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Thieves

NEWS
February 12, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
West Philadelphia charter school executive Masai Skief pleaded for forgiveness from teachers and students Monday as he was sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling thousands of dollars from the school his father founded. More than 50 supporters packed the courtroom and said in unison that they were ready to give him another chance, but U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond proved less willing to excuse the 32-year-old for his crimes. Skief admitted last month that even after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud, he continued to steal from Harambee Institute of Science Technology Charter School, its related nonprofit, and a scholarship fund for low-income students.
NEWS
January 1, 2014 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
EXTON A band of thieves distracted employees at a jewelry store at Exton Square Mall on Friday and made off with two diamond rings worth about $15,000 in total West Whiteland Township police said. Three of the four thieves entered the Zales store together around 4:15 p.m., then separated and looked at jewelry with different employees, police said. "Two of the subjects were there dealing with one of the employees," detective Scott Pezick said. "They were asking them different questions.
NEWS
August 14, 2013 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
Cutting power lines and employing blowtorches, thieves have targeted bank ATMs and pharmacies over the last few months, stealing more than $100,000 in cash and narcotics, Philadelphia police said Monday. An arrest warrant has been issued for Dennis Woods, 37, also known as Dennis Boyce, with addresses in Deptford and on the 2400 block of American Street in South Philadelphia, Lt. John Walker said at a news conference at the Southwest Detective Division. A task force of Philadelphia police and FBI agents is working on the case.
NEWS
August 5, 2013 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ben Perlman knew how to lock up a bike. Every night, the University of Pennsylvania junior said, he latched a U-lock onto the frame of his $400 Cannondale, laced a cable through the wheels, and secured it all to a fat wooden post on the porch of his off-campus house in West Philadelphia. But the city's bike thieves are a determined lot. One morning 18 months ago, Perlman woke up to find it all gone. Including the wooden post. "Which, to me, was impressive," Perlman said.
NEWS
July 25, 2013 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
Suppose a couple of big-dreaming thieves boosted a flaming yellow Lamborghini and a spit-polished black Bentley from an underground garage at an apartment complex on the edge of Mount Airy. What to do next? Apparently, not very much. The market for stolen ultra-luxe wheels is extremely limited. And even with some long-shot resale plan in mind, there was almost no chance of getting away unnoticed. In this modest, tree-lined neighborhood, the streets are fairly deserted at night.
NEWS
July 16, 2013
CAMDEN - Thieves broke into PNC bank machines in the 100 block of North Broadway Saturday night and stole an undisclosed amount of cash, police said. Authorities responding to a report of smoke coming from the building around 11 p.m. discovered that the ATMs had been tampered with. Police said witnesses reported seeing two black males loading the machines' contents into a black Honda Accord and speeding away. "This was not an act of smash and grab, rather a sophisticated burglary that seemed well-planned utilizing unconventional tools to gain entry into the building and the ATM machines," said Camden County Chief Scott Thomson.
NEWS
July 4, 2013 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
The copper-wire thieves ended up causing $175,000 worth of losses at Peco substations across Bucks County. They eventually were arrested, and a Peco spokeswoman says they should be glad they got away with their lives. On Tuesday, four of the alleged burglars in the eight-member "loosely associated" group waived their rights to preliminary hearings. Hearings for the four remaining members are scheduled for next week. Police said that during the fall, they pilfered what is known as "grounding wire," which is used to help control voltage, and then sold it for about $3 a pound to a scrap yard in Philadelphia.
NEWS
May 30, 2013 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
AN ATM repairman learned the hard way the importance of locking his car doors when two men stole a bag from his unlocked car in North Philly's Hartranft section Tuesday afternoon. The heist was a jackpot for the thieves, because the bag contained $76,000 in cash, police said. Police now are asking for the public's help to identify the thieves, who were caught on surveillance video. The incident occurred when the repairman entered the Rose Garden restaurant to service the cash machine, leaving his Mazda 5 unlocked at 10th Street and Susquehanna Avenue about 4:30 p.m., police said.
NEWS
May 11, 2013 | By Colleen Long, Associated Press
NEW YORK - A gang of cyber-criminals stole $45 million in a matter of hours by hacking their way into a database of prepaid debit cards and then fanning out around the globe to drain cash machines, federal prosecutors said Thursday. Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch called it "a massive 21st-century bank heist" and compared its size to the Lufthansa heist in the late 1970s immortalized in the film Goodfellas . Lynch said the fraudsters had moved with astounding speed to loot financial institutions around the world.
NEWS
March 20, 2013 | By John P. Martin and Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writers
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.
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