The burglars were able to operate for years by moving from town to town, confident the local authorities would not notify each other of the crimes. And when the authorities did investigate, they sometimes did so sloppily, such as overlooking a drill hole in a safe, causing suspicion to fall on the only people who knew the safe's combination. A retired detective started to investigate the burglaries, but found himself largely shunned by active officers, and even fed false information.
Eventually, suspicion fell on known thieves, including a man who may flown for the DEA, and a man working as a safe and lock technician.
The ensuing investigation included the chase of a man driving a truck loaded with palm trees, and an FBI dive team that had to be disguised lest they be spotted by the conspirators.
Only a few working cabinets exist of Akka Arrh, an early-80s Atari arcade game that failed in test markets and was not mass-produced. Tucked away in private collections, no ROM image existed of the otherwise fully-functional prototypes—until, the story has it, a repair worker dumped and exfiltrated them.
One well-placed arcade collector with direct knowledge of the extant Akka Arrh cabinets and their owners (who asked for anonymity to "avoid burning bridges") told me "it does sound like this really happened." That source tells me that the victim of the alleged theft is sharing essentially the same story as atariscott with other Akka Arrh owners (who, unsurprisingly, all know each other).
"They were told it was theft from the tech who had access, and apparently there were rumblings about this tech being shady ahead of this release," the collector tells Ars. "It wasn't their board that was dumped, but [they] were pretty upset when the ROMs were released, given the rarity of the machine."
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Arcade Heroes blogger and arcade owner Adam Pratt has his own take, which he shared with Ars:
As it comes across online, it sounds like something is missing... That a technician would come in to a collection to fix something else, break into the Akka Arrh machine, pull out all of the ROMs, burn them one-by-one (which requires a ROM burner and a computer), then put everything back unnoticed doesn't seem plausible to me. Chances are, [Evans] or one of the other two collectors happened to have backed up the ROMs when they first got the machine and that backup either got out, or one of the collectors finally decided to anonymously upload the ROMs.
The Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion is missing $50,000 worth of bugs; the loss wasn't immediately discovered because bugs are small and the Insectarium often moves its specimens around for exhibitions, lendouts, etc. -- but when 80-90% of your collection goes missing, you notice. Read the rest
A gang of masked thieves attempted a late-night heist at a bank (or some other building) in Pernes-les-Fontaines (southeastern France). They succeeded in partially ramming through the wall with a large flatbed truck, but then the truck got stuck. They ended up lighting the truck cab on fire and taking off in two cars. Someone caught the whole thing on video and posted it to YouTube.
The economic orthodoxy of austerity means that governments facing recession can't just spend their way out of it by creating New Deal-like stimulus that gets the economy moving again: instead, they handed trillions to banks and then watched in dismay as the banks failed to lend any of that out to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Read the rest
In a daring, Hollywood-style bank heist, a crack team of thieves occupied offices above their target, covered its windows to make it look like they were working on renovations, cut through a concrete floor to gain access to a secure area, bypassed an alarm system, and used hockey bags to exfiltrate $293,000 from the vault within. Then they were arrested in a field. [Reuters] Read the rest