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Archive for the ‘STEALING’ Category

The stolen vehicles had a common software that’s used by auto technicians and dealers.

car-software-used-steal-cars image

The thieves reprogramed cars’ security so their own electronic keys would work to open them.

Two men jailed in Houston and accused of using pirated computer software to steal more than 100 vehicles may have exploited an electronic vulnerability to advance auto theft into high-tech crime.

Michael Arce, 24, and Jesse Zelaya, 22, focused on new Jeep and Dodge vehicles, which attract big money on the black market in Mexico, authorities said. The men allegedly used a laptop computer to reprogram the targeted vehicles’ electronic security so their own key worked.

The stolen vehicles had a common software that’s used by auto technicians and dealers, Houston police officer Jim Woods said.

“As you get more and more computers installed in vehicles — if somebody has that knowledge and that ability, they can turn around and figure out a way to manipulate the system,” he said.

Fiat Chrysler, which makes Jeeps and Dodges, and police are investigating how the thieves got access to a computerized database of codes used by dealers, locksmiths and independent auto repair shops to replace lost key fobs, said Berj Alexanian, a spokesman at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. He said the code database is national and includes vehicles in areas outside of Houston, although he wasn’t aware of similar thefts elsewhere.

“We’re looking at every and all solutions to make sure our customers can safely and without thinking park their vehicles,” Alexanian said Friday.

With more automotive tasks becoming computerized and more cars being linked to the internet, such thefts are likely to increase across the globe, said Yoni Heilbronn, a computer security expert.

The auto industry has worked hard in the past year to develop protections, but hackers with multiple motivations will always be looking for ways to get in, said Heilbronn, vice president of marketing for Argus Cyber Security, an Israeli company that works with automakers.

While increased computerization brings safety benefits, Heilbronn foresees more thefts, malicious software being installed that shuts down cars until a ransom is paid, and even attacks that disable many cars at a time. The industry, he said, has to install multiple layers of defense.

Automakers have been working together to develop best practices and to share information on cybersecurity threats. Companies, including Fiat Chrysler, have their own hacking teams and have offered bounties to outside hackers if they find vulnerabilities.

The Houston investigation began in late May with the theft of a Jeep Wrangler near downtown. Leads in that case had been exhausted when investigators received information from federal Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers about vehicles being stolen using a laptop. Arce and Zelaya then were identified as suspects.

The two men, who each have criminal records, were arrested last weekend driving a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee after police had been concentrating on an area of Houston that had been hit previously by auto thieves. They also recovered electronic devices, keys and other tools believed used in the thefts, along with drugs, firearms and body armor.

In the Jeep Wrangler case caught on a surveillance video, the suspect got under the hood, cut wires to the horn to disable an alarm and then got inside the SUV. Once inside, he used the database and the vehicle identification number to program a new key fob for the Jeep.

Arce remained in jail without bond on charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle, felony possession of a weapon, and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He was set for a court appearance Aug. 26.

Zelaya is being held on $500,000 bond on a charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle and was due in court Wednesday.



Henry Sapiecha


Cowboy lassos bike thief outside of a Walmart in Oregon. image

POLICE say a rancher jumped on his horse and lassoed a man who was trying to steal a bicycle in the parking lot of a Walmart in Oregon, USA.

The Medford Mail Tribune reports 28-year-old Robert Borba was at the store getting dog food Friday when he heard a woman screaming that someone was trying to steal her bike.

The rancher says he quickly got his horse out of its trailer, grabbed a rope, rode over and lassoed the man and bicycle.

“I seen this fella trying to get up to speed on a bicycle,” said Borba, who was planning on helping brand cattle in California that afternoon. “I wasn’t going to catch him on foot. I just don’t run very fast.”

Eagle Point police Sgt. Darin May says officers arrived and found a lassoed man and bike on the ground in the parking lot.

eagle point Police usa arrive to arrest the thief. image

Police arrive to arrest the thief. Picture: Eagle Point Police Department/Facebook

“We’ve never had anyone lassoed and held until we got there,” May told the Mail Tribune. “That’s a first for me.”

It was a first for Borba too, as he had only ever used his lasso skills to rope in cattle before. “I use a rope every day, that’s how I make my living,” he said. “If it catches cattle pretty good, it catches a bandit pretty good.”

Police arrested Victorino Arellano-Sanchez, whom they described as a transient from the Seattle area, on a theft charge.

Arellano-Sanchez is jailed in Jackson County. Staff members at the jail say they don’t think he has an lawyer.



Two drunk thieves were caught in the early hours of Monday morning stealing a valuable painting from a Bavarian museum.


Police in Nuremberg were alerted at 4.30am by the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in the city. A security guard said the museum’s alarms were going off and two people with torches had been stopped.

Officers sealed off the area surrounding the building with dogs and men. In the museum’s courtyard they arrested two men and recovered the painting undamaged.

Police said in a statement on Monday that the men, aged 22 and 23, were “under the influence of alcohol”. The case is now being investigated by detectives in Nuremberg, who said the men have admitted to theft.

The painting by German-Danish, 20th Century artist Emil Nolde measured 40cm by 60cm.




Organized criminal groups have stolen millions of dollars in heavy equipment from mines in the Australian state of Queensland during just the past twelve months according to a new report released by the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

The report by CMC notes that the theft of mining equipment has become an increasingly acute problem for the mineral-rich tropical state following the growth of its resources sector.
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The report notes that criminal groups consider mining companies to be “soft targets” due to poor security measures, with evidence of efforts by criminals to infiltrate the industry in order to obtain information on access to sites.

Queensland is also a special area of focus for heavy equipment thefts due to the perception that it is easier to transport stolen equipment from the state to either overseas markets or other states in Australia.

Heavy equipment thefts rose from 132 in 2007 to 231 in 2011, representing an increase of around 75%, with major hotspots being regional centres such as Toowoomba, Dalby, Mackay and Rockhampton.

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An Aladdin’s cave-style den of allegedly stolen goods has been uncovered by police investigating a series of burglaries in Sydney and Melbourne.[Australia]

The $6.5 million haul – including 120 kilograms of silver bullion, thousands of pieces of jewellery, family heirlooms, precious gems and $4 million in cash – was found at a storage unit in Crystal Street, Waterloo yesterday.

Police allege the items were stolen during a string of home burglaries on Sydney’s north shore and a break-in at a storage unit in Ivanhoe, northeast Melbourne, earlier this year.

Detectives set up a strike force to investigate the alleged burglaries in September and arrested two men, aged 33 and 56, at a boarding house in Randwick, in Sydney’s east, on December 19.
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The men were extradited to Victoria and remanded in custody.

Inquiries regarding the Sydney burglaries are ongoing, NSW police said.


An alleged prostitute who police say stole credit card details from clients and bought more than $100,000 of goods over the internet has been charged with identity theft and fraud.

Karl Perry of the WA Police Major Fraud Squad said the 35-year-old woman also accessed identity documents of a female associate, assumed that woman’s identity, made online applications for credit cards in her name, then racked up a $13,000 credit card debt.

Police executed search warrants at the woman’s Rockingham house and recovered a large amount of the property bought with the cards.

She was arrested on June 25.

Senior Constable Perry said members of the public, internet sales companies and financial institutions were all victims of the alleged fraud.

The woman has been charged with 39 fraud offences and will appear in Rockingham Magistrates Court on July 10.


A man has been threatened by a robber who stole his purple Harley Davidson while he sat in Sydney traffic, in what police describe as a rare and brazen theft.

The motorcyclist was riding on Bernera Road, Prestons, when he stopped at a red light at the intersection of Yarrunga Street about 3.30pm yesterday. 13th Nov 2011

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The victim said he felt something being pressed into his back as a threat was made.

The man got off his bike and the thief got on and rode off along Camden Valley Way, police said.

Green Valley duty officer acting Inspector Paul Kremer said no weapon was seen during the theft.

“He just assumed that it would be there because of the threat that was made,” he said.

Acting Inspector Kremer said he was unable to elaborate on what the threat was or the exact details of how the theft unfolded.

He said this type of robbery was quite different

“It’s very rare, based on my experience. Certainly, it’s the first of this type of incident we’ve had in this area.

“Especially with a line of traffic behind you, it’s pretty brazen.”

The man, who was not injured, called police soon after his motorbike was stolen.

The bike is described as a purple 1994 Springer Harley Davidson.

Anyone who saw the incident or has seen the bike is asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


A British couple honeymooning on an exotic island were forced to kneel beside their beds before they were shot by two robbers – all for a small amount of cash, a camera and two mobile phones.

A British coroner has ruled the deaths of Ben and Catherine Mullany, both 31, on the island of Antigua were “unlawful killings”.

The couple were given the trip to the island in the West Indies as a gift from their families, only to be shot in their luxury chalet at the Cocos Hotel on the final night of their holiday on July 27, 2008.

Keniel Martin  leaves the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda in St John's, Antigua,  where he stands accused along with Avie Howell of the murder of Britons Ben and Catherine Mullany in July 2008.Guilty … Keniel Martin. Photo: AP

Mrs Mullany died in the chalet, while Mr Mullany died a week after he was flown back to their home of Swansea, Wales.

The inquest heard that Mrs Mullany, a doctor who was training to be a GP, and Mr Mullany, a student physiotherapist and former soldier and policeman, were innocent victims, the BBC reported.

“Both were forced to kneel to the side of the bed and were shot in the back of the head,” South Wales Police PC Emma Warner told the inquest.

“Three spent cartridges were found on the floor of their chalet and there was damage to the bathroom door where it had been kicked in.

“The safe was open and property had been taken, including a quantity of cash, a digital camera and two mobile phones.”

Kaniel Martin, 23, and Avie Howell, 20, were charged soon after the killings and were convicted of murder after a trial in Antigua in July. They are due to be sentenced next week.

Coroner Philip Rogers said the shooting was a “tragic and sad event”.

“They were both shot at the same time in the course of the robbery at their chalet.

“Ben and Catherine’s parents have been through a great deal in the past three years waiting for the killers to be brought to justice.

“There is only one verdict – that they were unlawfully killed.”

The Daily Mail reported the couple’s family released a statement saying: “Ben and Cath will live on in our hearts forever.”

The murders of the Mullanys was a huge news story in Britain in 2008, as Mrs Mullany was the first visitor to be killed on the island in more than a decade.

The shootings came in the middle of a huge crime wave on the island.

“We’ve had killings before but not like this – not visitors,” Assistant Superintendent Chas Tanet told The Guardian at the time.

“It’s shocking. It’s not a thing you want to see happen ever again.

NOTE-Same should be done to the killers. Execute them in the street…

Stolen property from

‘floor to ceiling’

04 Jul, 2011 05:01 PM
Police will spend days cataloguing what is believed to be one of the largest seizures of stolen property in the Australian Capital Territory
The stolen property was discovered this morning at 11.30 am following a search warrant on a house in south Canberra. 

Criminal Investigations members were surprised to find every room of the house filled with stolen items, with many of the rooms clogged from floor to ceiling with CDs, DVDs, clothing, stationery, computer hard drives and software.

Sergeant John Giles said he had never located such a large quantity of stolen property.

“The amount of property involved makes the mind boggle; and I envisage that we will be cataloguing property for many days to come,” he said in a statement.

Police are in the process of determining the exact value of the stolen property.

Sergeant Giles said he estimated the stolen property to be worth more than $800,000.

It is believed the items were shoplifted from stores across Canberra over a number of years.

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