Was he an Intravenous Technician ?
It just takes one bad Apple to spoil the rest.
A university IT technician stole Apple Macs valued at £22,200 and flogged them for £200 a piece at rail pawnbroker Cash Converters to fund his drug habit, a court has heard. Ironically named Kevin Lawless, who had been working at Southampton Solent University in the south of England, nabbed 24 computers from the campus - …
I'm not saying they did anything illegal, but at what point should serious questions have been raised when the same bloke brought in yet another identical Mac and sold it for the same paltry amount? TThe third time? the fifth? The tenth? One could reasonably suggest that the 24th time was somewhat on the way to being a tad late in the day, if indeed it was the shop that was responsible for the police finally being alerted and the guy being caught. And that is before even getting to the point that 24 went missing before someone at the university twigged that there was something going on.
100% agree. It doesn't seem unreasonable to ask pawn shops, scrapyards, etc to have at least SOME responsibility to use diligence to ensure that they're not part of a chain that involves victims or crime.
On a separate note, I hope this guy manages to get clean and find a solution for the pain for which he took drugs in the first place.
Bigger question - why were the Macs not properly supervised / Find My Mac, thus making them useless, remote-wipeable and quite easy to identify as stolen?
I hate Apple products, but I don't know of a way around supervision/activation lock/Find My XXXX when activated. Even wiping, firmware-wiping, etc. just say "Hey, this device is locked... sign in on your iCloud to unlock it", and any Wifi-joining instantly tells the owner where that device is.
"Bigger question - why were the Macs not properly supervised / Find My Mac, thus making them useless, remote-wipeable and quite easy to identify as stolen?"
The fella worked in Uni IT and so may have just disabled such features.
Or he didn't even know about the feature (unlikely) and just converted them to cash so soon after the theft that no-one even missed them.
Or perhaps the devices just were not locked down as you say. Universities are not immune to hiring incompetent people.
Shit goes missing all the time on campus. Large open office spaces with lax children running riot. Walking with purpose is useful. People rarely stop you (once in a decade, at current rates) to check you are allowed to do anything. Periodic emails get sent round by security reminding people not to be stupid. Posters exist to show scale of issue. It's the same, I would guess, in any large organisation. It's actually surprising it got noticed and it seems the police were an easier task than HR.
Umm... The crook was caught. Who's to say that the Macs in question were not in fact properly set up with Find My Mac?
It's only when you notice that you're missing your Mac that you activate the needful to track down your hardware.
And while I'm at it, Macs aren't "lifestyle devices": they're useful gadgets used for doing useful things. Like this: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6s0i5xX-dw>.
What's to hate about that, eh?
(I remember when Mac aquariums were made from original compact Mac format cases. And I remember when rebooting the blasted things (Macs, not aquariums) was a multiple times a week exercise. I'm no fan of Apple-the-company, but Macs these days don't mess you about like that any more. They're actually really rather nice, if you like that sort of thing. And if you don't, there are plenty of alternative means to similar ends. Peace'n'love, man: the world has room for us all.)
"100% agree. It doesn't seem unreasonable to ask pawn shops, scrapyards, etc to have at least SOME responsibility to use diligence to ensure that they're not part of a chain that involves victims or crime."
Cant speak for second hand dealers but in the case of scrap yards you might want to check out The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, which means you can't even sell your old car to a scrap yard or breakers for cash, despite the fact that it has/should have Official documentation to identify it. This is allegedly to help cut down on metal theft, I feel it is more about revenue and creating an audit trail to check business turnover.
Of course there are still rogue scrappers - just as there are rogue second hand dealers, but most of the industry works under the act.
I don't know about cash converters but i've used CEX for some game swapping etc.
If you're selling to CEX you must have a verified account (proof of address etc) so I imagine cash converters is much the same.
He's an addict in the grip of it, he wasn't making smart choices.
Absolutely Cash converters should have asked questions after so many of the things turned up (even to different branches it will all be logged), but at the end of the day I imagine the court case would have been very open and shut. Some cash converters person will have said "Yep, this guy, here's his address." to the police. Sorted. Case closed.
He needed money QUICKLY.
Probably would not have been caught at all, or just for a lower number of thefts if he had the luxury (i.e not needing to run out and get smack) of time to sell them.
Fake social media account and FB selling groups.
Schpock, preloved, gumtree etc etc etc.
Issue was he would have been stealing one to flog that day for drugs that day. Like I said earlier, he was not making smart choices.
It was introduced to stop people taking copper or lead and selling it with very little risk.
I know of cases where rural phone lines were taken out with landrover and winch. I building I worked in had its lead roof taken overnight. Seems fair enough to have an audit trail to sell quite valuable "scrap" someone "found".
So 28 Macs give or take.
I'll impart some cash converters (and others) wisdom here, buy for a quarter sell for half. 200 * 4 = 800, 22,200 / 800 = 27.75.
You get more on Ebay and always check cex online before you sell anything on ebay, that's your starting bid price + your fees cost.
I should get a job at money saving supermarket or a smack habit.
I would guess it's a lot easier to trace a guy back from an account on eBay than it is from the local Cash Convertors.
Fact is, once you get past 2 or 3, if you don't start being careful then you're an idiot. It wouldn't take long for someone to say "Hold on, didn't you bring me a Mac just like this only a month or so ago?". People might sell off their Mac for cash. But they don't do it and then re-buy one the next month and then sell that and then re-buy. After a while, even if they know what you're up to and don't care, they still have to report or it's them that goes down for knowingly fencing the stuff.
Thankfully, criminals are generally dumb, especially if they're addicted to something.
Pawn type shops in england have to log and record anything sold to them and who sold it.
If he'd used any other method to sell he'd probably still be doing it,
But you can when you're an addict needing cash either right then or, of you're lucky, for tomorrow. Obviously we are light on details for the case but I imagine it was a very quick affair precisely because cash converters would have confirmed they were all him.
Yes, they absolutely should have thought to maybe ask a few questions when he turned up with mac products 5,6,7,8,9----20,21 and 22.
At the end of the day though the (probable) student or young person manning the counter couldn't give a flyer. It's their bosses problem as long as he or she ticks all the relevant boxes. they have to record it all and have the info should the police come looking for stolen wonders, they aren't supposed to be detectives themselves.
Granted one doesn't need to be a "detective" to start to wonder why one guy has 22 iThings he wants rid of, one or two at a time, for an extended period.
Back in he late nineties, when I worked for a high street electronics retailer, whenever we had something big stolen from the shop floor we would just wait a couple of days then go round to Cash Converters with proof the serial number belonged to us. They used to give us the stuff right back.
If you didn’t involve the police then you could put it right back on the shelf, if the police were involved then it disappeared into evidence storage somewhere for twelve months.
Delivered 10 laptops to the Royal Marines, put them in a locked & secure area\data closet & obtained a signature for receipt.
Back at work 20 mins later, barely in through the door.....
"Those 10 laptops, got the sign off?"
"Yup right here.... Why whats the urgency?"
"Four of them have gone walkies."
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