Gadget Makers Can Find Thief, but Don’t Ask

 

Intersting read http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/07/technology/07kindle.html?h... have any of you had Garmin or any other maker notify you when they have found a lost or stolen item?

Thanks for the link

That was interesting and I bet Garmin is probably like all the other companies

.

I lost a $3,000 laptop back in 2002 and reported it to the police. I notified Sony. I also called my insurance company.

I also reported it on local newsgroups and such - and suffered through a fair amount of razzing from people who thought that I was remiss and thus responsible for my loss.

The model was fairly rare at the time, given the price.

However, a few weeks later I received a couple of e-mails about the fact that someone was on a local classified ad site trying to sell a machine with similar specs to mine and that the sellers were known to offer a lot of equipment.

My secretary of the time (who was quite influential when she wanted to be) managed to get them to provide her the serial nmber (which indeed was mine) and to organise a meeting so she could 'buy' it for me.

At the same time, by searching the database on the web site we managed to determine that these people were selling no less than 25 laptops at the time.

We called the police. They weren't interested.

The desk officer at the station that took the report (the first person I phoned, before calling the detectives) didn't want to speak with me because he was 'busy taking a report of a stolen car' - I literally yelled at him that 'the car is gone, but I've broken a theft ring for you' - he still didn't care.

So I called the detective squad; In fact they said to go to the meeting and buy the laptop back and if I 'feel uncomfortable, or in danger' I should call 911 only then!!!

This was an organised ring. I was the second of three appointments they had for delivery that night. I went with 2 friends. They had 2 people on site and a white van with 4 people in it showed at the main entrace to the public building they chose - one of them got out, conferred with the 2 local people and went to the van, located my laptop (and leather carrying case) and gave it to the personj I was to meet - I followed my computer up an escalator and I was MAD.

They wanted $1200 for my laptop. After explaining who I was and after pointing out that I had 2 co- workers in the space (too far for them to 'get') and pointing out all of the CCTV cameras in the building (the main building for a local university) I offered to pay them $500 to leave the gear and walk away - or they could simply take my laptop and go, but that the alternative would be messy for them since we have the license plate of their delivery vehicle, their phone numbers and can identify them on video . . . .

They took the money.

At first the insurance company didn't want to reimburse me for the $500 . . . until I said "what laptop?" to the adjuster and said that I suppose I never got it back.

I had to phone Sony because while the computer was 'gone', the optional DVD player had arrived and the driver didn't work . . . they were happily providing me support for about 10 minutes before they got somewhat 'cagey' and started asking me if there was anything 'special' about my computer . . . I paused, then said something like 'Oh, the fact that I reported it stolen? I got it back." No proof, no 'what is your name. Nothing.

They then gave me all the support I needed, and they commented that at the time, mine was the only case they know where someone had recovered their equipment after reporting it.

The police?

A few weeks later I got a call from someone in the detective squad. When I told HIM I'd gotten it back, he said 'Thanks and have a nice day'. When I told him I had all of the information about the thieves he politely took down all the information, but I got the feeling that he didn't much care . . . after all, his job depends on people being victimised - I certainly saw nothing in the paper about a laptop theft ring being busted and even today, the practice is widespread in my city and many others.

They just don't care.

--
Currently have: SP3, GPSMAP 276c, Nuvi 760T, Nuvi 3790LMT, Zumo 660T

pfft!

worthless!

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Garmin nuvi 755t

To bramfrank

bramfrank wrote:

The police?

A few weeks later I got a call from someone in the detective squad. When I told HIM I'd gotten it back, he said 'Thanks and have a nice day'. When I told him I had all of the information about the thieves he politely took down all the information, but I got the feeling that he didn't much care . . . after all, his job depends on people being victimised - I certainly saw nothing in the paper about a laptop theft ring being busted and even today, the practice is widespread in my city and many others.

They just don't care.

The police angle of this story makes no sense to me, either. I'm not doubting your account. I just can't figure out why they wouldn't want to investigate and try to make an arrest. Unless, of course, they're in on it, or are paid to look away. Hey, we had a case in Chicago with a CPD detective running a jewelry theft ring for years where off-duty cops would hold up salesmen with sample cases, $20,000 in gems here, $60,000 there. Other people were getting paid off to look the other way. They got caught and packed off to jail. So it is possible, and it's the only reason I can think of that cops wouldn't investigate and try to make an arrest. You could call the local media in. That might make things interesting.

I'm not surprised your insurance company was reluctant to reimburse you. They would worry about being scammed this way, too, like maybe you arranged to have the laptop "stolen". I don't think I would have pressed them for the $500. They have a way of getting even on small claims, e.g. dropped policies or rate hikes at renewal time that can end up costing you more money than your recover.

Glad you got your laptop back, anyway.

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JMoo On

Special Pen

I remember that I used to write my name with this special gold pen on items that would help identify them in the event they were stolen. I should start doing that again. Do they still sell those pens?

Stolen Camera

I had a Nikon D90 dSLR (with accessories) stolen while on a recent trip to Boston (in June). I called the police and eventually (took 6 or 7 hours for a callback) was able to dictate a police report over the phone (I was able to supply the serial numbers of the equipment). Initially they said that the information would be provided to all pawn shops, etc. in the city. When I asked about that after providing the report, the officer said no, we don't do anything except prepare these reports for insurance companies.

I later filed a claim with my insurance company, and contacted Nikon. Nikon said that they would mark the equipment stolen and it would be flagged if it was brought in to any authorized Nikon repair facility in the US. I needed to supply a copy of the police report.

I have no idea if they did this, or what a repair facility would do if they were presented with the stolen equipment. Nikon did seem sincere, however. I now have a new camera but wonder if my old one will ever turn up.

they don't know

fesinmd wrote:

That was interesting and I bet Garmin is probably like all the other companies

Cell phones and Satellite radio receivers require subscriptions to work, so someone has to be paying the bills, thus they know who has which particular unit. If a Garmin unit is stolen, Garmin has no idea who has it or even where it is.

Unless

The poor sap the little slimeball sold your Garmin too registers the unit, tries to activate maps, or sends it back for repairs.

Special pens

shadesofgrey wrote:

I remember that I used to write my name with this special gold pen on items that would help identify them in the event they were stolen. I should start doing that again. Do they still sell those pens?

I bought a home safe a couple of years ago. With it came a UV marking pen, ink pad and a blue UV penlight. The ink would only be visible using the special UV penlight.

Maybe

Maybe juststolen.net will do a better job.

https://www.juststolen.net

--
If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. - Yogi Berra

Got some things back

After some slimball broke into my truck and stole a bunch of stuff, I did get a call from the police that they had recovered some things and I picked those up. Needlees to said it was not any of the good stuff, like my electronics. That was once out FIVE break ins.

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Tim - Garmin nuvi 680, 350