges would say yes. If said reasonable expectation were established, yes I'd be required to return the item and no I won't necessarily get compensated for it. However, if I bought a GPS Device for $600 at Best Buy, and woah mamma! Best Buy picks a wrong supplier and it was stolen property. Nobody would have suspected it was stolen. The liability here shifts entirely to the thief and most likely I'm keeping my GPS device. Now reasonable expectation that something selling on auction at Ebay like was said? Tough call, ask your local judge what he thinks of reasonable expectation...

Re:What happens to the buyers? (1)

hahafaha (844574) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518294)

Except that there are all kinds of reasons why something that normally costs 600 dollars was sold for 20, that do not involve theft. For example, my father works for Bose Corporation, where they have insane discounts on some things - for example, he was able to get Microsoft Office, which normally costs around 400 bucks for 20.

Re:What happens to the buyers? (2, Informative)

MurphyZero (717692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518472)

I can get Microsoft Office for $20. I work for a very large group that uses Microsoft. In return for selling out to Microsoft, all the employees get the offer to buy a licensed copy of Office for $20. Of course, 8 years ago, we were allowed to take the disks to install on our home computer for free. 8 years ago, I had Office on my home computer. Now, OpenOffice, also free.

Don't forget... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17519076)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

Re:Don't forget... (1)

Dark_Gravity (872049) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519430)

Don't forget...
...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

I think this AC schlep thought he was being funny!

I laughed.

F tha douche anyway!

mmmm... not sure about that... (3, Interesting)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518964)

IANAL, either, but I was always under the impression that you're never allowed to keep stolen property, full stop. The fact that you made (what you thought was) a legitimate purchase doesn't change the fact that the seller did not have the right to sell the item in question.

For example, there have been a couple cases of people being conned into "buying" public property (most famously the Brooklyn Bridge.) Yes, these people were EXTREMELY gullible, so it probably wouldn't pass your "reasonable expectation" test, but let's take a step back for a moment and imagine a scenario where the person was not extraordinarily gullible, but rather was duped through nigh-superhuman effort on the part of the con artist. Let's say that the fraudster knew that the target would have a keen interested in buying the Brooklyn Bridge, if it was ever actually for sale, so he cooked up a scheme involving buying off the subject's friends and acquaintances, slipping him fake newspapers, hiring actors to play all the appropriate officials, figured out a halfway plausible reason for the sale (they're building a replacement, perhaps) etc. and in the end, he actually succeeds in convincing his target that the Brooklyn Bridge was, indeed, for sale, and the target "buys" it from the criminal. Does that now mean that the target legally owns the Brooklyn Bridge? Of course, the only sane answer is a resounding "NO!" The government did not agree to sell him anything.

I believe that the "reasonable expectation" concept you speak of pertains more to criminal culpability--the buyer be held criminally responsible, for example, if he buys the Mona Lisa (a few months after it was stolen) because it's not reasonable for him to claim that he didn't know it was stolen.

I'm not 100% sure on this, but it just makes sense--if ownership of the stolen property was actually legally transfered to the buyer, it would be utter chaos. You could steal the hope diamond, trade it to your friend for a candy bar (technically, this is a valid transaction) telling him it's worthless glass, and as long as you could prove that your friend really did think it was fake, it would become his legal property and the original owners would be SOL. Somehow, I really doubt that it works that way...

Re:mmmm... not sure about that... (3, Interesting)

shystershep (643874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519182)

You're close. A thief can never transfer good title to stolen goods -- the original owner stills owns it and can get it back from the buyer no matter how far down the chain they are. If the thief sells to buyer 1, buyer 1 to buyer 2, etc., buyer 100 would still have to give it back to the original owner, then try to get his money back from 99, 99 from 98, etc, back to the thief.

Re:mmmm... not sure about that... (2, Informative)

cooley (261024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519542)

That's correct. Caveat Emptor.

Re:What happens to the buyers? (1)

sectionboy (930605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519250)

That may be true for most cases except for ebay. Competition between buyers will push the price to somewhere very close to the "market price", given there are enough buyers interested. In some rare case of "unreasonable" closing price, you can but envy at the buyer's luck. That's the nature/beauty of auction system.

Re:What happens to the buyers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17518018)

No, The persons that bought it paid the fair price for other used equipment. So paid in kind they would get to keep the merchandise and the previous owners would go after the Ebay seller, or the insurance company would.

Re:What happens to the buyers? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518044)

Completely wrong. The property IS taken by the original owners (or their insurance company or whatever) and the defrauded people are paid by prosecuting the thief.

Re:What happens to the buyers? (1)

Wansu (846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518232)


  what will happen to the people who bought from him? Will they be required to return what they bought to the original owners? Will they be tracked down by the police for recieving stolen goods?

Most likely they'll have to return the goods. Ain't no telling whether they'll get a refund. I seriously doubt the cops would get them for fencing stolen merchandise unless they'd bought lots of stuff from the same seller. Then, they'd have some explaning to do.

A music store in town bought stolen equipment from somebody. I don't know whether the store manager knew the stuff was stolen but before they could sell it, members of the band who had been ripped off came shopping for replacement gear and what should they find but a speaker cabinet with a ripped grill cloth which had been expertly and distinctively repaired by the bass player's mother. They called the rest of the band and kept looking. A third of their equipment turned up in that store. The store manager was red-faced. He didn't want a bad reputation. I have to hand it to him. He ate it. He gave them every piece of equipment they could identify. (They had given the cops a detailed description of what was taken. These guys weren't yo-yos. They'd written down serial numbers.)

Re:What happens to the buyers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17519302)

Yes, they are not entitled to the goods. There are two ways of looking at it but the conclusion is the same.
In common law, the thief doesn't the rightful title to the goods so nemo dat quod habet, he cannot sell what he doesn't have. The ownerhsip is retained in the legitamate owner as the law does not consider being robbed as a transfer of ownership. In equity, the thief, by stealing the goods from the owners, becomes a constructive trustee and holds the goods on constructive trust for the owners. A constructive trustee has right to sell off the goods and would have to return it too them if possible or to compensate for the person's loss. The goods would be trust property and can be traced back to the rightful owner.
It seems that the only thing they can do is sue the thief.

Dilemma (2)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517868)

Would you rather be able to 'buy back' a hard-to-find stolen part from eBay, or have to either source this part from a supplier (more expensively) or abandon the device altogether?

Re:Dilemma (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517920)

Are you saying that someone that provably stole something
should be left alone to continue because the person stolen
from *might* be able to buy the item back?

Re:Dilemma (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517968)

The article sounds like a victory, but theft doesn't stop because stolen goods stop showing up on eBay.

By publicly announcing such arrest, we might have just lost a venue to trace these crooks.

Re:Dilemma (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518244)

Yeah, I know that. There was theft before the internet.

It sounded like you were arguing against going after the
seller because the person stolen from might be able to
get the item back. Getting the item back is fine, but
theft will surely not go away if you continue to give them
a financial incentive to steal.

I agree that making a news item out of this seems less than
wise, but then again, denying thieves a venue for the sale
of stolen goods might not be so bad after all. Heck, make
it a buyer reported system for online sales, automatic
checking against stolen goods lists from the police. There
are privacy issues there, maybe, but maybe it would work.
Then theives might have a harder time selling.

Re:Dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17518280)

Not to be nit-picky, but you really don't need to manually insert line returns (hitting enter) every few words. Lines are automatically wrapped, and your reply is extremely irritating to read on a reasonably-sized display, where all the other posts spread nicely across the scren and yours just forms this narrow little column that makes the page much longer.

Re:Dilemma (1)

Binary Boy (2407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518724)

You assume such criminals are 1) highly organized and 2) intelligent. The reality is thieves are often opportunists who get away with their crimes pretty easily because of the sheer size of the world we live in. They will keep using eBay as their fence as long as it remains one of the easiest ways for all kinds of sellers - legit and otherwise - to connect with purchasers in a pseudonymous way.

I had a laptop stolen in transit back to Apple; it just disappeared before making it's way onto the DHL truck. I eventually got a free, fully loaded, much upgraded replacement, and as I was shipping the machine I had already dumped all personal data from it. A few months later I got a mysterious call from someone asking for my password as the machine he bought from me was prompting him for it... wow! I called Apple, and local law enforcement (in LA where I live as well as Arizona where the call came from) and got no interest in helping! So one followup call led me to the eBay ID of the seller, which lead me eventually to the unpurged sales page on eBay - where the laptop was featured in multiple pictures, and was verifiably mine because of the desktop image still showing (not only did I shoot the image, my login - a play on my fullname - was watermarked in the bottom corner!). Anyway, long story short, eBay wouldn't help, so I ended up tracking the seller down through a lot of Googling and a bit of good fortune. I ended up with a dossier on the seller, including pictures of him, his girlfriend, his car, his employer - the shipping drop where the whole thing started! - and tons of other data. I got his AOL screenname and still have him on my Buddy List to this day. I had a letter from the buyer - a scared-to-death kid in the military, afraid of getting in trouble - as well as the transaction records, and a bullet-proof sequence of evidence connecting him to the theft and the sale. Yet after all of that, law enforcement still wasn't interested! Oh, and the kid had clearly been doing this for a while - he had 200+ sales on eBay, most of which consisted of brand new phones and laptops, and had only just turned 18!

Color me surprised when a full year after the theft the LAPD finally calls... no idea if they'll ever do anything about it. It's not my laptop anymore - I signed away my rights to it when I got the replacement, so it's Apple's loss at this point - but it still bugs me that they were so willing to let him slide. Even when I spoke to the detective he indicated it probably wouldn't go any further, even though the kid was still working at the same shop, and still running his scam on eBay.

Re:Dilemma (2, Funny)

topham (32406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517950)


I'd rather find out who your new roommate is and toss him a few bucks to give you the jailhouse welcome.

Re:Dilemma (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517982)

If the person who lost it has already replaced.... sure!

My one few incident involved a fairly expensive dvcam deck. The authorities were going through someones history and asking for serial numbers to check against. Sure enough, our new found joy was on the list of not so good news.

In this incident, the company simply sent us a refund check for the item in question and were prosecuting the individual for the lost funds.

I'm going to guess the deck was used as evidence as we had sent it off to the authorities.

There's a third path. (4, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518052)

Well, there's another option; you notify the police, and then go through with the sale, in hopes of getting some information that would let the authorities catch the crook. In the worst case, you've bought back your part, and in the best case you'll get your part, plus restitution, plus you'll have sweet, sweet revenge.

A friend of mine got his cellphone and wallet stolen when his car was burglarized, and by monitoring the numbers that the thief called from it, and then calling up the various numbers and pretending to be different people (which is an amusing social engineering story in itself), got the name and home phone number of the criminal. The police, who weren't very much help otherwise, went out and picked the guy up (he was apparently well known to them). My friend got his phone back, plus restitution for the money in his wallet. If he had just waited for the police to do something, he would have been out a phone and a substantial amount of cash.

Sometimes you just need to do some detective work yourself.

Re:There's a third path. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518652)

i like it, only he should have paid some bikers $200 to fuck him up a bit before sending the cops. $200 would be worth the entertainment to me to see some scum beaten to a pulp. the law simply doesn't work anymore, you have to take it into your own hands to get results. all 4 units in my block got burgled last year and the scumbag that did it only got 100 hours community service. likewise a mate of mine got jumped by 5 cowards attacking 1 person from behind, 80 hours community service. take it from me people, the legal system doesn't think your important enough to give you justicse.

Fourth path... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518958)

Offer to pick it up in person. Come to the guy's door with two burly friends, a pit bull, and a couple of shotguns. It's not like the guy'll complain to the cops about being roughed up a bit. Make sure to leave him good feedback "COMPLIANT seller..."

-b.

Re:There's a third path. (1)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519140)

My favorite story like this is a guy who got his car stolen. [rx7club.com]

He actually found witnesses, canvassed the neighborhood, followed a suspect, snuck onto their property, found his car, staked out the place and called the cops. This guy was tenacious.

Re:Dilemma (2, Insightful)

Dark_Gravity (872049) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519066)

Would you rather be able to 'buy back' a hard-to-find stolen part from eBay, or have to either source this part from a supplier (more expensively) or abandon the device altogether?

Would you rather be beaten with a nickel chain or a lead pipe?

No, really: "FUCK YOU," you thief apologist!

Scarcity is no free-pass to a black market of fenced stolen goods.

Re:Dilemma (1)

slooshdoto (1048762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519098)

Or secret option C: steal it back from CowboyNeal.

irony (3, Funny)

silverkniveshotmail. (713965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517876)

On his most recent sale the GPS unit has an anti-theft feature. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item =320065453054 [ebay.com]

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17518004)

The anti-theft feature obviously leaves much to be desired.

Note to crooks... (3, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517886)

Please do post serial numbers. Please also post name/address of previous owner so we can verify that the item is in a good state of repair. Please also get a sworn statement from a police officer that the facts have been verified and are correct.

note to cyber-criminals: don't post those (3, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517890)

Hmmm...Aiding and abetting are we? :-)

Re:note to cyber-criminals: don't post those (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517934)

Please enlighten me what good it is to post serial numbers? Are buyers checking something based on the SN?

Couldn't crooks just change the last digit, so the stolen item should still appear to be similar if it's for technical reasons.

Re:note to cyber-criminals: don't post those (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518158)

There are lots of reasons why you'd want at least partial serial numbers; wireless cards and routers are two examples. I'd never buy one at least I knew the H/W revision or had the serial number to determine it by. There are totally different devices sold under the same 'model' number; unless you have the version or serial (which is sometimes the only / easiest way to determine hardware version), you don't know what you're buying.

In general you don't need to know the whole serial, only part of it, but I don't think there's any reason for an honest person to care. If someone was refusing to disclose the serial number, I'd start to wonder what was up. That would definitely set off my "hot goods" alarm. That's sorta like picking up an item in a store and finding out that it has the SKU or serial number removed from the packaging.

Cellular Phones (1)

sporkme (983186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518782)

Cellular phones that are reported stolen are blocked by the provider from activation except by the original owner, or after clearance by the retailer to whom they were originally shipped. Always get the 11-digit electronic serial number (decimal) of a phone before buying it, and call the provider to verify that it is not stolen.

When phones were stolen from my former employer, they had a value of zero after we called to submit the list of ESN's that the thief got.

Re:note to cyber-criminals: don't post those (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518120)

".Aiding and abetting are we? "

Nope. Aiding and abetting are done before or during the alleged crime, not afterwards. As no criminal has yet claimed that Mr. Dawson helped him, he's currently in the clear.

Nice to know that we don't have crooks running the joint.

Um... (2, Informative)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517914)

at least two of the laptops were stamped 'Property of St. John's University.'

You'd have to be some kind of moron to actually leave behind this type of marker before selling it. I mean, it's a great idea to check your local auction site and all that, but most thieves aren't going to be moronic enough to leave behind identifying marks. Although I can just imagine the Q&A...

Q: What is the serial number on this device?
A: 17774677883

Q: Would it be possible to view before buying?
A: ...

Re:Um... (2, Interesting)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518554)

Maybe it was this auction
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item =320060047493 [ebay.com]

Love this one
  Q: Does this come with the operating manual?
  A: NO MANUAL AND ORIGINAL RETAIL BOX IS MISSING

from http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item =320064863803 [ebay.com]

You don't know most thieves (3, Insightful)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518826)

There are mastermind thieves (PhD in Mech Eng who learns how to crack safes with a magnet), then there are 'most' thieves (meth head looking for an easy way to get his next buzz). The former are gonna cover their tracks really well, but the latter are gonna think that they're geniuses just by the fact that they thought of selling their (your) stuff on ebay.
but most thieves aren't going to be moronic enough to leave behind identifying marks. Although I can just imagine the Q&A...
I think you'd be shocked at just how stupid some of these people get. I had a roommate who relapsed to using meth, so I got to meeting some of them. A few of them start intelligent, but a couple hundred hits of meth (or whatever), and your brain starts to yearn for some of those missing cells.

Re:You don't know most thieves (1)

Dark_Gravity (872049) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519366)

You don't know most thieves

Mod parent up!

I don't know most thieves (*hopefully not any!), and not every doper (*see previous disclaimer) is a thief, but the parent describes an all too common scenario that should be disseminated more widely.

While most burglary victims don't know any thieves or dopers, the thieves' and dopers' paths certainly cross more than *anyone* would desire.

Note to Slashdot editors: (4, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517946)

Don't make any more difficult to get our shit back...

Shill bidding (4, Funny)

HerrEkberg (971000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17517974)

From TFA:

"Unbelievable as it seems, he was in the bidding to buy his own stolen GPS,'' Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.
From ebay.com:

Shill bidding is when a seller - or someone associated with a seller - bids on that seller's own item. These bids artificially increase the price or desirability of the item, and damage buyers' faith in the integrity and fairness of the marketplace. Shill Bidding is not allowed on eBay.

Re:Shill bidding (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518002)

The context isn't perfectly clear, but I think the article suggests that the bidder mentioned was the one who had the item stolen, not the thief.

Re:Shill bidding (1)

HerrEkberg (971000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518040)

It was a joke (and apparently a bad one).

Re:Shill bidding (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518304)

I laughed. The other guy just didn't get it.

Re:Shill bidding (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518346)

Nor did the guy who modded it "Troll" apparently.

Re:Shill bidding (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518412)

One man's +5 funny is another man's -1 troll.

Idiots (5, Insightful)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518006)

I've always said that the prisons are full of stupid criminals. And no, I am not counting those who are wrongfully convicted or getting unfairly prosicuted. Only the ones who did a crime and then did something that made it easy to catch them, like putting stuff up on eBay, looking right at the camera, or sending a letter to the FBI taunting them about how they will never catch you, only to have them pull DNA from the back of the stamp linking you to more crimes you didn't mention and giving them a starting point to search thanks to the postmark.

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17518202)

We had a case like that here. Several kids broke into the High School, and then tried to sell the computers on eBay.

The cops caught them in record time. Police -1, Crooks - 0.

Re:Idiots (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17518600)

I think it was Ambrose Bierce who said that the reasons prison populations have so many morons is that morons are so stupid that even a detective can catch them.

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17518700)

My friend who is a relatively intelligent guy but went kinda...um....crazy for a while and ended up in prison had a few things to say about the prison population. Most cutting was the average intelligence of the prison population proves police must be corrupt if they find it difficult to catch them.

Re:Idiots (2, Insightful)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519068)

Validates my point, Your friend was not in full possesion of his faculties at the time he commited the offense(s?).

As to the status of the police, also correct to a degree, you have to take into account that the police are bound not just by the laws that you and I are but by a second set that governs, and restricts, their conduct to the point that even though they may KNOW that someone is guilty, even to where they have evidence of someones guilt, unless it was collected in accordence with the laws protecting a citizens civil rights or is from a source that would be credible to a jury its useless. I've know several cases where the police had the person dead to rights, but they couldn't hold them due to some technicality or flaw in the way the evidence was collected, so they walked. The only thing that kept me from staying really pissed is the fact that the laws that let them walk are the same laws that would also let me walk if someone wanted to plant evidence against me.

The Law is a double edged sword, one side cuts the wicked, the other defends the inocent. At least that how it is supposed to work, its still evolving.

Ahhh (4, Funny)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518178)

This is one of those rare situations where the general stupidity of human beings is reassuring.

Happened recently with a snowboard (1)

sk8king (573108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518180)

...here in Ontario. A person [girl I think] had a snowboard stolen from the hill. Went on ebay to find a replacement and found her own, just like the GPS story.

Pwn Shop (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518190)

is how EBay should be known. Police in Canada are aware of this happening as well. A guy I work with found most of the stuff that was stolen when his house was broken into on EBay. He actually purchased a couple of items to get the sellers details, and advised the police. The police didn't actually even arrest the guy right away, but rather watched him for a few days and caught him red-handed breaking into another place.

So basically, in addition to checking pawn shops yourself after a break-in, check EBay (assuming your only computer wasn't stolen).

"Robbed"? (0, Redundant)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518194)

In kdawsoviet Slashdot, robbery, theft, and copyright infringement mean the same thing... uh... to YOU.

I'm sorry.

I'm shocked! (4, Funny)

textstring (924171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518214)

To find out people sell stolen things on ebay! *gasp*

Want to be robbed soon? (2, Interesting)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518218)

I recently bid on an item that made me wonder.

It was only after I bid that I noticed the "No pick-up, postage only" clause in the description. It made me wonder why a seller that was apparently less than 10 km away wasn't prepared to let me know what they look like or where they are, yet they wanted my address.

Then I realised the perfect scam:

1. Sell an item on ebay (possibly stolen).
2. Sell the item again, insisting on postage.
3. Hand deliver it, collect the $30 and getting a great chance to scope the house for a future break in.
4. Steal the item from the buyer.
5. goto 1

Maybe I'm a little paranoid, but I was really happy when I lost the bid...

It's interesting to note how easy an anonymous place for selling goods makes criminal activity and refreshing to hear of some crooks being cought out.

Re:Want to be robbed soon? (4, Informative)

mosch (204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518634)

It was only after I bid that I noticed the "No pick-up, postage only" clause in the description. It made me wonder why a seller that was apparently less than 10 km away wasn't prepared to let me know what they look like or where they are, yet they wanted my address.

I can think of a few possibilities:

1) Seller cares about his time, and doesn't feel like trying to match schedules with random strangers who may or may not be timely.

2) Seller cares about his safety and privacy, and doesn't want some stranger scoping out his place to rob it.

3) Seller wants to charge $30 for shipping when item costs $20 to ship, netting an extra $10.

4) Seller is afraid that buyer might be a paranoid slashtastic moron, who thinks that every single fucking thing in life is a trap.

I'm not a crook, but there isn't a chance in hell I would agree to in-person pickups.

Re:Want to be robbed soon? (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518786)

"4) Seller is afraid that buyer might be a paranoid slashtastic moron, who thinks that every single fucking thing in life is a trap." ...

ITSATRAP!

Re:Want to be robbed soon? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519434)

I've done in-person pickups about four times. As rare as they happen, I think it's pretty silly to rule them out over fear and paranoia.

One pickup I did, the guy met me in the parking lot of my (large) workplace. Nice neutral location. Two more were at businesses owned by the sellers. The last one was at a guy's house. I've done a fair amount of buying and selling on ebay (feedback score of 232, total positive feedbacks 312), and I live in a city of 4 million people, and those are the only local pickups I can recall (and one of those wasn't even on ebay, it was on an enthusiast forum). It's just not very often both people live in the same area, and many times the buyers don't want to even bother. But for large or heavy items, allowing local pickup can save a ton on shipping costs. And for some items, sellers refuse to ship because it's too much trouble to deal with freight.

As for sellers fitting into #3, I try to avoid them whenever possible. Gouging on shipping is unethical and against ebay rules (even though they don't enforce that one whatsoever). Unfortunately, sometimes that's the only way to get a certain obscure item.

Here is another one from last weekend (2, Interesting)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518226)

Re:Here is another one from last weekend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17518344)

The Seattle Police were not as curious (5, Interesting)

newscloud (1037538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518404)

When my house was robbed, I found my $2,000 LCD monitor on ebay complete with picture of serial number on the back which matched (except for one number slightly too fuzzy to verify a match). This was the week after the robbery. When I called the detective assigned to my case, he did nothing with the information. He said finding my monitor in the hands of a fence would do nothing to catch the people who robbed me. Yeah, but investigating the case might have helped... I learned from this experience that the insurance industry subsidizes the majority of property crime in this country because we're certainly not funding the police well enough to do much about it.

Re:The Seattle Police were not as curious (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17518606)

... we're certainly not funding the police well enough to do much about it.

Their funding is for the War on Drugs, thought crimes (free speech zones? wtf), Checkpoint Charlies, etc.

Re:The Seattle Police were not as curious (4, Interesting)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518642)

Thats exactly what happened to me. The police don't really care. Just last week on jan 2nd someone broke into my car by my friends house. It was because I had forgot my ipod in the center console in plain sight. The thief also helped himself to my stereo too, thankfully I bought it used from a friend for 50 bucks so no real loss. But now I have to replace my $250 ipod, new radio(haven't bought it yet) and my window cost me $150 to fix. The cops answer? Go report it to insurance and have them pay for it. They didn't even bother to lift prints as they said they didn't have a print kit. I understand they cant do everything but it is annoying.

Re:The Seattle Police were not as curious (1)

Dark_Gravity (872049) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519216)

The police don't really care.

True dat. Fuck tha police.

While I still endorse reporting crimes for statistical purposes, remember the police are not there for you, and they sure as hell don't give a flying fuck about you or your property. Just like you, they care about not getting killed.

That said, do police get into the path of danger at times in their chosen occupation? Hell yes!
So while you should pay them due respect, don't ever mistakenly think their job is about you.

It's a shame that our (American) law enforcement priorities are so defective that consensual criminals can do more time than habitual victimizers.
I am not a "Ten Commandments" kind of guy, but what ever happened to "Love Thy Neighbor"?

Peace out & fuck a burglar!

Re:The Seattle Police were not as curious (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518992)

When my house was robbed, I found my $2,000 LCD monitor on ebay complete with picture of serial number on the back which matched (except for one number slightly too fuzzy to verify a match). This was the week after the robbery.

Are you in a carry-legal state? Offer to pick it up and confront him with the facts. Maybe bring a couple of big angry friends along. If he gets scared and gives it to you, good. Make sure to show it to the cops so they can match prints to your house. If he tries something, defend yourself. If I were on a jury, I'd most certainly acquit or vote for a verdict of not guilty by self defense...

-b.

Re:The Seattle Police were not as curious (3, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519506)

If he tries something, defend yourself. If I were on a jury, I'd most certainly acquit or vote for a verdict of not guilty by self defense...

I'm all for vigilante justice, but unfortunately, I believe the reality is that in a situation like this, a jury is much more likely to convict because this guy scared or hurt the "poor" burglar. Juries in this country are always filled with losers and morons who side with criminals.

Here in Arizona, one of the most gun-friendly (and weapon-friendly: we can carry switchblades legally) states, we had an incident recently where a retired schoolteacher was hiking in the forest and was attacked by some dogs. He took out his 10mm and fired into the ground, scaring them off, but then the crazy owner ran for him to attack him (apparently ignoring the fact that the guy was armed), so the guy shot him rather than be hurt or killed by the larger and much younger man. During the trial, it came out that the dog-owner was mentally unstable, lived in his car in the woods, had a huge anger management problem, etc., but all that testimony was disallowed. The older man (60+) was convicted and sentenced to 10 years. One interesting point made by the prosecutor was that the guy was using hollow-point "killer" rounds in his 10mm, and also that his gun was a 10mm which is quite powerful. This apparently had the effect of turning many of the stupid jurors' opinions against him. But any moron knows that if you're going to defend yourself, you want hollow-point bullets (after all, that's what police use), and 10mm guns are sometimes used by police as well. Not to mention, the guy was carrying this gun to protect himself from mountain lions and bears which are common in that area, not from crazy dog owners, and with bears and the like, bigger is better. Anyway, my point after all this rambling is that even here in a very pro-gun "red" state, and in one of the smaller towns (not more liberal Tucson or Phoenix), the jury was full of the same "poor criminal" mentality jurors that you'd expect in Massachusetts.

Well I wasn't robbed... (0, Offtopic)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518444)

and my stuff sold on eBay. But I got robbed *on eBay* recently. Bought an item and paid for it Dec 29th, and the seller closed their eBay account and deleted all their listings a couple days later. They have not contacted me or returned my money.

The first thing I thought was "why would eBay let some close their account and delete all listings when they still have open transactions". I mean, they let them *delete* the listings here. If you try and search for it eBay says the item number is wrong or doesn't exist. It no longer appears under my "auctions I won" either. And that's different. I've had transactions with sellers who close their eBay accounts before completing a transaction, I couldn't leave feedback once we amicably worked out our issue, but the auction listing was still accessible. Here, If I try to contact the seller eBay asks for the item number and I get the same error. It appeared at first I would have no way of proving I ever bought anything until I went into the dispute center and looked up the item there, then (and only there) it shows up. But it was "too early" to file a dispute.

Luckily, this was an actual company with a separate website/store, so I have other means of trying to reach them. I'm going to call their regular website customer service (hey, you aren't reachable through eBay anymore) tomorrow and try to get this straightened out. If I can't reach them there, it's now late enough I can dispute through eBay/Paypal.

Re:Well I wasn't robbed... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519044)

Luckily, this was an actual company with a separate website/store, so I have other means of trying to reach them.

Don't be too harsh on them immediately. Their account could have well been hacked either through phishing or a dishonest employee. It happens all the time, unfortunately.

-b.

Re:Well I wasn't robbed... (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519532)

Don't be too harsh on them immediately. Their account could have well been hacked either through phishing or a dishonest employee. It happens all the time, unfortunately.

Had they simply closed their eBay account, I wouldn't have been so worried. It was the fact they first deleted all their listings, which has the effect of removing all easy-to-see proof I ever had a transaction to begin with. This was an extra step on their part. It's troubling to have eBay's website act like it has never heard of the item number I am looking for and refuse to give me contact info for the member (because it does not recognize my item number).

I should mention I have tried contacting them already. The email receipt from Paypal has an email address for them on their domain, their actual PayPal account record also has a different email address on the same domain. I sent emails to both addresses over the last week. They were just short little "Hey there! I noticed you closed your eBay account..." type things. I just wanted a note back that they hadn't forgotten about me and if they wanted to drop the transaction. If I caught them just before they shut down their eBay operations I can understand, I just want my money back if that's the case.

When I didn't get any response by the end of the week, I tried to call the company's customer service 800 number on their regular website. It might have been after hours for them, I got an answering system that could not accept any new messages at the time. Then I noticed the PayPal info had a separate long-distance number for them. I got an answering machine for the business, which I left a message giving the eBay item number, day I paid them and amount, ect and my number to call me back. I have had no response to any of these attempts to contact them.

Doesn't sound like the behavior of a company that was the hapless victim of eBay hacking to me.

News? (1)

oprahwinfree (466659) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518516)

I guess everything is going to make the news somewhere, at some point, but is it news when stolen items show up on a gigantic, nationwide used goods marketplace?

Anywhere an outlet for used products exists, it is going to have some percentage of stolen goods enter it. Take the percentage of stolen goods that are sold at pawn shops or yard sales and compare it to the percentage of stolen goods sold on eBay. I'd lay odds on them being similar.

True story (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518520)

My brother worked for a large electronic company in Australia. He was the one in charge of distributing laptops and computers to the rest of the company. After the annual review they found they were down a few laptops. As these laptops had never gone out to the staff it was clear that they had either not been delivered originally, were taken from the store room or behind some boxes somewhere gathering dust. The store room staff searched high and low for them for about a day with no luck. As they were packing up to go home one of them said they should check ebay as a joke.

Sure enough the missing laptops were there, and the sellers previous sales showed a number of other laptops that were standard builds for the company.

The police were quite pleased to have an open and shut case given to them.

good to know that.... (2, Insightful)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518528)

A quick check of the serial number (note to cyber-criminals: don't post those) showed that it was the exact device that had been stolen."

Because /. is full of criminals???

Re:good to know that.... (1)

Dark_Gravity (872049) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519260)

Because /. is full of criminals???

And anyone would know one way or the other exactly how?

imagine the exchange of words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17518632)

Message from eBay Member Regarding Item #134356266
Question about Item -- Respond Now

eBay sent this message on behalf of an eBay member through My Messages. Responses sent using email will go to the eBay member directly and will include your email address.

Question from VicTum343
  victum343( 13)
  Positive feedback: 99.3%
  Member since: Dec-05-00
  Location: NY, United States
  Registered on: www.ebay.com

Item: (134356266)
RobBurr999 is the seller.

Hey Rob, that's my GPS equipment you have. Please give it back or else I call police. And I give negative feedback. Contact me now! - Vic

Somebody help! (4, Funny)

aslvrstn (1047588) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518670)

My P-P-P-Powerbook was just stolen and I found the thief reselling it on ebay! Call the cops!

This Actually Happened to Us (5, Interesting)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518690)

My Aged Mum, who was then 80 years of age, lived in an apartment residence for the elderly. Two years ago (on Christmas Eve, no less) she was the victim of a ruthless home invasion. The thief had worked very hard to gain the trust of the elderly residents, and on the night she struck (yep, it was a woman), my mother admitted her to the apartment.

Mom's phone wires were cut her call bell was de-commissioned, and she was savagely beaten--actually unimaginably beaten, and left for dead on the floor in her living room. One of the items taken was an antique doll, quite distinctive and large, and also very valuable. It dated back to approximately the 1820's and had been handed down through the generations from mother to daughter for all that time.

Aged Mum survived, though with traumatic brain injuries that left her mental capacities greatly diminished. She grieved over that doll; perhaps it was irrational, but I grieved, too. While the police worked on finding the perpetrator, I began to haunt eBay. Each morning as I started work, and each night before I went to bed, I ran search after search, using every term I could think of. Three weeks after the crime, I hit paydirt; the doll was there. Because I had been so connected to it over my lifetime, I was able to supply an exhaustive description. (Unaccountably we had no photograph.) The police contacted eBay, the auction was stopped, they got a warrant, and next morning they served it on the seller.

As it turns out, he was legitimate; he had purchased the doll at a well known local flea market the week before. He had been on eBay for several years, selling vintage stuff and assorted items he found at local sales. He provided as much information as he could, and the doll was returned to us within 24 hours of my first locating it at eBay. The doll's porcelain head was undamaged, but her arms (which are kidskin leather) were in bad shape.

Stories like this really don't have good outcomes. In our case we've had to see an intelligent, lively old lady suffer the loss of her intellect in what should be a comfortable old age. The police have not located the criminal after two years, and additional violence has taken place at that facility where my mother lived. Aged Mum is in a much better facility now, and the doll is here with me--and has been photographed and appraised for insurance purposes.

I guess the lessons learned are these: (1) Ebay does cooperate with police, and the police know how to secure their cooperation--probably best to leave the interaction to the cops. (2) I had some kind of underlying certainty, which might have been irrational, that the doll would eventually show up on eBay, one way or the other. I searched diligently and regularly. (3) Document your valuables. (4) It may take a while for your items to turn up, and they may pass through several hands. It all depends on whether the scum who has robbed you is versed in eBay or has to use the traditional fences, flea markets, and crooked pawnbrokers.
 

Serial #s (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518726)

Actually, it would be quite beneficial if listing the serial # of items on eBay became a de facto SOP. If legitimate traders started including identifying information, such as serial #s, as a way of verifying that the goods were not stolen, other merchants would be pressured into doing the same. Listings without a serial number would be regarded as suspicious, so people wouldn't get burnt dealing with crooks.

UCONN LCD's (1)

borgasm (547139) | more than 7 years ago | (#17518854)

A while back some kids stole a bunch of big flat panel monitors at my school.

They made a few mistakes:

1) Posted the items on EBay with their @uconn.edu addresses
2) Stored the items on campus in a dorm room.
3) Told people about it.

Oops

Re:UCONN LCD's (1)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519282)

Heh, being a member of the school's famous basketball team doesn't help either.

Re:UCONN LCD's (1)

hamelis (820185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519330)

I guess that's one way of proving you're too dumb to stay in college...

Stolen PC (2, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519228)

The wife's PC was stolen a few days ago - I'm waiting for the asshat to plug it into the internet. Come-on buddy, plug it in, plug it in.

Grumble, grumble...

Ebay is the Biggest Fence in the World (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17519358)

Did this article surprise anyone? Ebay has become the biggest and easist way to fence stolen goods and get full market value. As long as they are not not easily identifiable, it is perfect.

Cruel And Unusual Punishment A *Bad* Thing?..... (0, Flamebait)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519390)

I've read quite a few posts dwelling on the topic of people who aren't getting punished, enough, for the kind if crap, like this, that they do.

Does anybody remember the case of Michael P. Fay, the dimwit who spray painted a bunch of cars and stole roadsigns in Singapore and was caned for it?

I GUARENTEE that if we instututed corporal punishment to individuals who flagrantly flaunt the law or are incorrigible, they would definitely think twice about breaking the law. U.S. prisons have become nothing more than expensive, overcrowded hotels for people who treat them as a sort of revolving-door free boarding house.

They are entitled to:

-Free security from themselves (mental health issues) (we pay for the security)
-Free security from others (fREE armed SECURITY, at that) (we pay for the security)
-3 free, healthy, balanced meals a day (we pay for the food, the kitchens to prepare and cook it, cooks to supuervise the prisoners who cook it, and the kitchens and supplies)
-Free healthcare (we pay for the doctors and supplies and hospital trips)
-Free prescription drugs (we pay for them)
-Free protection from the elements (we pay for the safe, durable, strudy facility, and all the maintenance)
-Free room and board (No rent, mortgage, etc.) (we pay the rent)
-Free water (we pay the water bill)
-Free electricity (we pay the eletricity bill)
-Free cable T.V. (we pay the cable bill)
-Free heating / air conditioning (we pay the heating / air conditioning bill)
-Guaranteed showers (we pay for the facilities)
-Free high-speed Internet (we pay for the Internet access)
-Free college / high school education (here in California, you have to be drowning in poverty to even come close to qualifying for State help) (we still pay for that, too)
-Jobs readily provided (yes, the State gives you a job if you behave.) (we pay their wages)
-Free Hospital-level sanitary living and eating conditions. (we pay for the upkeep and maintenance)
-Conjugal visits (Some prisons. But still, you get to spend a few nights, alone, and in your own privacy in a small one-room "cabin" with your wife. Not just any cabin, it has a kitchen where you can cook your own meals, heating/air conditioning, etc. Essentially your own house, but on prison grounds) (we pay for the whole thing)
-Free bed, mattress, blankets, pillows. (we pay for them)
-Free laundry facilities (we pay for them)
-Free recreational grounds (we pay for the upkeep)
-On-call officers 24-hours a day in case you have a question or need something (we pay their wages)
-Less-Than-Lethal weapons in case you get out of control (we pay for them. Compare a $25 stun grenade [to allow officers to restrain you at risk to their own safety] vs. a $.30 bullet)
-Easy access to an attorney or legal representative on request, at no cost to you (we pay for them)
-Free counseling (we pay for the counselors)
-Free addiction-cessation programs (we pay for them and the supplies)
-Free libraries (we pay for the books and facilities)
-The ability to indulge in hobbies like ship building, model making, woodworking, etc. (we pay for the equipment, supplies, facilities, and upkeep)

The Gulags were a pretty good idea, but the mistake was that people were there for ".....speaking against the Government, suspicion, and other manifestations of Soviet paranoia". I'll bet repeat offenders were few and far between. Murderers were probably shot on the spot, and not allowed to relax with the aforementioned "luxuries of life". Yes, I call them luxuries, seeing as how we law-abiding individuals have to work all day to pay for them, and we are not guarenteed them.

Yes, I RTFA, and use this post to explain why people do this sort of thing. They lose very little compared to people who worked hard to buy what they have, er, used to have before these clowns steal it. I work hard for what I have. Yes, *I HAVE* been robbed before: I was beaten unconsious with tire iron and baseball bat as I re-enterd my gas station from mopping the customer bathroom.

With the surge in prison costs for inmates, the explosion in prison populations, and the sky-high repeat-offender rates, it is safe to say that "Rehabilitation" simply does not work for THE VAST MAJORITY of prisoners. Prison, and the idea of going there, should be a deterrent to committing crimes. Unfortunately, people who violate the rights of others are allowed to keep theirs, and there are 'prisoner-rights goups' who think that is o.k. and are o.k. with that.

I guess my question is: What am I doing wrong?

And as a bonus... (1)

ScaryMonkey (886119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519588)

On top of all those benefits, I hear it's really easy to get laid! Especially if you're skinny and white...

But seriously, while all those things may be "free" you pay the rather significant price non-monetary price of not being free yourself.

Theives are dumb ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17519424)

I got a story for you.

About 15 years ago I had a weekly doctors appointment for a test I was getting done. I was late. I pulled up on my bike and ran in to tell the receptionist. Her desk was about 20 feet from the front door. When I went back outside to lock up my bike, it was gone.

A week later I go for my next appointment and lo and behold, there is my bike, locked up with someone elses chain. Right in front of the doctors office.

I call the cops. They say they will be over, but they don't have time to catch/wait for the thief. I should call someone to cut the chain. They won't do it. But first they have to verify the bike is mine.

The cops arrive. I show them the bike. We are parked across the street in the cop car. They call in to the city to verify the license tag, which is still on the bike.(!) Meanwhile the thief comes along and unlocks the bike ! They arrest him ! I get my bike back. The thief didn't even remove my bike license tag. And he totally returned to the scene of the crime.

you kids have it hard. When I was your age... (2, Funny)

microcars (708223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519426)

and living in Chicago and got robbed, all I had to do was get my ass down to Maxwell Street on Sunday morning to buy back my stuff.

ah the good old days, when I used to live next door to a 10 acre Fencing operation..er...Flea Market.

Ha ha, seen this happen before... (1)

L4m3rthanyou (1015323) | more than 7 years ago | (#17519574)

Back in high school, we had a very cool digital animation class. It was specially commissioned, and ten Mac G5s were ordered just for that classroom.

Some time later, they were all stolen. The people who had set up the program were understandably pissed- what kind of scumbag steals equipment from a public school FFS? Well, the teacher was smart enough to check ebay, and sure enough, there they were. The thief was a student... not a minor, either. Turns out he had stolen other computers from the school previously, also. Long story short, he got pwned... no college will ever take the poor bastard now, hahaha.

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