BarCode Thieves Steal from Walmart Stores and Targetposted by MR WAVETHEORY at 10/25/2006 11:12:00 AM
One guy stole Legos:
He pilfered the toys by creating counterfeit bar codes that allowed $100 Lego sets, for example, to be rung up for just $19. Then he resold them on a Web site for toy collectors.
Another guy and his wife stole Dyson vacuum cleaners:
Over six months in 2004, Thomas Westwood, his wife, Jennifer, and mother-in-law, Kathleen Dodson, worked the bar-code scam at Target stores. Using a computer, they scanned bar codes from relatively inexpensive Target items and printed out copies. Then they returned to the store and pasted the fakes onto expensive Dyson vacuum cleaners, DVD players and phones. Cashiers dutifully rang up the wrong prices.
Yet another college student stole an iPod by downloading a barcoding program from the Internet called:
Last December, a Target security guard nabbed a Colorado college student after he purchased a $150 iPod that carried a bar code for $4.99 headphones, according to Mr. Brekke. The thief had fashioned the fake label with a $25 software program called Barcode Magic, which he'd downloaded from the Internet, Mr. Brekke says.
But it doesn't always have to be hi-tech:
Bruce and Laura Wasz, a mother-and-son team, ran an 11-person theft ring in Illinois. They paid people to hit home-improvement chains such as The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE HD) and Sears Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq SHLD) the Great Indoors. The thieves stole the old-fashioned way, simply sneaking things out the doors. Accomplices ripped off entire truckloads of products such as chain saws.
They stored the stuff in three shuttered pawn shops and unloaded it on eBay, using numerous different account names, according to Brian Hayes, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. "They held themselves out as honest dealers," says Mr. Hayes. Investigators later determined that in 2003 they sold more than $2 million of sump pumps, Koehler faucets, mosquito exterminators, snow blowers and other merchandise.