What Men and Women Shoplift

For much of its six-century history, shoplifting–whether defined as disease or crime–was considered something women did. But since the 1980s, men have caught up. While men shoplift more, there are more female kleptomaniacs….In 2005, the Centre for Retail Research in the United Kingdom measured what men and women shoplift: Women steal cosmetics, clothes, jewelry, and perfume; men steal electronics, televisions, and hand-held power tools. Women shoplift from department and discount stores; men from home centers and hardware stores. Although 80 percent of all readers are women, the Centre discovered, most book shoplifters are men.

Rachel Shteir, The Steal, 2011

For much of its six-century history, shoplifting--whether defined as disease or crime--was considered something women did. But since the 1980s, men have caught up. While men shoplift more, there are more female kleptomaniacs….In 2005, the Centre for Retail Research in the United Kingdom measured what men and women shoplift: Women steal cosmetics, clothes, jewelry, and perfume; men steal electronics, televisions, and hand-held power tools. Women shoplift from department and discount stores; men from home centers and hardware stores. Although 80 percent of all readers are women, the Centre discovered, most book shoplifters are men.

Rachel Shteir, The Steal, 2011

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

The Body Language of a Shoplifter

Shoplifters tend to evince something called the “turtle effect” where they put their heads down slightly and hunch their shoulders forward when making off with their stolen wares, perhaps more as a result of unconsciously playing out the role of the sl…

Shoplifters tend to evince something called the "turtle effect" where they put their heads down slightly and hunch their shoulders forward when making off with their stolen wares, perhaps more as a result of unconsciously playing out the role of the slinking thief rather than of being burdened by any feeling of guilt.

Adam Plantinga, 400 Things Cops Know, 2014 

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Insurance Fraud

 The great irony is that while insurance fraud is widely perceived as a victimless crime, it is far from victimless. The average burglary results in the theft of about $1,000 in property. The average arson results in damage of more than $100,000. …

 The great irony is that while insurance fraud is widely perceived as a victimless crime, it is far from victimless. The average burglary results in the theft of about $1,000 in property. The average arson results in damage of more than $100,000. While everybody believes that burglary is a serious crime that must be prevented and prosecuted, the same cannot be said for the perception of insurance-related fraud cases. While the typical burglary may have one victim, the typical insurance fraud case leaves us all as victims. It is estimated that more than 20 percent of the premiums we all pay for insurance in this country goes to fraudulent claims. In some areas of the country, the numbers are even higher. So all of us pay for insurance fraud whenever we pay our insurance premiums. We are all victims of insurance fraud.

Jack Morgan, SIU, 2012

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Insurance Fraud Investigation

The sad truth is that insurance fraud investigation is not a priority in this country. The police and prosecuting authorities are quick to pursue a bank robber or a burglar, but getting them to commit the resources to investigate an insurance fraud cas…

The sad truth is that insurance fraud investigation is not a priority in this country. The police and prosecuting authorities are quick to pursue a bank robber or a burglar, but getting them to commit the resources to investigate an insurance fraud case is an uphill battle. Arson, for instance, is the least often and least effectively prosecuted crime in America. Most insurance fraud cases are circumstantial in nature and lack direct proof in the form of eyewitnesses. Those are not the kinds of cases the police and prosecutors want to readily pursue, because they know it will be a lengthy investigation, perhaps a costly investigation, and the prospects of conviction are far less than any other type of crime. [And even if there is a conviction, it's unlikely that the fraudster will go to prison.]

Jack Morgan, SIU, 2012 

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Psychics and The Fools Who Consult Them

     ….Many people are no longer satisfied that conventional religious institutions can meet their spiritual needs. So they visit psychics and other New Age types….People are paying psychics to predict the future, and they’re just not getting what they paid for….

     [As a journalist] I went undercover to visit ten psychics, looking for predictions about my future. The disparity between what each told me was quite telling. Each psychic began by asking me to cut a deck of cards or close my eyes and think about my problems. But beyond that, the similarities among them ended. Each psychic had a different prediction for me. The first nine psychics I saw suggested that I become a car salesman, a builder, a politician, a psychic, an actor, a businessman dealing with resorts, and finally, a bricklayer. The tenth told me to prepare to retire with the money I was going to inherit…

     One psychic predicted that I would have a sex change operation. He was the same one who told me that I had a secret enemy, and suggested that I urinate in a milk carton, write the names of anyone who might be angry with me on the outside of the carton with a felt-tip pen, then place the full carton in my refrigerator to ward off danger.

Chuck Whitlock, Chuck Whitlock’s Scam School, 1997 

     ….Many people are no longer satisfied that conventional religious institutions can meet their spiritual needs. So they visit psychics and other New Age types….People are paying psychics to predict the future, and they're just not getting what they paid for….

     [As a journalist] I went undercover to visit ten psychics, looking for predictions about my future. The disparity between what each told me was quite telling. Each psychic began by asking me to cut a deck of cards or close my eyes and think about my problems. But beyond that, the similarities among them ended. Each psychic had a different prediction for me. The first nine psychics I saw suggested that I become a car salesman, a builder, a politician, a psychic, an actor, a businessman dealing with resorts, and finally, a bricklayer. The tenth told me to prepare to retire with the money I was going to inherit...

     One psychic predicted that I would have a sex change operation. He was the same one who told me that I had a secret enemy, and suggested that I urinate in a milk carton, write the names of anyone who might be angry with me on the outside of the carton with a felt-tip pen, then place the full carton in my refrigerator to ward off danger.

Chuck Whitlock, Chuck Whitlock's Scam School, 1997 

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Raymond Roth: A Scam Artist Who Faked His Death

     On July 28, 2012, Jonathan Roth reported his 48-year-old father, Raymond Roth, missing. Raymond, his wife Evana, and their 22-year-old son lived on Long Island in Massapequa, New York. According to Jonathan, his father, while swimmi…

     On July 28, 2012, Jonathan Roth reported his 48-year-old father, Raymond Roth, missing. Raymond, his wife Evana, and their 22-year-old son lived on Long Island in Massapequa, New York. According to Jonathan, his father, while swimming off Nassau County's Jones Beach, had been swept out into the Atlantic Ocean.

     As officers from the U. S. Coast Guard and various law enforcement agencies searched for Raymond Roth, he was relaxing in Orlando, Florida at his timeshare condo. A couple of days into the search for Raymond's body, his 43-year-old wife Evana came across emails between her missing husband and their son that laid out their plan to defraud the life insurance company of $410,000.

     According the scheme, Evana would receive the life insurance payout, and Raymond would start a new life in Florida. Evana Roth, not a party to the fraud, called the Nassau County Police.

     On August 2, 2012, Raymond was driving back to New York. He had agreed to meet with law enforcement authorities in Massapequa. In Santee, South Carolina, a police officer pulled him over for driving 90 mph. After Roth failed to show up for his meeting with the authorities in Nassau County, a prosecutor charged him with insurance fraud, conspiracy, and filing a false report.

     Police officers, on August 6, 2012, took Raymond Roth and his son into custody. Both men made bail, and entered not guilty pleas to the criminal charges.

     On March 22, 2013, Raymond Roth and a Nassau County prosecutor agreed on a plea deal. In return for his guilty plea, the judge, on May 21, 2013, sentenced him to 90 days in jail and five years of probation. If Roth didn't pay $27,000 in restitution to the U. S. Coast Guard, and $9,000 to the Nassau Police Department, the judge would incarcerate him up to four years.

     Jonathan Roth pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation.

     People who fake their own deaths as a method of defrauding an insurance company rarely succeed. The most common technique in crimes like this involves staging phony drownings. Whenever a heavily insured person goes swimming or boating and doesn't come back, and the body is not recovered, alarm bells go of in the insurance company's office. In a world in which we are under constant video and computer surveillance, it's hard for insurance scam artists to remain dead very long.

     Shortly after pleading guilty to insurance fraud, Raymond Roth was in trouble again with the law. In Freeport, New York, he identified himself to a woman as a police officer and ordered her into his van. She fled into a nearby store and called the police. Instead of jail, the authorities took Roth to a psychiatric ward where he tried to commit suicide. A local prosecutor charged him with criminal impersonation and attempted kidnapping.

     In April 2014, Raymond Roth pleaded guilty to impersonation of a police officer and attempted unlawful imprisonment. The judge sentenced him to two to seven years in prison.

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

The Confidence Man

Confidence men trade upon certain weaknesses in human nature. Until human nature changes perceptibly there is little possibility that there will be a shortage of marks for con games. So long as there are marks with money, the law will find great diffic…

Confidence men trade upon certain weaknesses in human nature. Until human nature changes perceptibly there is little possibility that there will be a shortage of marks for con games. So long as there are marks with money, the law will find great difficulty in suppressing confidence games, even assuming that local government officers are sincerely interested. Increased legal obstacles have, in the past, had little ultimate effect upon confidence men, except perhaps to make them more wary and to force them to develop their technique to a very high level of perfection. As long as the political boss, whether he be local, state, or national, fosters a machine wherein graft and bribery are looked upon as a normal phase of government, as long as juries, judges and law enforcement officers can be had for a price, the confidence man will live and thrive in our society.

David W. Maurer, The Big Con, 1940

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

"Two Stage" BMW Theft Attempt

Modern cars have alarm systems that automatically connect to a remote call center. This makes cars harder to steal, since tripping the alarm causes a quick response. This article describes a theft attempt that tried to neutralize that security system. In the first attack, the thieves just disabled the alarm system and then left. If the owner had not immediately…

Modern cars have alarm systems that automatically connect to a remote call center. This makes cars harder to steal, since tripping the alarm causes a quick response. This article describes a theft attempt that tried to neutralize that security system. In the first attack, the thieves just disabled the alarm system and then left. If the owner had not immediately repaired the car, the thieves would have returned the next night and -- no longer working under time pressure -- stolen the car.

from https://www.schneier.com/blog/

Sticky Fingered Grandmas

     Although retail stores once tolerated shoplifting among the elderly, some big-box stores have installed zero-tolerance policies for the crime, which has led to the arrest of more seniors for stealing everything from dentures and hearing-aid batteries to fruit. Whatever kinds of things elderly people shoplift, their crime incites more than its share of rage and suspicion.

     In 2009, Ella Orko, eighty-six-years-old, was arrested for shoplifting at a Chicago supermarket. It was her sixty-first arrest since 1956. The police referred to her as both a “career” shoplifter and a “habitual” shoplifter. Among the items Orko shoplifted were wrinkle cream, canned salmon, instant coffee, and batteries. Over the course of her life, she had assumed at least fifty aliases….

     At sentencing, Orko rolled into court in a wheelchair wearing a neck brace and pleading deafness, although when arrested two days earlier, she was wheelchair-and neck-brace-free. The judge, who wore hearing aids on both ears, sentenced her to time served in light of her advanced age.

Rachel Shteir, The Steal, 2011 

     Although retail stores once tolerated shoplifting among the elderly, some big-box stores have installed zero-tolerance policies for the crime, which has led to the arrest of more seniors for stealing everything from dentures and hearing-aid batteries to fruit. Whatever kinds of things elderly people shoplift, their crime incites more than its share of rage and suspicion.

     In 2009, Ella Orko, eighty-six-years-old, was arrested for shoplifting at a Chicago supermarket. It was her sixty-first arrest since 1956. The police referred to her as both a "career" shoplifter and a "habitual" shoplifter. Among the items Orko shoplifted were wrinkle cream, canned salmon, instant coffee, and batteries. Over the course of her life, she had assumed at least fifty aliases….

     At sentencing, Orko rolled into court in a wheelchair wearing a neck brace and pleading deafness, although when arrested two days earlier, she was wheelchair-and neck-brace-free. The judge, who wore hearing aids on both ears, sentenced her to time served in light of her advanced age.

Rachel Shteir, The Steal, 2011 

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Retail Theft: Protecting Items Shoplifters Want To Steal

     In our anything-goes time, shoplifting forbidden objects is more difficult than you might think. Take cigarettes: A lot of people used to shoplift them, particularly young people. That is no longer possible now that the law mandates…

     In our anything-goes time, shoplifting forbidden objects is more difficult than you might think. Take cigarettes: A lot of people used to shoplift them, particularly young people. That is no longer possible now that the law mandates that cigarettes be placed behind the cash register. You have to commit an armed robbery to steal smokes. Or take pornographic magazines, once widely stolen. (For the articles.) Today, with Internet porn available at the click of a mouse, why bother shoplifting Playboy?

     But take condoms. After two decades of selling them on the open shelves, chain pharmacies, citing shoplifting in the 1990s, began locking them up. In the spring of 2006, an article about CVS doing so in its twenty-two D.C. stores appeared in The Washington Post.

Rachel Shteir, The Steal, 2011 

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/