An increase in armed muggings have caused a spike in sales of dummy smartphones that on first glance look real. (You can buy one from Amazon for around $20.) Apparently they were first sold as display items to electronic stores wanting to protect their real inventory from smash-and-grabs. From the Associated Press:
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Axel says he sells three or four dummy phones a week out of his stall in a downtown electronics marketplace, next door to a colonial college building that dates to 1767.
Axel, who asked his full name not be used for fear police would accuse him of selling fake merchandise, said all of his customers know they are buying fakes.
“It’s useful for robberies, the large number of muggings happening in Mexico City,” said Axel. “They say ‘hand over your cellphone, give me everything’, and people know now they have to hand over the phone quick, in a matter of seconds, so they hand over these phones and often the thieves don’t realize it.”
But Axel admits the victim would be in trouble if a thief caught them handing over a “dummy” phone.
“Obviously there are problems, because if the criminals search it or find out ... there is going to be a problem.”
Because of that, some try a different strategy, spending a little more to buy a cheap but real second phone.
In Downey, California, southeast of Los Angeles, a gentleman breaking into a car was chased off by a neighborhood watch-coyote. Video evidence above. My favorite part is the thief peeking around the cars to see if the coyote was awaiting his return.
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Some people will nick anything. The sole comment on YouTube: "maybe he has a dog that looks just like it?" Read the rest
The person stealing this package struck me as very unlucky: the homeowner has his driveway, his porch, his living room and his truck all cammed up. Then he was also lucky enough to take a lucky turn or two through his neighborhood hunting her down, and to have police give enough of a shit to send a car within a minute or two. Lake Sarasota must be awful! Read the rest
This weekend, thieves stole the Banksy mural painted on the emergency exit door of the Bataclan concert venue in Paris. The Bataclan is where on November 13, 2015 Islamic State militants launched a terrorist attack by killing 90 people during an Eagles of Death Metal concert before continuing with shootings and suicide bombings that resulted in 130 deaths total and more than 400 injuries. From the BBC News:
The theft, which occurred overnight on Friday, involved "a group of hooded individuals armed with angle grinders", AFP news agency reports, citing a source close to the investigation.
The suspects then reportedly drove away with the artwork in a truck.
"Banksy Mural Is Stolen From Bataclan, Site of Paris Attacks
" (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)
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Watched and filmed by the other drivers he has delayed, a man in East London slowly, laboriously, loudly removes and steals the catalytic converter from another vehicle.
If you have plans to be in Britain any time after March or thereabouts, maybe just cancel them. Read the rest
Clips of this are going viral as genuine security footage, but it's really a short film by Rasheed Parakkal about how technology helps us find redemption. Read the rest
Two alleged jewelry thieves were busted after attempting to swipe $86,000 worth of diamond rings in Sycamore Township, Ohio. Police found the store's door smashed and heard noise coming from elevator. They called the fire department who opened the faulty elevator, revealing Leroy Bridgman, 57, and Marcie Young, 61, stuck inside. According to police, they had stashed the goods, along with "criminal tools" in the ceiling of the lift.
“Sometimes karma makes sure things work out how they should," Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil told WCPO.
(Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest
Los Angeles police are searching for the identity of this burglar, who accidentally shot and published a selfie with his victim's iPhone. Read the rest
Locks had to be changed at London's 930-year old fortress—and home of the crown jewels—after a man was found trespassing within the walls, keys in hand. [Reuters] Read the rest
A thief caught on CCTV at a pet store made his escape by stuffing a $1,400 puppy down his pants.
Recorded by Zoo-Rama in Elmont, New York, footage shows the dog snatcher grabbing the pup out of a cage, stretching open his waistband, then shoving it into the darkness—start from about 5m in. Trapped inside his sweats, the Pomeranian writhes as its captor heads for the exit. If you know anything about the caper, the store owner has $500 for you.
Video Shows Thief Stuffing Tiny Pomeranian Down His Pants At Elmont Pet Store [CBS] Read the rest
The FBI is hot on the trail of D.B. Cooper, the mysterious heister who leapt from his looted airplane into myth. Nearly four decades since his disappearance, a "credible lead" has come in. From CNN:
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It's been nearly four decades since a man calling himself Dan Cooper jumped out the back of Northwest Orient Flight 305, somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Nevada, carrying a parachute and some $200,000 in pilfered money.
It's not known where Cooper landed, or if he even survived the jump. But the case lives on in infamy, what the FBI calls "one of the great unsolved mysteries" in the agency's history.