Annals of dumb crooks

And a not-too-bright employer, as well.

This story about a minor fiddle (total value to crook: $507.93) leaves us with some questions.

First, why didn’t he throw the pawn tickets away? He was not planning to redeem the computers he stole.

Second, why didn’t the school system have 1) an inventory sticker on its computer; and 2) an inventory check.

If you follow down in the comments, you get this gem:

One time I found a pc on the curb to be picked by the trash collector.

I took it in and found over 12,000 medical files relating to a certain hospital.   Yes the pc belong to a doctor.

If that anecdote is valid (and we have no reason to think it isn’t), then you can see how a pawn shop has some difficulty in confirming that a customer really does own the item he’s pawning.  Our Maui pawn shop requires the customer to state that he is the owner, and as further encouragement to square dealing, to leave his ID, thumbprint, address and phone number with us. (Part of that is required by law.)

But since by definition, all our collateral comes in a second-hand goods (even if sometimes still new and in its shrink wrap), and because items (like computers) can pass from hand to hand, even a sticker label reading “Kanawha County School District” would not necessarily tip us off to suspect a theft. (See comment quoted above.)

What does help is notification of losses. That’s why Kamaaina Loan And Cash For Gold has It’s a unique and free service. If you’ve been ripped off on Maui, file a police report, then post up a description of your lost goods.

We check it every day. It is used more for stolen jewelry than for computers but it could include anything.

Knowing your serial numbers helps, of course, especially with things like computers. But waiting more than a year to notice you’ve been robbed pretty much guarantees that all precautions are going to be unhelpful.

The story does not say whether the school district recovered its computers. Probably not.