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The Silver Thief
December 22, 2009 9:20 AM   Subscribe

The Silver Thief: The Story of a Burglar Who Was Too Good for His Own Good: The story of Blane Nordahl, an eminent silver thief in New Jersey and the hunt for him.
posted by reenum (28 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
I tried to read it, but white text on a black background hurts my eyes.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:40 AM on December 22, 2009


Sorry dude. I would have linked to the original, but it's behind the New Yorker paywall.
posted by reenum at 9:47 AM on December 22, 2009


http://pastebin.ca/1723942

Black text on a white background, resize your browser window to get the desired column shape.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:52 AM on December 22, 2009


Thanks, Inspector.Gadget. Should've thought of that myself. Must be time to go home and have a nap.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:58 AM on December 22, 2009


Fascinating fellow. I hope I don't smell a movie deal out of this.

The police inventoried Nordahl's belongings in his vehicle and in his motel room, and found, among other items, nationwide motel directories, a video titled "How to Create a New Birth Certificate," a rubber stamp that read "original document," and a book called "How to Launder Money." He had been travelling with two cats, one white and one black, named Romeo and Juliet; a series of receipts from various animal clinics suggested that he was a devoted pet owner. Not surprisingly, he had no sterling silver and no piles of cash.

A cat burglar with cats. I like that.

And who knew of the burgeoning burglar self-help industry?

"I said, 'Blane, if you ever want to use your knowledge in a positive way, I'd work with you.' I said, 'You could work in the insurance industry in the area of silver. You could work with alarm systems. If you want to team up, go into a business, we could turn this into a crime-prevention program.' "

"What did he say?" I asked.

"He said, 'I don't think so.'"


Respect.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:10 AM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


So this is Mr. Nordahl. And here I was picturing this.

A lesson in questioning assumptions!
posted by palindromic at 10:29 AM on December 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


Very cool story.
Almost makes me want to make a career change, but I'm a little old for that.
It could be a movie... but we would need some of the "old-style" Hollywood actors to do it. (Cary Grant, Robert Mitchum, ok, maybe De Niro))
posted by Drasher at 10:45 AM on December 22, 2009


Great read, thank you for the link.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:55 AM on December 22, 2009


Fascinating.
posted by typewriter at 11:07 AM on December 22, 2009


Awesome read!
posted by exhilaration at 11:11 AM on December 22, 2009


Who doesn't love a good cat burgular story...nice read!
posted by jckll at 11:24 AM on December 22, 2009


Not surprising, but there is a Law and Order adaptation of this. I am sad to report that I have seen it. Great article.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 11:34 AM on December 22, 2009


He got eight years, btw.
posted by jdfan at 11:43 AM on December 22, 2009


There's this too.
posted by Xurando at 11:47 AM on December 22, 2009


And here's something called Masterminds about him.
posted by jdfan at 11:47 AM on December 22, 2009


I tried to read it, but white text on a black background hurts my eyes.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:40 AM on December 22 [+] [!]


Readability - An Arc90 Lab Experiment
READABILITY is a simple tool that makes reading on the Web more enjoyable by removing the clutter around what you're reading.

Fascinating read, reenum. Thanks.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:22 PM on December 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Really cool, thanks!
posted by kylej at 12:55 PM on December 22, 2009


And here I was picturing this.

That's exactly what I pictured the whole time.
posted by milarepa at 1:41 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, the story makes you wonder if he was transformed into some short but gorgeous hunk:

Taking crime seriously had a bracing effect on Nordahl. He stopped using drugs and gave up alcohol, cigarettes, and even caffeine. He tried to eat well, and he worked out constantly. Only five feet four inches tall, he built himself a gymnast's body: strong shoulders, skinny hips, muscular legs.

I enjoyed the tale, though. Wonder when his next release date is.
posted by bearwife at 3:30 PM on December 22, 2009


The burglar almost sounds like a better person than the cops following him. "I steal the trophy silver of the filthy rich" vs. 'Give us your boyfriend or we'll arrest you and leave your child to the wolves' and 'I'm going to give his picture to the Russian Mafia so they murder him'. That second one, in particular, is pretty damn telling.
posted by Mitrovarr at 5:23 PM on December 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Mitrovarr: Sure, but also "I keep a trail of women in line by keeping them in heroin at the Super 8", not so much.
posted by mendel at 8:54 PM on December 22, 2009


It's not exactly winning behavior, but it doesn't top proxy murder by russian mobster.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:59 PM on December 22, 2009



Great read indeed. Thx for sharing.
posted by dealing away at 12:03 AM on December 23, 2009


"I keep a trail of women in line by keeping them in heroin at the Super 8"

Those women saw this aspect of the relationship as a valuable perk.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:37 AM on December 23, 2009


These days, I don't get why people still buy precious metals. They're shiny and used in engineering, yes, but their value can fluctuate, especially against inflation.

Right now, we essentially have a government bond that is locked to inflation, and sold at sub-blue chip prices. I'm talking about the Forever Stamp.

The price of stamps always goes up, and they generally rise in line with inflation. Further, it's legal to buy as many stamps as you want and resell them later. And you're not really stealing from the post office, as if the revenue gives them savings, they can invest it (perhaps in Forever Stamps?) and use it to pay for future shipping when you use or sell your stamps. And if they do lose money, they'll rise the price of stamps to make ends meet! They make Glenn Beck's gold racket seem downright silly.

If I were more ambitious, I'd start getting in on this scam, and start selling Forever Stamp Futures, and derivatives of those futures, and then bonds of those futures, and then start financing Icelandic towns. I hear the interest rate at the Fed is quite low, so perhaps I should.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:28 AM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was great.
posted by ob at 7:08 AM on December 23, 2009


I've been meaning to do this since reddit jumped the shark, but a detail in this story inspired me to finally register on MetaFilter. I've been a lurker here for a long time but was under the impression paying through PayPal would be a lot more difficult than it actually was.

On to the detail: this man's father has also had a recent FPP devoted to him.
posted by viborg at 8:23 PM on December 23, 2009


"I've been a lurker here for a long time but was under the impression paying through PayPal would be a lot more difficult than it actually was. "

It's only difficult for Matt getting the money out.
posted by Mitheral at 10:11 PM on December 23, 2009


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