March 20, 2013 |
The perfect crime has long been a concept best left to Hollywood writers, not East Coast goodfellas. But this one was close. As St. Patrick's Day came to an end 23 years ago, two men dressed as police got into Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, cuffed the guards to a basement pipe, and made off with 13 works of art, including ones by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Degas. The loot, valued at $500 million, made the heist the largest in U.S. history. On Monday, the FBI shone a new spotlight on the old crime, one with a local twist.
March 10, 2013 |
BEIJING - Beijing has hotly denied accusations of official involvement in massive cyberattacks against foreign targets, insinuating such activity is the work of rogues. But at least one element cited by Internet experts points to professional cyberspies: China's hackers take the weekend off. Accusations of state-sanctioned hacking took center stage last month after a detailed report by a U.S.-based Internet security firm Mandiant. It added to growing suspicions that the Chinese military was not only stealing national defense secrets and harassing dissidents but also pilfering information from foreign companies that could be worth millions or even billions of dollars.
February 21, 2013 |
BRUSSELS, Belgium - When the armored car set off for the Brussels airport carrying $50 million worth of precious stones from Antwerp's diamond district, eight gunmen knew all about it. One of the biggest diamond heists in recent memory was about to go down. The thieves surely knew it would be too risky to make their move in Antwerp, which is the world capital of diamond-cutting, 27 miles from the airport. The city's diamond industry has 2,000 surveillance cameras, police monitoring, and countless identity controls to protect its $200 million in daily trade of rough and polished gems.
February 8, 2013 |
JOHN MOGCK lost his wife twice. The first time was in November, when Rita Mogck died of ovarian cancer. She passed away in their Bustleton home. They were married 48 years. The second time was on Jan. 24. That morning, burglars invaded Mogck's home and carted off a bedroom safe. It contained Mogck's collection of rare gold and silver coins, $4,000 in cash and all his important documents. It also held Rita's ashes. Mogck, 71, planned to fly with them to Hanau, Germany - Rita's birthplace - for burial.
February 3, 2013 |
POLICE are on the hunt for four men who kidnapped an elderly Chester County couple, robbed their jewelry store and fled in the victims' car. The incident began about 7 p.m. Thursday, when four masked men, wielding handguns, approached Howard Zenker outside his home on Wooded Way in Berwyn, forced entry and stole credit cards and other items from the house, police said. Two of the assailants then forced the husband to drive to the couple's store, Shuler's Jewelers, in East Norriton, where the robbers stole jewelry and money, police said.
December 6, 2012
In Philadelphia, with its abundance of abandoned homes and an overwhelmed bureaucracy, it's pretty easy to steal a house. All a thief needs is money for the real estate transfer fees and a crooked notary to certify a forged deed. Chances are the thief won't get caught because the city hasn't placed a high priority on stopping deed thefts. That just adds to the anguish and frustration of unsuspecting people who have literally had their homes stolen from under them. The police don't keep track of how many houses are reported stolen, and the District Attorney's Office is mostly interested in thefts valued at $50,000 or above.
October 21, 2012 |
SAN FRANCISCO - In this tech-savvy city teeming with commuters and tourists, the cellphone has become a top target of robbers who use stealth, force and sometimes guns. Nearly half of all robberies in San Francisco this year are cell phone-related, police say, and most occur on bustling transit lines. One thief snatched a smartphone while sitting behind his unsuspecting victim and darted out the rear of a bus. Another robber grabbed an iPhone from an oblivious bus rider - while she was still talking.
October 18, 2012 |
AMSTERDAM - In Hollywood movies, heists usually feature criminals who plan meticulously and use high-tech equipment to avoid detection. But the thieves who snatched seven paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Monet, and others worth millions from a gallery in Rotterdam appear to have taken a less glamorous approach, relying mostly on speed and brute force. In other words, the theft from the Kunsthal exhibition was more "smash and grab" than Ocean's 11. Police said Wednesday they had no suspects in the case, the largest art heist in the country for more than a decade, though an appeal to witnesses had produced more than a dozen tips.
October 12, 2012 |
Thanks to a sharp-eyed Episcopal priest, Haddonfield police have arrested and charged a pair of suspected copper thieves. "Don't mess with a priest," the Rev. Patrick Close of Grace Church on Kings Highway posted on his Facebook page Tuesday. Close saw two young men the previous day in an area of the church grounds not open to the public and went out to question them, he reported. They departed, but when he left that night, Close noticed the rectory's copper downspouts were gone.
September 9, 2012 |
Medical-identity theft - the stealing of Medicare and other information from patients and doctors - is by some measures the fastest-growing form of ID theft. These sites help deal with it. Privacy advocates say not to carry your Social Security number in your wallet, but Medicare recipients are stuck with insurance ID cards that carry their SSNs. The Medicare bureaucracy is actively resisting change because of the expense of instituting a different identifying system. So, what to do?