The Week in Electronics Retail Crime

Wii Serial Number Theft
A Best Buy customer in Maryland was arrested in late April after a loss prevention officer saw him replacing a serial number from a previously purchased Nintendo Wii and placing it on a unit on the shelf, before attempting to return it. According to the Bay Net newspaper, the man was charged with theft of less than $500.

Woman Arrested For ID Theft, Child Endangerment
A woman arrested at a Michigan Best Buy was charged both with shopping the store with a stolen credit card and leaving her six-month-old baby in her car while she did so. According to the Livingston Daily, the woman left her baby in the car for around an hour while attempting to use the card that she had obtained via identity theft. Police found the child after escorting the woman back to her car. She was charged with a litany of charges, including: attempted uttering and publishing, identity theft, making false statements of identification to obtain a credit card, false pretenses of less than $1,000 in property, and receiving and concealing at least $200 but less than $1,000 in stolen property.

Fake Walmart Employee Arrested

Police in Florida have arrested a man who they say swindled customers by falsely claiming to be a Walmart employee who could obtain cheap TVs for them. According to Orlando’s Fox affiliate, the man met victims in restaurants or other places, claiming that if they gave him cash, he could obtain the items for them. After taking the money and meeting the customers, the man would enter the store and then disappear. Police say the man, who they believe is homeless, carried out the scam in as many as ten Florida cities, and was charged with organized fraud.

New Hampshire Town Launches iPod Registry

Police in a New Hampshire city have come up with a novel solution for the growing problem of iPod thefts- it has established an iPod/mp3 player registry. According to Macworld, students can register their device by description and serial numbers, meant to deter thieves from taking them. Similar efforts have been undertaken for bicycles.

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  • http://James James

    My shop is protected by CCTV cameras, Almost all angles are captured, except in the alley at the line sight of the security officer. I will be able to catch guys tampering with serials. In addition, some of my gadgets are protected by oloss prevention devices. I made it a hobby to monitor news about retail theft so that I would be able to learn from it.

  • http://JeffO'Heir Jeff O’Heir

    James: Thanks for reading. Despite all the new security devices, loss is a growing problem. Let me know about any particular stories you’d like to read more of. Thanks again.