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Repairman Steals Hard Drive And Charges To Reinstall It 181

Phase 1: Break into a realty office, and steal a computer hard drive.

Phase 2: Ask if they will pay you $50 to fix the computer.

Phase 3: Get charged with theft and receiving stolen property!


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Repairman Steals Hard Drive And Charges To Reinstall It

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  • Phase 4: ??? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @02:43PM (#27864399) Journal

    Phase 5: Profit!

  • Charges filed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chabo ( 880571 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @02:46PM (#27864453) Homepage Journal

    Here's what I'm curious about: how did he get charged with theft and receiving stolen property?

    Was it just that he had possession of the stolen property, so they knew that one would stick, so it was a lesser included offense, just in case they couldn't prove the theft?

  • by goffster ( 1104287 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:02PM (#27864717)

    He replaced good hard drive with
    a bad hard drive when he stole it.

  • by pfunk ( 19705 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:05PM (#27864787)
    He should have replaced the hard drive with a blank formatted hard drive. Then when the realty office tried to start the system and it wouldn't boot, take the computer back to his office or shop and retrieve the "lost" data.
  • by raehl ( 609729 ) <raehl311&yahoo,com> on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:10PM (#27864849) Homepage

    ...wouldn't incompetent jurors favor a criminal career path?

    If jurors are competent, innocent people would remain free and guilty people would go to prison.

    If jurors are not competent, sometimes innocent people will go to prison and sometimes guilty people will go free.

    so, the more incompetent jurors are, the lower the penalty for criminal behavior.

  • SlashFark (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rindeee ( 530084 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:20PM (#27865019)
    Wow, so Slashdot is trying to be snarky like Fark these days. It's kind of like that one kids dad who picks him up at school wearing baggy pants and a hoodie. It not only doesn't work, it's embarrassing for those who have to see it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:43PM (#27865457)

    How did he charge for 40 hours of work in that time frame?
    The article date it May 5th. The break in happened April 28th (Tuesday). They called him and had him come in the next day, April 29th (Wednesday). If he returned in Friday (May 1st) then that means he worked 13 hours a day for 3 days. Of course you have to take into account the time he picked it up and office hours for bringing it back on Friday. It just doesn't work out or he one dedicated guy.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:05PM (#27865861) Journal

    When I hear stories like this, (and they are legion) I have to wonder if the tech was really that stupid, or did he believe that a lack of computer expertise in his customers meant they were that stupid. Speaking as a geek, I've noticed a tendency among a (fortunately small) subset of geeks to believe that having a deep expertise in one area makes them generally more competent in everything, including areas completely out of their expertise, like, say, crime.

    When I was in college, two roommates apparently had such a misunderstanding, which led to a "foolproof plan" to pay off their student loans and retire in geek luxury. Their criminal career lasted a mere 24 hours. I still have the front page showing them spread-eagled against a cop car.

    Sometimes I wonder if extreme geeks -- meaning not the truly hyper-intelligent, but the self-sequestered wannabes -- lacking normal social interaction, have less of an understanding of basic morals than the rest of us.

  • by iceOlate ( 1094287 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:42PM (#27866637)
    Notice also that he has only ONE friend (which is the default friend for SkillWho, which basically means NO friends, no recommendations, and no friends on his meetup page. He has no references, and I'm sure what he refers to as his education is complete BS as well. In this business, reputation is VERY important, and he had none, and now he'll be lucky if anyone will hire his dishonest dumb ass anywhere... I don't know why anyone would have hired him in the first place. Piece of shit got what was coming to him...
  • by Bigbutt ( 65939 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @05:16PM (#27867247) Homepage Journal

    Well the problem is that the people probably turned on the "appliance" and it didn't work. So they called their repair guy who said he could recover the data for them. He was able to scam them because they didn't know how the computer worked.


  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @08:07PM (#27870255)

    come on now, this was a very intelligent computer owner, he called the computer manufacturer and asked if data could be recovered from a missing drive and they said no.

    The "repair man" probably did this to a few hundred other computer users before getting caught.

    Let me tell you a story. Some friends had a laptop which the husband said was running slow and that was a problem. I told him it was most like Windows XP and it just needed to be reinstalled because that's pretty common. He did nothing and about 2 weeks later I was back over there and booted the laptop with a Knoppix CD and it was nice a snappy. I even showed him Firefox loading pages. About a month or so later, he tells me his computer guru neighbor fixed his computer because it had a bad hard disk and now everything is nice a fast again. I ask if he reinstalled Windows and he looked at me blank faced. I then asked if the desktop background was different or if the browser bookmarks or homepage was different and he said yes. I told him that Windows was reinstalled and they probably didn't need a new hard disk. Most computer users are bumbling idiots and only know who to do what they do by trial and error without any understanding of the most basic concepts. That is what I see here in the USA.


  • There are three kinds of computer repair people out there.

    There are the scam artists, who take a 'broken' computer, reformat the drive, spend five minutes starting a non-legal Windows install, and charge $500. And possibly with some imaginary added hardware costs tacked on too. Person gets a computer they're going to get spyware on six months and it will be messed again. Usually they don't resort to deliberately breaking computers, but who knows.

    And then there are the legit repair centers, who tend to take the easy way out, but at least they are honest. Most of the time the easy way is 'replace the computer' so people lose their data, though.

    Then there are the good guys, who sit down, don't reformat the drive, work for two hours installing AVG and Ad-Aware, give an hour of instruction during that, and think it's worth maybe $20 and a Coke from their fridge.

    All you good guys out there, start charging more. Honestly. You are not charging for work, you are charging for knowledge.

    Or think of it this way: The alternative to what you're doing is requires $200 of (legit) repairs or a $300 new computer. You can, indeed, change them $100 for that.

    Your time is not worth what you think it's worth. For you, half of it is a game, and the other half is satisfaction at a job well done, but you don't set the value for your time.

    Your time is worth what they think it's worth, and I assure you, you're a hell of a lot cheaper than the alternatives. (And provide better value, considering that half the time you're sitting fixing stuff you're providing a computer class in how to not have this happen again.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:28AM (#27873907)

    Naturally, I ask her if she's doing anything later, and of course she's 'busy.' Oh well.

    At least you know what to say next time she comes around with a IT problem. Don't forget to make a slight pauze in your speech, as if you're trying to remember her exact words, just before you say the word 'busy' with a smug yet subtle smirk on your face.

  • by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <slas45dxsvadiv.v ... m ['eve' in gap]> on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:07PM (#27877437) Homepage

    Oh, I didn't mean to imply that most criminals are this way.

    Maybe not even most caught criminals. Some are, indeed, caught after a lot of actual work tracking them down.

    I was just saying 'assuming no one else knows what they are doing' is a fairly large failure mode of criminals.

    Especially amateur, first-time criminals, who often fail to consider what basic security the victim could have. Like threatening people with a knife from ten feet away...if they have a gun, or even mace, that's rather stupid behavior. Or breaking into businesses at night without bothering to figure out if they have an alarm system.

    If there was a list of the origins of criminal's mistakes, that would be right at the top. 'Failed to consider what sort of basic steps someone who was trying to stop this crime would take'.

    And the same with getting caught afterwards. Like the moron in this story, who robbed a place, with video cameras, using a car with his company logo on it. 'Failed to consider the trivially easy way of figuring out if he did it or not.'

  • by torkus ( 1133985 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:36PM (#27877899)

    That's why you BET her you can fix it. Bet her dinner - her treat. That not only guarantees you a free meal but the date you were denied as well.

    You'd think a CS guru would know a bit about social engineering ;)

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