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US Retail Workers Stole $16.6B From Employers This Year

Theft by employees a bigger problem in the US than elsewhere

(Newser) - The good news: Stores in the US lose less revenue to shoplifting than their counterparts in other countries. The bad news: Retail workers in the US are doing more of the stealing themselves … to the tune of $16.6 billion during the past year, according to Checkpoint Systems' Global... More »

Alleged Jewelry Thieves Left Parting Gift in Guest Book

Tip: Don't leave contact info if you're going to lift valuables from an art gallery

(Newser) - Signing the guest book at a wedding or funeral: fine. Signing one at an art gallery you're accused of stealing from: not the best idea. That's what one Florida couple allegedly did Saturday night when they visited ICFA Gallery in Palm Beach, reportedly lifting the owner's gold... More »

Portland Thieves Take Off With Tofu Truck

Vehicle was eventually found—but not the tofu or organic juice that was inside

(Newser) - In what could be the most Portland crime ever, the hapless driver of a refrigerated truck for a Seattle natural-foods wholesaler reported his tofu-laden vehicle stolen Tuesday, the Oregonian reports. The driver made a morning stop at a Safeway, but came back out after 20 minutes or so to find... More »

Thieves Nab Diamonds From Russia's 'Fort Knox'

A 23-carat diamond among those to vanish in apparent bait-and-switch

(Newser) - Rough diamonds worth millions have vanished from the repository that holds Russia's supply of gold, silver, diamonds, and gems even though it is "supposedly impenetrable," in the words of NBC News . State-owned diamond mining company Severalmaz says it gave 150,000 carats, or 66 pounds, of diamonds... More »

Thief's Ex Clueless She Had Stolen Stradivarius for Years

Says she almost fainted when appraiser said they had to call the FBI

(Newser) - Philip Johnson was dying of pancreatic cancer when he brought his former wife, Thanh Tran, to the basement of his home in Venice, Calif. Under a tarp weighted down with bricks was a violin case with a combination lock. He gave the case to Tran and didn't say a... More »

How a Stolen Stradivarius Surfaced After 35 Years

Roman Totenberg was right to suspect Phillip Johnson: FBI

(Newser) - Violinist Roman Totenberg always suspected who stole his $250,000 1734 Stradivarius violin from his office in Cambridge, Mass., after a concert in 1980. Security cameras spotted violinist Phillip Johnson, then 27, lingering outside the room and Johnson's ex-girlfriend later said he had taken it. Without proof, Totenberg could... More »

Now Entering Our Lexicon: Hamster Theft

Couple felt class pet 'was alone and they wanted a hamster'

(Newser) - Normally, burglars target things like expensive electronics over things like, say, small, ubiquitous rodents, but police in rural Maine say a couple has been busted with swiping a hamster named Link from the kindergarten classroom of the Cornville Regional Charter School last week, reports Central Maine . Though the pair's... More »

Guy Swipes $150K That ATM Workers Left on Curb


(Newser) - The cash might have been sitting right there for the taking, but cops are now looking for the man who yesterday swiped a bag filled with $150,000 from a curb in Mahwah, NJ, the AP reports. Police don't know who took the money yet, but they do know... More »

Couple's Stolen SUV Returned —With Upgrades

Thief helped get the broken down Durango running at least

(Newser) - If your broken-down vehicle is going to be stolen, at least hope it’s by a thief who knows how to handle a wrench. KHOU reports a couple in Texas were understandably bummed when their 2004 Dodge Durango disappeared from the shoulder of Highway 59 in Cleveland where it went... More »

7 Stolen Rare Pythons May Die If Not Returned: Owner

Snakes taken from Ohio pet store are all in need of medical care

(Newser) - Seven rare pythons have been stolen from an Ohio pet store, and the company's CEO is desperate to get them back because none of them are in great shape, reports. Five of the snakes lifted from Akron Rattery and Reptile Rescue on Saturday evening are sick with... More »

Stolen Cabin Turns Up 10 Miles Away

Police: Suspect was 'planning on living in it'

(Newser) - A stolen cabin has been discovered 10 miles from where it was plucked from its foundation in northeastern Washington. A tip led authorities yesterday to a "very remote, narrow road down in a ravine" on private property, where the 200-square-foot "Hempel Hideaway" was found, owner Chris Hempel tells... More »

Family Discovers Theft at Cabin—the Entire Cabin

Hempels of Washington state get a rude surprise

(Newser) - The Hempel family has a name for their vacation property in rural northeastern Washington: "Hempel Hideaway." But thanks to thieves, that name has now taken on a new, unfortunate meaning. When Chris Hempel arrived at the 20-acre property in Springdale on Tuesday, she found something odd. "We... More »

Hackers Rob Up to $1B in 'World's Biggest Bank Raid'

Thieves allegedly infiltrate more than 100 banks worldwide

(Newser) - A hacking ring has allegedly stolen up to $1 billion from banks around the world in what appears to be one of the biggest banking breaches known; the Telegraph calls it the "world's biggest bank raid." The hackers have been active since at least the end of... More »

How a Criminal Found America's First Big Sex Tape

And distributed it with money from a mobster's son

(Newser) - Remember an old sex tape, before Kim Kardashian, starring an actress and a rocker on a yacht? Well, the 1996 video that fully unveiled Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee only went public because an electrician stole it, a mobster's son funded it, and lawyers couldn't contain it, Rolling ... More »

Cops: Shopper Kills Thief Trying to Steal Air Jordans

Man had concealed weapon at the ready

(Newser) - What Jawaad Jabbar didn't know when he allegedly confronted two shoppers who had just bought $200 Air Jordans and, pointing a gun at them, tried to steal the Nike shoes: One of those shoppers had a gun of his own. Police say that shopper shot the 16-year-old during the... More »

Indian-Americans Face String of Home Invasions

NJ victims describe having hands and legs duct-taped

(Newser) - Since Oct. 20, a single New Jersey county has seen at least five home invasions targeting Indian-Americans, the New York Times reports. Most occurred in late October, when many families celebrate Diwali—a holiday that frequently involves gold jewelry. The latest Middlesex County incident, however, occurred on Saturday. "They... More »

Date With Teen Twins Goes Very Badly for Man, 84

Paul Aronson ended up tied to coffee table for 20 hours

(Newser) - An Oct. 1 date with 17-year-old twin sisters he met online wasn't quite the dream encounter Paul Aronson may have had in mind—unless the 84-year-old's fantasies involved being tied to a coffee table and having his wallet cleaned out. Prosecutors say that after dining with the teens,... More »

Suspect in Chinese-Food Theft: Yellow Teletubby

Guy in Laa-Laa costume broke into friend's house: police

(Newser) - When a Teletubby gets hungry, there's no telling what it will do. In this case, Laa-Laa—the yellow one—allegedly broke into a friend's house at 2am Sunday and stole leftover Chinese food. The man dressed as the character had apparently been at a Halloween party, the Smoking... More »

Woman's Entire Cabin Gets Stolen

She was building it in the Yukon

(Newser) - It's not too often that your house isn't where you left it. But that was the case for Josie-Anne Pilotte, who spent three weeks building a cabin in the Yukon. Earlier this month, Pilotte headed to the building site to transfer the 200-square-foot cabin to her friends' property,... More »

6 Blamed in Elaborate Plot to Steal Dead Neighbor's Home

Thief pretended he'd been taking care of woman

(Newser) - Six different people were involved in a complicated plot to take ownership of a dead woman's home and car, police say. It started with one Romanoff Quarles, 43, of Philadelphia; he had his eye on the property of his neighbor Dorothy Kennedy, who had died with no heirs in... More »

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