Webcam Versus Scam

, , , , | Legal | July 6, 2018

I was working in a computer shop, when after a busy morning, we discovered one of our display machines missing. Tracing through the morning’s sales we narrowed down the culprits to two men who’d come in together – one had occupied the salesperson with questions, while the other searched the store for something valuable and portable, before carrying it off.

They were very smooth, but they made two main mistakes. The first: our store dealt in used equipment, so they thought the perfect way to case the joint would be to come in a day early with an old motherboard. We still had this in our back room -– along with a detailed form containing the name, address, phone number, and other identifying information about one of them. City regulations treated this aspect of our business as if we were a pawn shop; he’d had to show picture ID to get us to look at the potential sale.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, his partner had been screwing around with the display computers while they were in the store, and managed to take several pictures of himself with the webcam on it, saving them to the desktop.

When the police arrived that afternoon we were able to give them everything they needed, gift-wrapped.

Later on, we found that the culprits denied ever having been in our store… Then, when confronted with proof, they tried to claim individual innocence, blaming each other for the crime.

I don’t think we ever got our stolen property back, but the police were apparently able to charge them based on the provable falsehoods of their stories.

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