to catch a thief - need your help

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jeff
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to catch a thief - need your help

Postby jeff » 10 Apr 2008, 17:59

Here's an ongoing saga in my life, one that has impacts to all of us here as well.

Over the last couple weeks, I've been having packages go missing off my front porch. Last week, on april fools day no less, I lost a very expensive new piece of server hardware. I blamed it on a faulty delivery-figuring that no one would try and steal 2 boxes off stuff off my front porch between the hours of 2pm and 4pm on a bright and sunny day. (I live in a fairly crowded townhome complex)

Last night (april 9th), a neighbor who lives ~ 12 houses down from me handed me a ripped open box that had my name on it. The contents were missing.
Now it's serious. My earlier missing package was no mis-delivery; this is no coincidence; I have a real thief on my hands, who got really lucky on April 1st, and now wants to see what else he can get.

Image
[I don't normally open packages this way-I use a knife or scissors]


The box was full of play dead bootlegs on cassette!

It was from my new friend Jari, who lives in Finland, and these tapes were, while not exactly priceless, certainly one of a kind and irreplaceable.
I was going to transfer them to CD and mail them back, and then of course post all the mp3s here onto the site. This dickhead thief has now impacted people around the globe.

Here is a list of the bootlegs (I hope this is a complete list) that are now missing. If anyone out there has them, please let me know so this won't end up being a total loss.

5 november-81 blades,oxford
?/?-83 marquee
6 may-83 birmingham digbeth civichall
27 july-83 rock city nottingham
30 july-83 digbeth civichall birmingham
11 september-83 hammersmith palais
18 september-83 futurama 5
7 january-84 forum des halles paris
27 february-85 rock city nottingham

Some of these I have (at least the des halles gig) but 2nd copies might sound better than the stuff I have.

Some of these I'd never even heard of-I didn't even have the dates on the gig list.

This is a huge loss to me. Not only rare stuff, but property that wasn't even mine to begin with, which I was supposed to return after I was finished, is now in the hands of someone I don't even know, and he very likely is not a fan of play dead.

There is a slight, slight glimmer of hope though:

Since this guy is obviously returning to scam my place repeatedly, I have now got a motion activated webcam pointed at my front porch, which is monitoring my property while I write this. Hopefully I can determine what this person looks like, and maybe even a pattern of his visits, so it is possible that he might be caught. I will certainly be posting more information as it rolls in. I can only hope he can be caught and his apartment searched before those tapes end up in a dumpster somewhere...

-jeff

(no ! today, I am too sad)

----------------
Update: 10 april
Webcam today caught a UPS delivery and the regular postal delivery guy stopping by my house twice. (not sure why the 1st time, 2nd time he had actual mail) No unusual suspects. Nothing stolen.
The weather was really, really crappy though (wind, rain+snow) so that likely kept my thief inside for the day.

Jari was smart enough to copy all(?) of the cassettes onto minidisc before sending them to me!!! Needless to say, he's upset about the loss, but at least we have some record of the shows. I'd still like to have as many copies of these boots as possible.

Called the postal service today to get packages halted.
Called the postal inspector and left a message about someone stealing my mail. No returned calls. They are likely too busy to care. May care when I get some video.
-----------------
11 april:
Webcam caught nothing. it crashed around 2pm, which is about the time I've been expecting him to show up. damnit. the weather was crappy today again, so perhaps he didn't show anyway. I doubt anything will happen over the weekend, but the camera will be rolling anyway.

No mail in the mailbox when I got home. Caught the mailman stopping by, but couldn't tell if he dropped anything off, or was just checking to see if we had any outgoing mail. It is of course possible that the thief took whatever was in there.

Just had a funny thought that this guy, after getting a handful of tapes that say play dead on them, he might just go onto the internet and find out who this band is, stumble across this very site, and be able to read about my attempt to catch him. heheh.
------------------
12,13 april
No real news. It's a weekend, and the guy can't be THAT stupid to try anything, can he? The camera rolls on, nothing interesting found.
------------------
14 april
monday. figured someone would show up today after a long weekend of not stealing...
Nothing. Well, I caught a beardy college student putting flyers for dominoes pizza on my doorhandle and that's it. sigh.
-------------------
15 april:
Argh! nothing. I left a "Bait" package outside today and really had my hopes up that someone would be interested in it. Nada. Not even a curious peek around the corner, nothing.
-------------------
16 april:
again, nothing. Today was kind of a blowout anyway, as coincidence of coincidences, my home security system died yesterday and I had to get a guy from the company to come out and do some tests to it. So I had a brinks security truck parked outside my place for an hour during the key hours of my previous robberies. This of course may have the desired outcome of scaring the guy away for good, but I really wanted to do that AFTER I caught images of him. gah. Today was also really, really nice out, so people all over the complex were out doing some spring cleaning, which may have been too much for my thief to handle.
-------------------
17 april:
Nada. Thought today might be a good day-weather is cloudy and no one is outside, but not even 1 peek. the bait package awaits still...
-------------------
18 april:
Again, Nada. Just like yesterday, good weather for robbery, but no robbers to do the deed. Another weekend ahead, so there's not a lot of hope that he'll show up sat+sun either.
-------------------
19,20,21 april:
nope. this is getting boring.
i had such high hopes of 007 Bond sneak attacks and captures, but nothing at all-not even a peep.
Last edited by jeff on 22 Apr 2008, 12:57, edited 14 times in total.

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Dave the Fish
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Postby Dave the Fish » 10 Apr 2008, 19:52

The utter bastard!!!!!!!! :x
Certainly is a bit of a bugger, purely from my point of view, I wouldn't have minded treating me ears to the early Oxford gig. I'd assume that would include stuff like TV Eye, Introduction etc.? I know Pete's gone on record as practically disowning that stuff, but I can't be the only one who thinks those first two singles were effing brilliant!? Fantastic raw sound, and top lyrics from Mr Hickson.

Good luck Jeff, hope you catch this unpleasant character...

Take care, Dave.

P.S. Still loving the site, keep up the good work mate - it's appreciated by lots of us bods out here in Interweb land. Keep rocking.

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Postby the tenant » 14 Apr 2008, 15:15


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Pale Fire
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Postby Pale Fire » 30 Apr 2008, 21:51

That's awful!! Catch the fucker and cut off his thumbs.
-Chris Haney!

Death to Videodrome!!!!

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Postby jeff » 01 May 2008, 14:37

still trying...

been 3 weeks now and not a peep of anything exciting happening to my mailbox. While this is a good thing, and that I can rest easier that my house is not under constant attack, I want to catch this bastard, and I'm getting impatient. It's just pretty strange that I believe I was robbed no less than 3 times over a 3-4 week period, and the day I start monitoring, nothing happens. Maybe he's been caught already?

anyway, as soon as something happens, you'll know.

-jeff!

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Thief

Postby CONSPIRATOR » 02 May 2008, 18:08

Hey Jeff....i'm a postman here in the UK....and if I left packages on doorsteps i'd get fired ! Sounds like the delivery guy is partly to blame ! Incidentally I think one of those tapes was the gig I was at...I know it was supporting Killing Joke at Birmingham digbeth civic hall...cant remember the date, but I know I have the ticket somewhere.....must go search ....
MARK

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Postby Red Sunsets » 02 May 2008, 18:18

Image

:lol: :lol: :lol:
If I had all the money I've spent on drink, I'd spend it on drink.

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Postby jeff » 03 May 2008, 18:22

interesting how different countries handle this...

leaving mail in the front porch area is common around here. In fact, it's turning out to be a difficult thing for them NOT to do it. After this theft, I called the PO and had them halt all package deliveries due to theft, and sure enough when I got home yesterday there was one waiting for me on the porch again. oh well.

Only if you pay a bit extra to have signature required will they hold the package and the PO and only send you a notice.

------------

As far as gigs go, Yari, the genius that he is, made backups before he sent those tapes to me. I am while I type this, recording a fresh batch of them onto my computer!! The original cassettes may be lost to this fuckhead thief, but he'll never take the music. ha ha!

So, hopefully I will get a few of these encoded and uploaded in the next couple of days. Looks like there were several tracks that were unreleased in this bunch!

-jeff!

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Postby Dave the Fish » 03 May 2008, 22:25

Hurrah!!!!

Thank **** for that, that's bloody good news. Looking forward to sampling the goods...

Thanks Jeff,

Dave

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Postby jeff » 04 May 2008, 17:13

got something!
well, sorta, maybe.
it's weird.


This is looking out my kitchen window at my townhome complex.
The building to the right is my garage, and there is a small wooden fence at the bottom 1/3 of the screen that separates my property from the common sidewalk just beyond the fence. My front door and small front porch area is (not pictured) just to the right of this footage.

Straight ahead is a common driveway area that eventually leads out to the street.

So, anyone walking beyond the fence area there is 100% on my property.

This is actually 2 pieces of footage a couple seconds apart-you can see the timestamp jump a bit when the 2nd half rolls.

It's a really odd piece of footage because it really looks like he's carrying something, but then when he leaves, it doesn't look like it anymore. I actually had hopes that this was someone RETURNING a package to me, but there was nothing there in the morning, and my neighbor knows nothing of it either.

It's unfortunate that the footage is so grainy. Now that I see that the system is working, I'm going to see about a better camera position.

I just need one of the cop show enhancements where they zoom in on a photo with infinite detail and we figure out who he is.

Anyway, this footage was taken at just past midnight on a saturday. Ballsy.
I have another piece of footage (no one walking onto my property) taken at 3:30am. It doesn't look like the same guy.


-jeff!

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Postby jeff » 10 May 2008, 02:24

Caught the fucker on video!!!!
Image

So for three weeks now, I've been putting out a variety of bait packages-I'm sure my mailman is tired of seeing them and wondering what they are for.
My perp has not shown up, until today. To be perfectly honest, I don't even remember putting the package out this morning-this had been so routine, but when I got home, there was nothing on the porch... could it be?

Yes indeed:
http://mhoosa.org/archive/mailthief_200 ... -04-45.avi ~11mb

or on youTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06obH3kF50U

The video clip is a mix from my 2 cameras-I've linked together everything I have of him. It's still not the best video footage in the world (no straight on shots) but I think it's good enough to ID him if I ever saw him out. The baseball cap is a giveaway-not many guys wear bright blue caps...

Anyway, today's package included a junk camera and lens that my g/f picked up from her old workplace. I've got the serial numbers of them both. Unless he knows cameras, this guy probably thinks he's struck a goldmine again. Every camera store in the local area now has the description and a screenshot of the guy, plus the serials, so if he tries to trade them in, we'll have a pretty good shot at getting his info.

This is really quite lovely. I'd just about given up hope that he was coming back, but today was the day. Friday at 2pm fits his M.O. too-that's roughly the time I got hit on April 1st. Coincidentally, today I brought home the replacement package for the expensive server stuff I lost on April 1st-shipped to my workplace this time.

Justice is near my friends!

Now the question is, is this the same guy who was sneaking around last saturday? (link in previous posting) While it doesn't really look like him, the build is similar for sure, and there's that baseball cap again. but I don't think the 1st guy's cap was blue...

-jeff!!

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Postby jeff » 14 May 2008, 05:25

BUSTED!!!

I'll be doing a complete write up over the next day or so, but here's the highlights:

1) he struck again today, got a little bit of footage of him.
2) when filing the police report, I showed the officer the footage and he *instantly* knew who it was!! After leaving my place at 11:30pm, he left to "pay him a visit"
3) it's now 12:30am, and I just got off the phone with the arresting officer. He called me from this guy's apartment, and guess what he found.... YARI's play dead tapes!!!!

It may be some time before the inspectors and crime analysis folks release them back to me, but they are no longer missing, and will hopefully be returned to their rightful owner.

wow. this is quite a story, and I'm really going to enjoy telling this tale for years to come.

-jeff!!

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Postby Red Sunsets » 14 May 2008, 15:18

Jeff, this is fantastic news!

I have to say when you started this, I was very sceptical about you getting a result, I'm happy to see I was way off base.

Well done Kojak, we love ya baby! :lol: 8)
If I had all the money I've spent on drink, I'd spend it on drink.

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Postby jeff » 14 May 2008, 22:36

ok, this is even more over the top-the local TV news station just called me and would like to use my footage and run a story about it.

they may even be sending someone over to do a real interview of it.

wack, totally wack.

-jeff!

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Postby Pale Fire » 15 May 2008, 22:07

Great job, Jeff!! Justice can now be served. :D

P.S. Neither of the videos that you posted on May 10th will work for some reason.
-Chris Haney!



Death to Videodrome!!!!


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