Do Technology Thieves Need Theft Class?

by Mike Miller February 29, 2012

Theft is certainly more than simple shoplifting. Theft can take the form of stolen products, stolen identity. In the 19602 espionage was fun and exciting, despite still being illegal. It was 007 James Bond versus the bad guys.

In real life it is stealing plain and simple. There is nothing sexy or romantic about it.

DuPont is one of America’s largest corporations. This behemoth had some of its “industrial secrets” stolen by a Chinese company that has been brought up on economic espionage-related charges.

According to Reuters, the Chinese firm, Pangang Group, has been indicted for conspiracy to commit economic espionage and other charges including conspiracy to steal trade secrets.

Pangang, a state-owned steel manufacturer in Sichuan province, allegedly worked with a California businessman and others to obtain several valuable trade secrets from DuPont.

Chinese Rip-off Artists

Separately, a former engineer for Motorola Inc. was found guilty of stealing trade secrets from the company but cleared of economic espionage for China.

The latest developments in the two cases come as Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit the United States next week on a range of economic, trade, regional and global issues.

Xi, considered China's president-in-waiting, will meet President Barack Obama at the White House next Tuesday. The U.S. visit will be a major step in signaling Xi's readiness to take over as China's next top leader and run Beijing's complex and sometimes vexed relationship with Washington.

The United States has identified industrial spying as a significant and growing threat to the nation's prosperity. In a government report released last November, authorities cited China as "the world's most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage."

California businessman Walter Liew has already been in custody for several months on witness tampering charges related to the DuPont allegations. Liew and his wife, Christina, also face charges of conspiracy to commit economic espionage and other counts in the latest indictment.

The Pangang Group, named in the DuPont case, is based in Panzhihua city in the far south of China's Sichuan province and is western China's largest steelmaker. It was formally known as Panzhihua Iron and Steel (Group) Co Ltd.

Liew, a U.S. citizen, allegedly paid former DuPont engineers for assistance in designing chloride-route titanium dioxide, also known as TiO2.

Theft takes place at many stages. From the local 7-11 to international espionage, theft around the globe seems to be getting worse all the time. I would like to think a theft class might deter some thieves, but at this level, the only deterrent may be the death penalty.

Boy Do These Dummies Need a Shoplifting Class

by Mike Miller February 28, 2012

Not all shoplifters and thieves are stupid. But, boy, some of them sure are. As a counselor for theft and shoplifiting classes I can tell you I have heard some stories, but the following tales are right up there with the most outrageous.

A shoplifter In England stole £400 ($700) of goods from a store – only 30 minutes after being arrested on suspicion of stealing from the same place.

Boy is he dumb!

Scott Craig was spotted by staff taking razors and whiskey. The 28-year-old was stopped on his way out of the supermarket by police, and the goods returned to the shop.

Craig returned to the store just 30 minutes after being bailed by police on suspicion of stealing a separate £600 of goods from the same store.

The story goes he arrived the first time at 9.10pm. He picked up a basket and filled it with goods before taking it into the bathroom. When he came out of the can, the basket was empty and he tried to leave the shop, but was stopped by officers on his way out.

Craig has been out of trouble for three years. Previously he had problems with drugs, including heroin, but got himself off them. He has relapsed and says he needs some help again.

Ponder that for a second before reading on.


Christopher R. Prince tried to take a pair of sneakers from Wal-Mart without paying for them, and then two days later attempted to steal a bracelet from J.C. Penney at the Bangor Mall in Maine.

The 27-year-old thief was arrested for theft both times by Officer Dan Sanborn.

Prince was arrested at Wal-Mart about noon on a Thursday. The second arrest occurred around 11 a.m. Saturday and brought with it a charge of violating his bail conditions from the previous arrest.

Prince has a history of theft convictions, with others for violating conditions of release, operating a vehicle while his license was suspended or revoked, disorderly conduct, and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants.

Not all thieves are intellectually changed. The se most definitely are not sharpest tools in the shed. I certainly believe a class at could re-train their thought processes to keep them from falling victim to their shoplifting tendencies.

Sources: and

Art Thief Needs New York Theft Class

by Mike Miller February 27, 2012

Anyone who steals and has a problem with theft needs to take a theft class. For some it is the psychological counseling that will keep them from seeking the high they get from stealing. I would place thieves who steal high-end art in this category.

Mark Lugo has a taste for more than fine wines. A wine steward, Lugo plucked artwork off hotel and gallery walls in a bicoastal spree. He admitted to stealing a $350,000 drawing in New York, resolving charges here after serving jail time in California.

He claims he was just an art-loving thief who stole to decorate his own apartment. Now the best artwork he will see will be drawings from prison inmates in his jail cell.

He admitted he took the pricey sketch by the Cubist painter Fernand Leger from a lobby gallery at Manhattan's Carlyle Hotel on June 28 — one of the New York thefts accomplished by lifting art off hotel walls and walking off with the works in canvas tote bags. Besides the Leger, he was charged with stealing five works by the South Korea-born artist Mie Yim from another hotel last June.

The 31-year-old Lugo will receive one to three years in prison.

Lugo was publicly identified as a suspect in several New York heists shortly after his July arrest in San Francisco. In the Bay Area, he strolled into the Weinstein Gallery, took a $275,000 1965 Picasso drawing "Tete de Femme (Head of a Woman)" off a wall, walked down the street with the sketch under his arm and hopped into a taxi.

Lugo was not lying. At Lugo's own apartment in Hoboken, N.J., investigators found a $430,000 trove of stolen art on display.

Among some 19 artworks at the apartment was Leger's 1917 "Composition with Mechanical Elements," the Manhattan district attorney's office said. The drawing disappeared June 28 from an employee entrance area at a gallery in the Carlyle Hotel.

A search of Lugo's apartment turned up four other pieces — including a Picasso work — that may have been stolen from Manhattan venues. But he was charged in New York only with the thefts of the works by Leger and Yim, who's known for her disconcerting images of toy bears and other creatures.

Lugo, a sometime sommelier and kitchen server at upscale Manhattan restaurants, also is charged in New Jersey with taking three bottles of Chateau Petrus Pomerol — together worth $6,000 — from a Wayne wine shop last April. Obviously, he has expensive tastes.

His new jail sentence follows on the heels of the 138-day stay he just finished.

A stop theft class would be valuable. He has to be programmed to accept what he has. Maybe posters are in his future.


Intoxicated Shoplifter Needs Colorado Shoplifting Class

by Mike Miller February 26, 2012

Perhaps it is because it is America’s largest company with respect to sales dollars per year, but it seems like a day does not go by there something does not happen at a Walmart. From the crazy photos you get spammed with, to stories of shoplifting to the bank robbery in a store in Longmont, Colorado, things happen at Walmart.

In this incident, 29-year-old Lori Michelle Presley was charged with theft of property, simple possession of drugs, and public intoxication.

Clerks called police after allegedly seeing Presley take perfume and cosmetics out of their packaging and conceal them in her purse.

Officers found Presley to have slurred speech and noticed that she "kept nodding off." Allegedly, Presley admitted to being under the influence of various drugs, including Xanax pills.

In another case, a New Hampshire woman was accused of stealing. Pamela Lynn Lawrence, 26, of Nottingham, New Hampshire, was charged with shoplifting and trespassing. Store officials called police after allegedly observing Lawrence take several edible items and conceal them in her purse.

A loss prevention worker stopped Lawrence as she was trying to exit the store through the lawn and garden center.

After entering Lawrence's name into a Walmart database, the store official learned that Lawrence had been charged with shoplifting at a Walmart in Nottingham, New Hampshire on August 25 last year and had been banned from entering any Walmart store for one year.

Adding insult to injury, the food she attempted to steal was valued at $7.36. Shameful behavior by American citizens. Do these culprits need drug and alcohol classes, stop theft classes or both.

Source: Herald Citizen

Penn Cancer Center Ripped Off for $1 Billion?

by Mike Miller February 25, 2012

How do you steal $1 billion from a cancer research center? Simple – take their technology.

The University of Pennsylvania's cancer research institute believes it's been ripped off to the tune of $1 billion. The center is pointing a finger at its former scientific director--a prestigious cancer researcher now CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering--as the inside man responsible for the heist.

Ah, but the plot thickens. But an in-depth article on the high-profile confrontation by The New York Times is raising fresh questions about the allegations of stealth and subterfuge being made against the investigator.

What is the Real Story?

As with everything there are two sides to every story and with billions of dollars at stake you can rest assured that plenty of attorneys will be having quite a profitable 2012.

The Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute filed suit against Craig Thompson back in mid-January, claiming that he used IP on cancer metabolism--a hot field in oncology research--to secretly launch Agios, a biotech company partnered with Celgene on new cancer remedies. And the university alleges that Thompson continued to conceal his role when asked about it.

Penn’s claim is that Agios worked with Penn to get patents on work done there. And several sources involved in the discussion note that Agios may have been something less than a well-kept secret.

Obviously with research this important and this valuable tight security measures are the norm to protect their intellectual property.

With billions of dollars at stake for any successful new cancer drugs, institutes are more willing to play legal hardball to protect their share of the cash. And it's almost certain to make researchers and institutes far more vigilant about safeguarding their relative IP rights.

What are your thoughts? This type of theft goes far beyond a solid stop theft class. This is thievery at epic proportions. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out!

Read more:

Olympic Memorabilia Thieves Need Utah Theft Class

by Mike Miller February 24, 2012

Would it surprise you to know that someone stole the torch used to light fire at the Olympics and scrapped it for $75? I wouldn’t. While this story takes a different twist, it still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Utah authorities charged a consignment shop owner with forging paperwork so she could steal more than $1 million in property, including priceless Olympic memorabilia, from a former well-known Olympic booster.

My Finer Consigner owner Constance Lynn Millet, 55, of Highland; her boyfriend, Kurt Hunziker, 58, of Switzerland; and her son, Spencer Tidwell, 25, of Pleasant Grove, were charged with first-degree felony theft! . In addition, all three face a first-degree felony charge of theft by deception and Millet also faces a third-degree felony charge of forgery.

Among the more high-profile items reportedly embroiled in the theft case: a 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic games torch, which used to hang on a wall of Alma Welch’s home; boxes of Olympic paperwork that allegedly belong to the International Olympic Committee; and an autographed Lillehammer Olympic Commemorative plaque.

How much is an Olympic Torch worth? You can’t put a price on the original torch from the Olympic games, definitely more than $75.

How is Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Involved?

Welch’s now ex-husband, Tom, once was the chief 2002 Winter Games organizer. He later resigned as president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee — the job Mitt Romney eventually took over — following an altercation with his then-wife.

Alma Welch and Millet allegedly entered into a consignment agreement — Millet would sell certain items for Welch for a cut of the profits. That initial contract was reportedly worth about $45,000.

However, Olson said Millet became greedy and illegally altered the terms of the agreement, forging a new contract by writing in the margins of the original that she was now entitled to take all the property from Welch’s East South Temple home, all her property in storage units as well as property stored inside a warehouse. Olson said Welch was going through foreclosure at the time so she had a lot of her property stored in large storage lockers that Millet and her associates also wanted to get their hands on.

Striking when someone is down, Millet, Hunziker and Tidwell struck while Welch was indisposed and stole at least $1 million worth of property. Olson said Millet has already sold most of the high-dollar items, but hasn’t paid Welch a dime. Among the items that have vanished are the most expensive furniture and the Olympic torch and plaque.

Once again greedy people looking to make money without earning it the right way. Perhaps stop theft classes and harsher punishments for these crimes would go a ways toward reducing greedy thefts like this.


Developer Needs Colorado Theft Class

by Mike Miller February 23, 2012

With Wall Street Congress and just about everyone else out to make a free buck at the expense of the public why not the developer hired by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

High-profile Colorado Springs developer Ray Marshall was arrested February 3rd on two charges of theft and another racketeering charge for allegedly stealing more than $1 million in grant funds intended to pay for a new headquarters for the U.S. Olympic Committee and two related projects.

Most of the money Marshall allegedly diverted came from $2 million in grants the El Pomar Foundation made to the city to pay the costs of remodeling a former Colorado Springs Utilities building into offices for Olympic-related organizations and to remodel a downtown office building to house the USOC until its headquarters was completed.

This is not the developer’s first run-in with the law.

The 47-year-old Marshall, chairman of LandCo Equity Partners, and LandCo President James Brodie, already faced a trial last March on 15 securities fraud charges and 18 other counts that include theft and racketeering.

How did Marshall accomplish this? Through theft, bank fraud and other acts in a pattern of racketeering. He repeatedly diverted funds to other unrelated real estate projects that his entities had an interest.

He also submitted duplicate invoices from contractors to banks to draw funds out of two separate accounts and then used the money to buy controlling interest in the building used by the USOC for temporary office space and also to acquire property or make payments on loans involving LandCo projects unrelated to the USOC. He also used money from the grants, laundered through other bank accounts, to pay management fees to LandCo, real estate commissions to himself and payments to other LandCo officials, none of which were authorized by El Pomar.

Who suffers the consequences? The Colorado tax payers of course. The city of Colorado Springs was forced to directly pay contractors more than $3.73 million in order to salvage the agreement with the USOC.

This guy is a repeat crook. Action should be taken to make sure anyone doing business with him knows he is a crook. While in jail I hope to see him take a stop theft class and hopefully find a way to come back to society and make an honorable man of himself.


Another Politician Needing Theft Class

by Mike Miller February 22, 2012

It seems like a week does not pass without some politician at the local, state or national level that does not get caught with his hand in the cookie jar. From Wall Street to Washington DC, thieves abound.

The latest is one of Pennsylvania's longest-serving and most influential lawmakers, State Representative H. William DeWeese, who was found guilty on of theft and criminal conspiracy stemming from his use of state employees to campaign for him for free.

Reuters reports 61-year-old DeWeese faces the possibility of 38 years in. His case stems from a larger scandal in 2006 called "Bonusgate" that has led to 20 convictions or guilty pleas of Republican and Democratic lawmakers and staff who paid and received taxpayer-funded bonuses for campaign work.

DeWeese was found guilty of criminal conspiracy, conflict of interest and three counts of theft.

The 18-term Democrat vowed to appeal and said he intends to run for reelection. He is allowed to continue in public service while his case is under appeal.

Doing any campaigning while on the public clock is against the law in Pennsylvania.

DeWeese testified in his own defense that he did nothing wrong and had trusted the hundreds of people who worked in the Democratic Caucus because he was rarely around to supervise. Prosecutors contended DeWeese, who has been House majority whip and speaker during his long career, had a sense of entitlement about forcing state employees to campaign for him.

DeWeese won handily in 2000, ran unopposed in 2002 and 2004 but faced a tight race in 2006 when, a former top aide testified, he relied heavily on unpaid campaign work by state employees. Since the scandal broke, DeWeese has faced tighter races and won most recently in 2010 by slightly more than 800 votes, according to official state election returns.

It is time to get corrupt politicians out of office. Depending on who you speak with that might include the majority of our US Congress. Does DeWeese need a theft class? Apparently so if he thinks he still has done nothing wrong by using tax-payer dollars to fund workers for his campaign for re-election. What a turkey!

Seller of Fake Facebook Stock Needs Wisconsin Theft Class

by Mike Miller February 21, 2012

With all of the hoopla and controversy surrounding Wall Street and greedy hedge fund managers the financial industry makes me sick. It seems like everyone is out to get for themselves and to heck with everyone else.

Here is Wall Street on a lighter note.

A woman from Oshkosh, Wisconsin has been charged with 31 counts of theft, forgery and making misleading statements after she sold fake stock in Facebook. Of course Facebook has yet to go public but is expected to be one of the biggest IPOs in history.

Marianne Oleson has been charged following a four-month campaign of selling and using fake Facebook stock for financial gain.

Would You Believe Her?

Oleson claimed that she had been given $1 million in stock because her daughter knew Mark Zuckerberg. Even though stock in the company will not be on open sale for some months to come and her scam came into play even before the company's pre-IPO statement, she defrauded various people out of considerable sums of money by using legitimate share subscription documents that she then doctored.

Together, these incidents alone brought in just under $77,000.  The largest complaint listed in this report comes from a resident of Oshkosh who gave Oleson around $43,000.

Oleson did her best to fraud anyone she could, including the contractor working on her house who accepted $13,980 in fake stock and then convinced him to pay her another $10,000 in cash to buy more. Two complaints have been made by other local residents to the tune of just under $10,000.

How sick is this woman?  It appears Oleson may even have scammed her own daughter, allegedly giving her fake stock for Christmas.

If Oleson is convicted she could face over 218 years in prison and about $418,000 in fines for these and other unrelated drug charges.

Again, what is Americas coming to when so many are out to defraud and steal.  I would like to think a stop theft class would help her and could easily recommend one.  But someone like this needs to pay restitution to the community.  People, please do not steal what does not belong to you.  


Theft Class Needed for Glacier Ice Thief

by Mike Miller February 20, 2012

Each week I read about some kind of theft I never would have considered even in my worst days of thieving. From bridges to dentures and gold teeth thieves are scouring the land for anything they can get their hands on. But this one is the tip of the iceberg (pun intended).

Thieves have stolen 11,000 pounds of ancient ice from a Chilean glacier to make designer cubes for cocktails in bars in the nation's capital, Santiago, authorities have told local media. This reported by msn.

Prosecutor Jose Moris Ferrando said this week that a driver of a refrigerated truck was arrested Friday in Cochrane with the equivalent of $6,200 worth of ice, according to El Mercurio newspaper.

A company is extracting the ice from the Jorge Montt sector glaciers in the Southern Ice Field near Caleta Tortel in Bernardo O'Higgins National Park in southern Chile, Moris said. He did not name the company.

The crime is classified as a simple theft for now, he said. However, suspects may later be charged with crimes against national heritage or with environmental crimes, he said.

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