Along the western coast of England, under a half-moon hidden by clouds, a dark Audi sports car with fabricated plates followed an empty road toward a Barclays bank. Inside were five men, dressed all in black, and their gear: crowbars, power tools, coils of flexible tubing, and two large tanks of explosive gas. It was 1:51 a.m. The job would take just under seven minutes.
From the King of Clickbait to the "President" of Instagram to the Parody Twitter Illuminati...As The Washington Post says: "Everyone's stealing jokes online--Why doesn't anyone care?"
Bitstamp halts trading after a $5,000,000 bitcoin theft. Most of the bitcoin services in the US and western countries are heavily dependent on the Bitstamp market to buy, price and sell coins. This hack may put the entire, fragile, bitcoin ecosystem at risk.
In January, one of the last remaining specimens of a nearly extinct water lily was stolen from Kew Gardens. Collectors and nursery owners continued to beg Magdalena for the plant. “All the time,” he said. “All the time.” He sensed that people were willing to break the rules. “When there is no way of getting it, people grow sick and obsessed.” When the water lily was taken from the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Magdalena wasn’t shocked in the slightest. “What surprised me is that it took so long,” he said.
JPMorgan Chase Says More Than 76 Million Accounts Compromised in Cyberattack [New York Times]
"The breach is among the largest corporate hacks, and the latest revelations vastly dwarf earlier estimates that hackers had gained access to roughly 1 million customer accounts."
The Grandparent Scam
Every day, phones are ringing in homes across the country. Maybe yours. On the line: organized teams of con artists trying to bilk you out of thousands of dollars by impersonating your loved ones.
GQ: The Strange and Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit. "For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend - or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest." [more inside]
The Missing Borges "Seven years ago, a stolen first edition of Borges’s early poems was returned to Argentina’s National Library. But was it the right copy?"
The Dead Zoo Gang "Over the last several years, millions of dollars worth of antique rhino horns have been stolen from natural history museum collections around the world. The only thing more unusual than the crimes is the theory about who is responsible: A handful of families from rural Ireland known as the Rathkeale Rovers." (Via)
Octopus steals GoPro. Sealion steals GoPro. Crab steals GoPro. Human steals GoPro. (Previously: Eagle steals camera, Seagull steals camera)
“People have this idea, because it’s a ‘community’ garden, you’ll have a bunch of people sitting around holding hands, singing ‘Kumbaya,’” says Julie Beals, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council (LACGC ). “Have you seen an actual community?”
An audacious museum heist, in which a timepiece made for Marie Antoinette was among a haul worth hundreds of millions of pounds, left police clutching at thin air. It was only when the watch turned up 25 years later that the pieces of the jigsaw began to fall into place. - Marie Antoinette : the queen, her watch and the master burglar
With roots in the laws of seventeenth and eighteenth-century England, intellectual property protections go back to the beginnings of capitalism itself. The online magazine Jacobin recently featured a three-part series tracing the history of property law and its contemporary manifestations. [more inside]
"Life is so difficult," reads one reply. "It breaks us down, challenges us, pushes us to the very depths of desperation and darkness. These are the times when we need each other the most." Via. [more inside]
"This wall of shame is dedicated to photographers that feel that it's okay to steal others work and post it as their own. Oh I'm sorry, it's okay to let their "web designer" do it."
Taken: The Use and Abuse of Civil Forfeiture. "Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?" [Via]
After explaining the situation to two or three people, my nightmare stepped up a notch with the most chilling phrase of all. "But Mr Welch, your cards haven’t been reported stolen." One man's experience of credit card fraud.
How I Recovered My Stolen iPad - in which Facebook, Twitter, and Find my iPad work in tandem to find a doofus.
Police are stumped as to how thieves are breaking into cars holding small unknown devices, even when they are caught on video doing it.
"When a leather and tortoiseshell handbag (later found to be the rare 19th-century Italian work) was shown to Mrs Nevin, she said: "That's my shopping bag. I bought it in a shop."" The museum curator who stole thousands of artifacts to decorate his home.
It's still there. A tale of loss.
Twitter is experimenting with online shopping: "American Express card holders who connect their card numbers to their Twitter accounts can post on Twitter to trigger a purchase of select products, including discounted American Express gift cards, Kindle Fire tablets from Amazon.com Inc. and jewelry from designer Donna Karan. The program will roll out over the next few days." [more inside]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
It seems as if stealing bikes shouldn’t be a lucrative form of criminal activity. Used bikes aren’t particularly liquid or in demand compared to other things one could steal (phones, electronics, drugs). And yet, bikes continue to get stolen. What happens to these stolen bikes and how do they get turned into criminal income?
Yesterday, a cello was stolen from the San Francisco conservatory. Today, the musician's dad is trying to use surveillance pics and a Reddit post to find the thieves. The Huffington Post has since picked up the photos as well. Will crowd-sourced crime solving work?
Last week, authorities discovered over 10 million pounds of maple syrup (1/4 of provincial reserves) missing from a Quebec warehouse. It is valued at over $30 million dollars.
Sponge-Fraud!: 'Artist Todd White seemingly had it all. With a multi-million-dollar art brand, collectors and clients ranging from Sylvester Stallone to Coca-Cola, and a burgeoning reputation in art-mad Britain, his days as lead character designer of SpongeBob SquarePants were but a distant memory. But, as David Kushner reports, when his confidante and gallerist Peggy Howell reported a burglary of his paintings at the hand of ninjas, things took a turn for the even stranger.' [more inside]
The nation is awash with a new black market commodity... Across the country, retailers are finding massive amounts of this product missing. In West St. Paul, Minnesota, one enterprising individual has taken $25,000 dollars of this chemical that some Police Departments are calling liquid gold: Tide Detergent
This stealthy undertaking was not an act of robbery or espionage but rather a crucial operation in what would become an association called UX, for “Urban eXperiment.” UX is sort of like an artist’s collective, but far from being avant-garde—confronting audiences by pushing the boundaries of the new—its only audience is itself. More surprising still, its work is often radically conservative, intemperate in its devotion to the old. Through meticulous infiltration, UX members have carried out shocking acts of cultural preservation and repair, with an ethos of “restoring those invisible parts of our patrimony that the government has abandoned or doesn’t have the means to maintain.” The group claims to have conducted 15 such covert restorations, often in centuries-old spaces, all over Paris. - Wired.com "The New French Hacker-Artist Underground"
SYGNOK and The War For Radical Computer Music. -- "We join Gæoudjiparl van den Dobbelsteen (aka Goodiepal), internationally acclaimed 'Danish Techno Prophet' and creator of Radical Computer Music (RCM), in the aftermath of his war against the Danish Royal Academy of Music. Now operating under the moniker 'SYGNOK' after teaming up with DJ HVAD and VJ Cancer, the film traces how Gæoudjiparl's RCM goals of creating music for 'artificial and alternative intelligences' has now diverged into a tangled web of race wars, theft, forgery and death threats."
Thieves steal entire bridge in New Castle [PA]. Motivated by the high premuim for recycled metal, and perhaps an entrepreneurial spirit, brothers Alexander and Benjamin Jones were arrested on charges of deconstructing and selling an entire bridge in rural Pennsylvania for scrap. "This is a national problem," says Trooper Joseph Vascetti, an investigator with the Pennsylvania State Police. "Every police agency in the country is having a problem with it."
Watched every episode of the "Big Bang Theory" and still want more? There's always Belarus's unauthorized copy of the show, titled "The Theorists".
Corporations don't dodge taxes. People do. "The report found that the CEOs of 25 major companies paid themselves more than their companies paid in Federal income taxes. Exhibit 1 on page 31 names and shames them (well, assuming they are capable of shame), and they include John J. Donahoe of eBay, Robert Coury of Mylan Labs, Jeff Immelt of GE, and Robert Kelly of Bank of New York. The New York Times article on the report elicited some not-convincing rebuttals." NYT version [via]
Phaser Inc., a trading company in space-based MMO EVE online, have absconded with a record-breaking 1 trillion ISK and revealed themselves as a giant ponzi scheme in a remarkably frank open letter. Their haul of the in-game currency translates to just over $50,000, or 242 years-worth, of PLEX (traded for playing time). [via RockPaperShotgun] [more inside]
Barry Landau, "America's Presidential Historian," collector, author, and expert on White House ephemera, and one Jason Savedoff, a Canadian golden boy who occasionally went by the name of J-Swing at my old stomping grounds, and who has assumed a number of aliases since, have been charged with "conspiring to steal historical documents from museums in Maryland and New York, and selling them for profit." Investigation has revealed further complications.
When EJ was called out of town for work, she decided to use couchsurfing site AirBnB to rent her home out for the week. She took care to lock up her valuables (money, passport, iPod, grandmother's jewelry) in a closet. She came home to find her tenants had systematically looted & trashed the place. They got to the closet through a hole they made in the wall & even cut the tags off her pillows. AirBnB has made sympathetic statements but EJ remains devastated.
Spanish police are investigating the disappearance of the Codex Calixtinus, a valuable 12th century manuscript [PDFs], from the Santiago de Compostela cathedral in Galicia. The manuscript is a collection of sermons and liturgical texts and served as a guide for the historical Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, which dates back to the Middle Ages. More images of the book here [Spanish].
Shortly before noon yesterday morning an art thief walked into the Weinstein Gallery near San Francisco's Union Square, grabbed Pablo Picasso's 1965 pencil drawing, "Tête de Femme (Head of a Woman)" and strolled casual out of the museum to a waiting cab. Witnesses described the man as a "well dressed" "white man about 6 feet tall, age 30 to 35, wearing a dark jacket, a white shirt, dark pants, large dark glasses and loafers with no socks." Surveillance cameras at nearby restaurant Lefty O'Doul's appear to have captured the suspect as he walked briskly down the street, Picasso under arm. “Most galleries that show this caliber of artwork don’t put it on street level,” said gallery owner Rowland Weinstein. “It’s very upsetting, because my goal is to keep this kind of work accessible to the public.” Weinstein says the piece was insured and is valued at $200,000.
Seagull steals video camera (1m41s).
At Norma's cafe in Farmers Branch Texas the results of the Primetime show "What would you do?" brings tears to the eyes of its actors [more inside]
Sean Power had his laptop stolen five days ago. Last night, while in Canada, preyproject tracking software alerted him to his laptop's location and he put out a call on Twitter for help in getting it back. Twitter user @neilreese and a Girl in a Purple Sarong jumped into action. Here's the chronological summary of Tweets and events, as well as Nick Reese's account of a wild night in which justice was served.
The mark strolls along a city sidewalk, fresh out of the bank, his wallet in his back pocket, blithely unaware that he's stumbled into the clutches of a practiced jug troupe. Slate's Joe Keohane mourns the dying art of picking pockets. [more inside]
In February 2006, a group of criminals pulled off the biggest cash heist in the history of the UK, making off with £53 million pounds. To date, only £23 million of the money has been recovered. Police are understandably upset about the dead ends in the case.