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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Oven-door Thievery

I don't like seeing people get ripped off. 99% of the time I don't side with thieves. But every once and a while a thief's creativity is inspiring. And the people they are scamming, well, they just aren't helping themselves. Evidence:

April 1, 2006

Cooking up a flat-screen TV scam
Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A rash of oven-door thefts may be linked to a recent case in which a woman bought what she thought was a flat-screen television, only to discover that the package held an old oven door, police said.

South Bend detective Sgt. Jim Walsh said police arrested a suspect Thursday they believe sold the appliance door to the woman. According to police reports, officers found an oven door and packaging materials inside the trunk of the man's car.

Oven doors are an increasingly hot item in burglaries targeting vacant properties. Walsh said police have investigated five recent burglaries where oven doors were among the items stolen.
Police have had two reports of the doors being sold as flat-screen televisions, and it's likely that others went unreported by the embarrassed dupes, Walsh said. Officers continue to investigate at least two other suspects who may be disguising oven doors and selling them.

Walsh said it's risky to buy products off the street, particularly without opening a package first to make sure the items are what they appear to be.

In the case of the bilked woman, she was approached by the suspect Feb. 20 at her workplace with an offer of a flat-screen television at a bargain price of $500. When the victim couldn't come up with the money, the suspect settled for $300.

But when she unwrapped the packaging, peeling away the bubble wrapping and the Wal-Mart store labels, she found a cord, a controller -- and an oven door.

"It's an elaborate job of packaging," Walsh said.

Can - Thief.mp3 (via An Idiot's Guide to Dreaming)


  • At 5:06 PM, Blogger mindlessgirl said…

    simple, yet utterly brilliant...god bless american entrepreneurism and ingenuity...


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