Archive for category Burglary

Cheap Electronics, Good for Consumers, Bad for Burglars

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 10 February, 2010

British crime research has recently reported that the influx of cheap electronic goods coming out of Asian countries may have affected the criminal standard operation procedures.

James Treadwell, a University of Leicester criminology lecturer explains that while a profit could be easily turned in the 1980s and 90s, cheap labor in China and Taiwan has made traditional home burglary less profitable today.

“Gradually, the prices of such goods has fallen so low as to they almost have no resale value. If you can buy a DVD player for 19.99 pounds ($32 US), it’s simply not worth stealing,” says Treadwell.

A British crime survey has reported a decline in domestic burglary over the past decade during a public interview. These numbers were applauded by the labor government, citing a crackdown on crime must have been successful.

However, there has been an increase in personal robbery and muggings. Treadwell attributes this to an effective “career change” by criminals.

Instead of breaking into homes, these crooks are now simply targeting smaller but pricier items such as iPods, cell phones, and other expensive gadgets that people commonly carry around with them.

This makes sense. Have you ever looked at the actual price of those fancy new smartphones? Sure you are getting a deal when you sign up for new service and get a free phone. Or when you upgrade to a new 2 year cellular agreement and are only charged $150 for the phone, but look at the actual retail price without all the discounts. Those are $400-600 phones. The 64GB iPod touch runs $399.

“It is these expensive, personal items, which are the most attractive to thieves today as they still retain value and can therefore be sold on, igniting a career change for criminals from the more traditional household burglaries to personal muggings,” says Treadwell.

It even appears that dogs are not immune to crime either. I just read a report about a terrier in Brooklyn who was mugged. Apparently the owner tied the pooch up outside of a supermarket, while she ran inside to grab a gallon of milk.

A few short minutes later, the woman exited the store to find her shivering little doggie missing his $25 leather trimmed, green wool coat and belt.

“How could anyone steal a coat off someone’s back in the freezing cold?” the 42-year-old owner reported to the local paper. “I was so angry, but in the end I was grateful that it was just the coat and not him.”

So in the case of the dog, he just got screwed by his owner. Thanks for leaving me unattended.

But you have a choice, and you have several self-defense options. On the cheap, for under $10 you can arm yourself with a key chain pepper spray. For under $60, you can get your hands on Stun Master Multi-Function Rechargeable Stun Gun. If safety is a higher concern than the price tag, you can always go the Vanessa Hudgens route and get yourself a C2 TASER. As I’ve said before, Your Life is Worth more to us than the Cost of a TASER Device. And it won’t even be the most expensive gadget in your pocket.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Boston Defenders 1, Colorado Burglars 0

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 7 January, 2010

I love stories like the first one here.

Earlier this week a knife-wielding thug attempted to steal the purse of a South Boston woman just before noon at the intersection of Dorchester and Telegraph Street.

“Give me your purse,” the suspect said.

How about some pepper spray instead? The woman whipped out a canister of OC pepper spray and lets the thug have it in the face.

He dropped his knife and took off purse-less, but the woman was able to ID the guy and he now has a warrant out for arrest.

This next story, I’m not quite sure what to think.

So, this loser in Colorado breaks into the home of his buddy’s ex-wife…

Unfortunately for the suspect, the woman was in the house baby-sitting the burglar’s children. Even with the bandana on his face, the kids recognize dear old dad… Talk about awkward!

Local Authorities arrested him on suspicion of second-degree burglary and other charges. Suspicion of? Are you kidding, his children caught him.

Kinda like those old Scooby Doo episodes when the bad guy gets foiled and says “I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those dang meddling kids…”

Not that we are keeping track, but score 1 for the pepper spray savvy woman is Boston, 0 for the scumbag burglar in Colorado.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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What Goes Around, Comes Around…

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 19 November, 2009

Normally for a story like this, I would try to suggest and plug some sort of security device. An alarm, a Telespy, Voice Alert System

But in this case, I think nothing was better.

Apparently a 22-year-old thief attempted to break into a supermarket in southern Portugal. The rather slim man thought he could squeeze his way through a small window and gain access to the building.

Sounded like a good plan, until he made it half-way through… and got stuck. And stuck he stayed for about 9 long hours.

“Once he got his upper body inside, there was nothing there to find support on, so he was stuck at his waist… It’s not uncommon for thieves to get inside and then not be able to get out after a burglary, but this was quite unusual,” says the local police chief, Captain Santos of Loule.

Once he was discovered the next morning, it took another 2 hours for the fire department and police to get him free. Well, free from the window, he went straight to jail after that.

Amusing as it sounds so far, the man also lost his pants during the incident.

“Apparently he dropped his trousers as he was trying to free himself by wiggling,” says. Capt. Santos.

So if the establishment had some sort of alarm system, perhaps the poor soul would have been rescued sooner. I bet the would-be thief wished there was an alarm. It’s gotta suck to be stuck in a window for 11 hours with your pants down at your ankles…

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Ronald McDonald Look-alike Charged with Robbery

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 18 June, 2009

Let’s not be too obvious here. But if your hair is dyed fire-engine red, wear a hat when robbing a home…

Peekskill police report a burglar in his home awakened a resident on Tuesday. The burglar made off with some computer equipment and a camera, but while exiting the premises, the victim caught a glimpse of the burglar’s extremely unique locks.

The description the victim gave, to include the flame red hair, was given to local and neighboring police departments. I mean, how many perps can be walking around in partial clown gear?

The suspect was spotted several hours later getting off a bus near his home in Ossining, NY. Ossining authorities immediately recognized the man from the description sent out by the Peekskill police and caught “Red Hair-ed”.

Ronald McDonald (aka 21-year-old Eduardo Lazcano) was arrested and charged with burglary and grand larceny.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Burglar Smacked Silly with a Shovel

Posted by Rob on Monday, 1 June, 2009

Apparently this guy picked the wrong mobile home to mess with.

A 31-year-old woman in Lake Placid, Florida returned home around 9:30 PM to find an unfamiliar bicycle in her front yard. On further inspection, she also heard footsteps in her mobile home.

Since her home had been burglarized in the past, she left to get a male cousin to help here investigate. Armed with a shovel, they found many of her belongings ransacked throughout the home. When they entered the master bedroom and turned on the lights, the 22-year-old burglar was spotted attempting to hide in the closet.

The woman clocked the burglar upside his head with the shovel and her cousin wrestled him to the ground. While subdued, the woman called the police.

Authorities reported the burglar had “considerable difficulty standing and appeared to be slipping in and out of consciousness” after being handcuffed and led the patrol car.

The would-be burglar was taken to a local hospital and checked out, but was unable to give a “cognizant statement” to the police due to the trauma he received at the hands of the home owner that evening.

They booked him on an unarmed burglary of an occupied dwelling charge and coincidentally he had just gotten out of jail a few weeks ago on a charge of first-degree arson of an occupied building. He also has a lengthy arrest record.

“It worked out, but that wasn’t the safest course of action,” says one of the local authorities. “When she saw the bicycle, she should have called us and we could have gone inside for her.”

Kind of reminds me of the Man Steals Burglars’ Getaway Van story from February. She should have taken the burglar’s bike and hid it somewhere. Dude, Where’s my bike?

Be Safe, Be Prepared. Check out some of our Home Protection options, you never know when your shovel won’t be readily available.

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Theft Victim Slashes Suspect With Machete

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 28 May, 2009

A guy in Athens, Georgia took matters into his own hands when his TV was stolen in a burglary, Friday the 13th style.

Apparently the theft victim confronted the man he blamed for the robbery by smashing out the driver’s side window of the suspect’s SUV. When the suspect got of of the vehicle, the guy slashed him with a machete.

Cutting the suspect’s wrist to the bone, a doctor later told the authorities that if the machete struck the suspect’s wrist more squarely, the weapon could have hacked his hand clean off. Jason Voorhees would not have made that mistake.

After being assaulted, the suspect took off, to be pulled over for a motor vehicle violation later that evening. When stopped, the officer saw the large gash just above the man’s wrist.

The officer arrested the suspect on two previous probation violation warrants and took him to Athens Regional Medical Center. It was then the suspect reported that he was attacked with a machete by a man earlier that night.

Doctors stitched the suspect’s wound, put his arm in a splint and released him back to the police.

I don’t think he will be ripping anyone else off anytime soon.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Other Machete Related Blog Posts:

No Coconuts for You!

Machete Becoming Bay State’s Weapon of Choice?

Machete Attack Leaves Two Hospitalized

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118 Successful Ninja Burglaries, and Counting

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 14 May, 2009

Police in Jefferson County, Colorado are having a problem catching a cigarette-swiping burglar. Apparently this man, dubbed the “Nighttime Nicotine Ninja” is thought to be responsible for at least 118 burglaries, in 18 metro area jurisdictions, while netting $120,000 worth of cigarettes over the past two years.

He is dressed in black and wears a black mask across his face to conceal his identity. Not exactly regulation ninja ensemble, but it works.

However, his key to success is that he strikes gas stations, convenience and liquor stores in the middle of the night, often breaking out front glass windows and doors. Not sure how much noise he is making but at least he is using the cover of the night to act all ninja stealth-like.

At least this guy is getting part of the ninja routine right, unlike our recent katana wielding ninja at the dry cleaners at 8 AM in the freaking morning.

Once inside the store, the “Nicotine Ninja” with discerning taste only steals name brand cartons of cigarettes and leaves the generic brands behind. He also leaves other items untouched, like lottery tickets, cash registers and other typically valuable targets.

Since this ninja is still at large, the rest of the details are still unknown, as far as what ninja weapons he carries or other important tidbits. Just as a ninja would want it too be.

Police are entertaining the possibility that this may be a well coordinated group of ninjas, since there have been so many similar incidents over a rather significantly large but local area.

If the Nicotine Ninja’s 2-year crime spree is any indication, it may be increasingly difficult for the police to foil his next hit, unless of course the Colorado Police deploy an Anti-Ninja Task Force comprised of former ninjas, trained in the art of Ninjitsu.

That or find a Spartan Warrior. (Yes the Spartan beat the Ninja on the Deadliest Warrior TV show.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.


Other Ninja Related Blog posts:

Failed Ninja Robbery Attempt

Kangaroo Intruder Terrorizes Family in Australian Home Invasion

Enter the Whale, the Inconspicuous and the Shark

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Thief steals 66-year-old bicycle from an 83-year-old woman

Posted by Rob on Friday, 10 April, 2009

In 1943, then 17-year-old Ruth Slovenski received a bicycle as a gift. For 66 years, Ruth took care of and looked after that bike. To this day, she still rode that bike. Well that was until earlier this week when a man stole her antique blue Huffy from the front of a nursing home in Lewiston, Maine.

Apparently the 83-year-old woman left her bicycle unlocked near a mailbox while visiting some friends at a local nursing home. About two hours later, she returned expecting to hop on her bike and head home, but the bicycle was gone.

Security video from the nursing home revealed a man wearing a hat and dark clothing riding away on a bike that fit the following description: Blue Huffy bicycle with wide fenders and a large metal basket.

I’m thinking there probably aren’t too many of this or similar models still around on the street. Police reported that Slovenski expressed the bike had great sentimental value.

I did some quick research, but depending on the actual condition of the 66-year-old bike, it could actually be quite valuable. There is a Vintage 1950s Huffy bike on eBay for about $3000.

It is not known if the bicycle was stolen because it could be a valuable antique or if it was just some creep being a jerk and stealing an easy target on the side of the road.

Be Safe, Be Prepared, Lock up your bike.

Related posts on Bicycle Theft:
Lance Armstrong Bicycle Jacked!
How safe is your bike?
It Pays to Know as Much or More Than a Thief

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Double Jewelry Heist in Wisconsin

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 19 March, 2009

Times must be tough in Wisconsin. Robbers are now ripping off other robbers. Is there no honor among thieves?

Two burglars leaving a jewelry store got mugged by another set of thieves before they even left the crime scene in Milwaukee.

Police reported a fight broke out between the two sets of men over the cash and gems from the initial heist. Both parties then jumped into their respective cars and a chase ensued.

Police Lt. Thomas Welch says officers pulled both vehicles over and arrested all four of the people. The original two robbers were 40 and 31-years-old, and two men from the second group were 22 and 27-years-old. All four of them are from Illinois.

Police were yet to recover any of the cash or jewelry and are still searching for more suspects.

Perhaps another pair of guys grabbed the loot bag during the scuffle?

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