back to article Five cuffed over $37m heist of Google flash chips

California law enforcement officials have arrested five people who allegedly took part in a heist that nabbed $37m in Intel flash memory chips from a memory module manufacturer assembling products for Google. Silicon Valley's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team – a task force of local, state, and federal agencies focused on …

COMMENTS

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WTF?

Surely the value on the date of the theft is all that matters?

"potentially adding years to the sentencing for the allegedly thieves once their trials are over"

This makes no sense at all ... but if it does work like this, then the effect will be to reduce their sentence. Consider that it will probably be at least two years before these fellows are in a court room. How much will two year old flash chips be worth in 2013? What if the lawyers string it out for even longer? Five years ago flash thumb drives were measured in megabytes - today people pass up on conference freebies of 2GB flash drives as "not worth the bother".

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FAIL

Don't forget!

This was an armed robbery in California and the kidnapping charges along with it will do'em in. They're just lucky that no one had a heart attack and died or actually shot anyone. The types of weapons will be taken into account as well in gun shy California.

I suspect all the separate charges will add up to however many years left they have until they die in prison.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Value on date of theft

Not really agree with you here. It seems reasonable to assume that stealing anything already in short supply will therefore push up the price. Even if the theft was not intended to inflate prices, and considering there are other factors to the price increases, the fact is still that the theft will have added to the rising costs.

As a real life, true, honest-to-God example you just need to look at Auric Goldfinger's plan to increase the worth of his own gold by effectively removing most of everyone else's gold from circulation (by making it nasty and radioactive).

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Joke

"A real life, true, honest-to-God example", eh...

Ah, for the days when I, too, could live in my own little world... Rent is too expensive there, now, though.

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Silver badge
Badgers

"We're...

transferring your case to the Small Claims Tribunal"

or

"A fabrication plant's just been destroyed in a natural disaster... triple Life for you, sunshine!"

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'Excessive taking'?

So presumably all other instances of taking are seen as entirely reasonable then, or is there a sliding scale from 'practically asking to be stolen' to 'outrageous crime against humanity' levels of theft?

Strange Americans - I'm sure there must be some logic in there somewhere, but I can't see it.

ttfn

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Silver badge
Headmaster

Here's your logic...

If you steal a candy bar (small value) you get a small fine or a slap on the wrist. If you steal $35million in flash chips (large value) you go to prison. Makes perfect sense to me...

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Unhappy

Same in UK

Hold a knife to someone's throat in the street and rob them of a £5. they *may* get a few years.

Hold a knife to someone's throat in a bank, steal £500,000 and get 10 years.

The laws in both countries have always to protect property and the rich. Average Joe is an afterthought.

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Go

Bang them up

This was a crime. The crooks were stupid.

Both should give them a long term heavy duty sentance.

Pitty we do not have that policy over here.

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Silver badge
Pint

Science Fair Project on hold

They were planning to make the world's largest capacity USB memory stick: 256 petabytes.

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Dead Vulture

Clearl,y a Friday morning effort...

"Clearl,y if they were..."

"...for the allegedly thieves..."

"...chips have, in generally, fallen..."

I'll be in the corner nitpicking websites with my no friends...

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tpm
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Clearl,y a Friday morning effort...

Actually, it was done yesterday immediately following root canal. No shit. The copyediting could have been better, too.

TPM

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Pint

Oh I see what they did...

"Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team"

R.E.A.C.T.!

Fuck me! How long and how much did that cost for some PR twat-monkey to come up with!

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"Grey" Market?

Now I know various companies would like to make unofficially imported products out to be the devil's work.. but surely you mean "Black market"?

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Gold badge

Grey imports

Indeed, the grey market is usually for imports against the manufacturers wishes.

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FAIL

pendantry for possible inaccuracy

"automatic rifles"? really? Select-fire devices capable of firing more than one round per one pull of the trigger? These guys were that well connected and that well armed to raid a warehouse? Really carrying class-3 machine guns?

Or tacti-cool replicas of military rifles that look scary but are completely functional equivalent to hunting rifles?

Somehow I expect the latter. But at least they weren't all carrying "AK47s" OMG!!!

"The Media has killed more people with their propaganda than all the guns of all the people I know combined".

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To be honest...

...when staring down the business end of a functional rifle, the last thing I'm going to ask is "is that a REAL AK47?"

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Go

Hah!

Love that style -- get a thumb from me.

But seriously, I also did see the "automatic rifles" bit and wondered how they know. Kudos, at least, to El Reg for not using the term "assault weapon".

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Linux

re: To be honest

"...when staring down the business end of a functional rifle, the last thing I'm going to ask is "is that a REAL AK47?"

Well, you could ask... -chuckles- Ric

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Grenade

"...the last thing I'm going to ask is "is that a REAL AK47?"

You know, this kind of attitude always puzzles me:

I've had guns pointed at me in damnedly hostile situations of random urban (and rural) crime - and each and every time, my layman's knowledge of firearms has at the very least helped me to contextualise the level of threat I was under. Once it helped me realise I was in no danger at all, as the weapon being brandished was safe.

Now, I didn't say anything about the 'on' safety then, nor did I do anything except *exactly* what I was told in each circumstance: I'm not a hero.

Nor do I own a gun, nor will I ever own a gun. My knowledge never made me do anything that I wouldn't do, it simply provided me with a slight feeling of knowing a bit better what was going on and the limitations of the threat at the time, which is IMHO better than "agh fire stick makes death come to those it points at"

Maybe it's just me, but the knowledge that some weapons will fire through certain walls and others can barely be trusted to hit you at 200ft - that's always seemed like useful knowledge. Far better than say, having taken a self defence lesson or two and thinking I'm capable of defending myself against an unknown assailant.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no urban crime commando: I'm just extremely unlucky and have been in a couple of hairy situations. But this whole "what difference does it make, it was a GUN" thing doesn't stand up to a lot of scrutiny IMHO.

Mine's the grenade icon, cos if I ever come across one of them, I'd like to know the difference between "pin in" and "pin out" ;-)

And yes, I'll accept the "on topic, non-divergent, non-tangental comment of the year award" now, thanks...

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Flame

the exception not the norm

Gun lovers always dream of using their guns to stop the random unknown evil minority assailant but in general you are many times more likely to be threatened and/or shot by someone you know very well like a spouse as well as for the stupid have their hell spawn get a hold of a cool new toy. You are a rare one if actually had strangers threatening you.

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