Hey, some robbers just have great strategy
It’s generally believed that people who commit crimes to get rich can’t be all that smart. If they were geniuses, wouldn’t they just work to get money legally so there would be no chance of losing it all when they get caught? Maybe they are smart enough, but they’re just too lazy to get a good job. Who knows what their reasoning is at the time, but you can’t deny that some criminals actually do commit crimes in a smart way, even if they get caught later. These cops almost applauded the efforts of these cons.
Phone Line Scam
We get a call reporting that the phone system of a major UK bank has been hacked and that the caller has had several thousand pounds stolen from their account as a result. Seems unlikely, but officers went round to see what had happened. Obviously the bank’s system was fine, but scammers had done something fairly clever.
Turns out that there is a way in the UK of keeping a phone line open when only the recipient hangs up. The scammers called the victim and pretended to be from the bank, before asking for account details. Victim was suspicious so hung up and called the bank back at their real telephone number. However, the scammers held the line open and played a dial tone down the line so the victim thought that she was making a new call, then they played a “ring ring” sample before a new scammer answered the call and took the details pretending to be the bank.
I’ve heard of it a few times since in the press, but the first time I came across it was on duty and no one had any idea what was going on. (Patnet)
Once had a guy who shoplifted on an industrial scale. He stole hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds-worth of merchandise from a particular well-known high-street clothing store. Every day.
He’d go to different branches all over the country (UK obviously) – he spoke nicely and was smartly dressed. He just used to fill up bags with high value products and walk out.
He had a warehouse-type unit somewhere (police never found it) with his own till – because he would generate till receipts for these items and go back to return them (at a different branch) and get cash refunds.
He was at it for years – made enough to put his kids through private school. When he got caught he was jailed for about a year (our shoplifting sentencing guidelines are absurdly low).
When he came out he got back on it. Police still couldn’t find his base. He was being investigated and was on bail. One occasion when he answered his bail at the police station, the police had a 6-man surveillance team ready to tail him and track down the warehouse he was using. He lost them within 2 minutes of leaving the station.
When he came for trial based on the CCTV evidence we had from the various shops the case got thrown out. (The footage wasn’t good enough to make out his features exactly and the officer who purported to identify him hadn’t followed procedures.) After he was thus acquitted he was due to be investigated for some other matters – but he gave the police and security the slip from the Court before he could be arrested.
Even I was impressed – and I was prosecuting him! (TheMotorcycleBoy)
I am a police officer, but the story is actually from my dad who was a lawyer.
He had a couple of guys who had scratch built an ATM. This would have been back in the 80s before the days of skimmers and cameras to clone cards, so they built their own ATM and installed it in a wall on a public street in order to collect card details to use later on. I don’t know if it actually dispensed money – I’m guessing it just showed an error message.
He told me that very occasionally he had come across criminals who had worked so hard for their spoils that he felt they had kind of earned them. These guys were his example. He was also confused that two people smart enough to do this chose not to make an honest living. (Patnet)