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There Be Thieving Afoot!

It was a tough call for Strange Security this month. Two distinct themes emerged in the strange, security-related news coverage from the last month or so. We opted not to go with heat-wave related coverage, so you’re spared (almost) from links to the story about sea lions sick from toxic algae attacking people or the one on mass brawls erupting at German swimming pools crowded because of thermometer-busting temps.

Instead we look at a spate of stories on theft, and are left wondering: Are these strange crimes happening more often than they use to or are they just being more widely reported? Also, what is wrong with these people?

As usual, our disclaimer: Security is a serious business and often involves innocent victims, even in these strange stories. We do not mean to diminish any suffering or damage resulting from these stories, but nonetheless, here is the all-theft version of Strange Security:

Number 5People Will Steal Anything, Exhibit A: Charcoal—Surveillance cameras pointed toward the Dollar General parking lot in Liberty Township, Ohio, recorded the incident. Thieves pulled up in a Ford Ranger, loaded 16 bags of charcoal and eight folding chairs, and drove away—missing the opportunity to grab some graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars.

Number 4People Will Steal Anything, Exhibit B: Movie Prop Sculpture—A larger-than-life sculpture resembling a Venus flytrap and weighing more than 150 pounds was stolen from the set of Beetlejuice 2, which is currently filming—or would be without the actor’s strike—in New Corinth, Vermont. Also missing: a lamppost and some house windows for the set that were in storage. The large sculpture resembles one featured in the iconic first Beetlejuice movie, though neither police nor the studio has confirmed if it is the same piece or a replica.

Number 3People Will Steal Anything, Exhibit C: Paving Stones—Imagine you’re a mild-mannered homeowner in the English suburbs, and you wake up one morning to find someone has dug up and stolen half of the large stone pavers from the path to your small garden. Apparently, there’s a lucrative black market for Yorkstone pavers, though churches seem to be the primary target of the thieves.

Number 2People Will Steal Anything, Exhibit D: Food Truck—This is not just any food truck. This is a vintage, 1958 silver Airstream mobile home. The Okie Goodness, serving “wood-fired pizza and delectables,” had been serving the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area for seven years when the Airstream was stolen in the middle of the day. Happily, this story, unlike most thefts, ends with a total recovery of the asset.

Number 1People Who Steal Anything: Maybe They’re Just Lonely—Amber Beraun returned to her Indianapolis, Indiana, home after a night shift delivering pizzas. Checking her mailbox, a man brandished a handgun and told her to let him inside so he could rob the place. She convinced him there was nothing of value in the house, but that he could have her tips from the night, giving him approximately $100. He then forced her to friend him on Facebook, and the next day said he was sorry, that he wanted to return the money, and asked her if she wanted to hang out. It didn’t go quite as he was hoping, and you know he’s probably in some trouble when his defense attorney is quoted as saying he is “presumed innocent and his defense team looks forward to holding the State of Indiana to their burden of proof at trial.”

And even more thievery articles we noticed in the last month or so: