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Old 07-07-2014, 02:03   #1
Eric
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Most Clever Crimes You Have Heard Of

Someone mentioned buying lead, in another thread, and it reminded me of a news story from a few years ago.

It seems that this crew in London was using Google Earth images to identify buildings in the London area,bwith lead roofs. They were then going to those buildings and stealing the lead roof cladding for its recycle value. I'm guessing the recycle value of lead in London must have made all that work worth it.

Anyway, it is kind of a petty crime, but I thought that using Google Earth to find their targets was fairly clever. I Imagine it gave some people heartburn at Google, when the story aired.

So, what are the most clever capers you have heard of?
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:10   #2
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I heard of one group of crooks who pulled off a kind of pyramid scheme, where they promised if people let them take money out of their paychecks, then later they would give those people money out of other peoples' paychecks, after taking an "administrative cut" for themselves, of course. Occasionally they would give people small rebates of their own money back, and the people would be grateful! They used some of their marks' own money to pay the people who enforced the scam, and even made the pigeons do the accounting for them. Now that is a brilliant scam.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:29   #3
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I heard of one group of crooks who pulled off a kind of pyramid scheme, where they promised if people let them take money out of their paychecks, then later they would give those people money out of other peoples' paychecks, after taking an "administrative cut" for themselves, of course. Occasionally they would give people small rebates of their own money back, and the people would be grateful! They used some of their marks' own money to pay the people who enforced the scam, and even made the pigeons do the accounting for them. Now that is a brilliant scam.
You ought to watch a show called American Greed: The Scammers, on CNBC. Some of the Ponzi schemes those guys pulled off were truly audacious. I don't understand how any of them could think they wouldn't get caught. If you build a house of cards, it has got to come down eventually.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:41   #4
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Agreed. I think the clever criminal set are the Bernie Madoff types (only the ones who don't get caught). They're generally risking fewer years per dollar, in a much nicer prison, than, say, a bank robber. Bank robberies, from what I've read, average a net of something like $2500, when you average in all the guys who get caught and net zero. Figuring they do ten years, that's $250 per year in prison. That's just stupid. The telephone scammers operating in a third world toilet, on the other hand, like the ones who ripped off my senile grandmother, they can do that forever, raking in bucks in near perfect safety.

ETA: I'll check out that show, thanks. Last thing you recommended was "The Cabin in the Woods", and I loved that one.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:16   #5
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There were a couple of guys that worked for the airlines in Dallas that took the five gallon bucket they used for a doorstop in the cargo area.They sold it(on video) to a pawn shop. It had $25K of jewelers gold in it.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:22   #6
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This was the only thing I could think of. LOL

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Lufthansa_heist


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Old 07-07-2014, 06:23   #7
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The really clever crimes you never hear of…
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:32   #8
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My TV cable bill.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:44   #9
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My TV cable bill.
Get rid of cable. Starve the beast.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:57   #10
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Ha - Dickie's crime. Dickie was a boy in my class - way back when. He was considered extremely stupid. Today they might just find out he had hearing difficulty (he did) and maybe reading difficulty... Anyway, Dickie loved cars.

Our local Chevy dealer kept their best used cars in an old WWII quonset hut. You know the kind - ribbed, galvanized, half-round 'huts'. The dealer left the keys in the cars - they locked the hut at night.

Stupid Dickie got a pad lock like the dealer used - swapped his for theirs during the day. Opened the hut at night to use the car of his choice. Then he swapped their lock for his when he was through.

Ole Dickie wasn't as stupid as everyone thought.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:26   #11
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The "Pink Panthers" have done some pretty crazy diamond robberies worth $100's of millions.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:43   #12
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My TV cable bill.
They tried scamming me. A few phone calls and some wasted time and I had it straightened out, then I cancelled my service.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:14   #13
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What DB Cooper pulled off.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:23   #14
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Around here a while back, thieves were targeting cars arriving at higher end restaurants. They'd take the garage door opener off the visor where most folks clip them, and then grab the registration out the glovebox for the address. While the people were known to be out at dinner, the scumbags would rob their house by gaining entry through the garage with the opener.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:07   #15
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Guy goes into a New York City bank (+40 years ago?). Tells someone there that he’s starting a new business, will be doing a lot of deposits immediately, and needs hundreds of deposit slips right now. Bank gave him lots of blank slips with his account number on them (the little black funny looking numbers at the bottom of checks and deposit slips) and told him it’d be a week or so before he’d be getting the slips with his company name on them.

I mean, what could be the problem with giving the guy several hundred deposit slips, right?

He said, “Fine.”

About a month later (just before the statements were mailed out) the guy showed up at the bank and asked how much was in the account. It was a lot of money (back then, maybe a quarter of a million or so. Don’t recall now.)

He withdrew all but a few thousand dollars and that was that.

The scam? The guy would go into that bank and other of its branches and insert his deposit slips in the little deposit-slip cubby holes that everyone uses. Most people had no idea what the little numbers on the bottom of the slips meant and simply filled them out as if they were depositing money in their personal accounts. But the bank’s computers would deposit the money in the scam artist’s account!

Don’t think the guy was ever caught.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:35   #16
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Agreed. I think the clever criminal set are the Bernie Madoff types (only the ones who don't get caught). They're generally risking fewer years per dollar, in a much nicer prison, than, say, a bank robber. Bank robberies, from what I've read, average a net of something like $2500, when you average in all the guys who get caught and net zero. Figuring they do ten years, that's $250 per year in prison. That's just stupid. The telephone scammers operating in a third world toilet, on the other hand, like the ones who ripped off my senile grandmother, they can do that forever, raking in bucks in near perfect safety.

ETA: I'll check out that show, thanks. Last thing you recommended was "The Cabin in the Woods", and I loved that one.
They ALL get caught. You can't make a pyramid scheme with a exit door. The next wave of money is too lucrative to pass up. Madoff did it for years. My former boss did as well. But, in the end, a small blip causes cascade failure of the whole system.

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What DB Cooper pulled off.
Dying in a parachuting accident isn't a clever crime.





I'll go old-school. Brinks Job. A bunch of mooks knocks over the brilliant, high-brow Brinks Company for $3 million. . . 65 years ago! (Calculate the inflation on that!) Barely any was recovered and IIRC, the FBI spent MORE than that to catch them.

They planned the heck out of it (allegedly, 2 years of planning), but the supposedly-secure Brinks building was anything but.

My grandfather knew Specksy O'Keefe, so I've got a link to them in a way.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:37   #17
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Frank Abagnale was pretty amazing as a crook. No one crime - he did a LOT of crime. With his intelligence and moral compass, he should have been taking out Communist heads of state in that era, not devising ways to scam more banks and airlines.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:41   #18
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I would have to submit, "Illegal Immigration", and it's still going on.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:45   #19
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This was a well thought out bank heist that just happened over the past weekend.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...e-300-000.html

Breaking into a bank vault using the noise of 4th of July fireworks as cover is pretty original.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:51   #20
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I would have to submit, "Illegal Immigration", and it's still going on.
Not so much clever as brazen. And the chief perp is known but appears to be immune.


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