Category Archives: Theft

Greed Can Be Dangerous: A 2800-year-old Case Solved?

Gold Bowl


How did a valuable gold bowl and three skeletons end up at the bottom of a refuse shaft in the ancient Iranian citadel of Hasanlu? It just might have been a building collapse that did in the unlucky thieves. Interesting historical forensics.

New Scientist:

Ancient Origins:


Remains of the citadel of Hasanlu

Remains of the citadel of Hasanlu


Clever Air-born Thief

Recently an unusual theft took place on an Air Antilles flight. Prior to take off $1.6 million in cash was stuffed into the cargo hold by a Brink’s security guard for transportation between the island of Guadeloupe and St. Maarten. However, $238,000 didn’t make it.

It seems that a very clever thief removed the panels that separated the toilet from the cargo area and made it off the plane and out of the airport with the cash. It also appears he might have had an accomplice who helped him fake an illness.

Here’s the story.

You can’t make this stuff up.


Posted by on March 27, 2011 in Interesting Cases, Theft


Helpful Hint of the Day: Don’t Piss Where You Rob

Here is your helpful hint for the day–don’t piss where you rob. It seems that a twenty-seven-year-old Swedish man didn’t get the message. He and his buddy broke into a bank and began emptying safe deposit boxes. They had a couple of partners outside with cell phones keeping tabs on the movements of the security guards. Sounds like a good plan. Unfortunately nature called and one of the thieves had to relieve himself and he did so in a plastic bag which he unwisely left behind.

Urine is simply a liquid that contains a lot of waste products, electrolytes, and other things of the body no longer needs. It doesn’t contain DNA. However, the cells that line the urinary tract do and these are picked up by the urine as it moves from the kidneys to the environment. The police were able to extract DNA from the urine sample the thief so helpfully left behind and were able to identify him in that manner.

Some stories just make you feel all warm and tingly. Excuse me, I’ve got to go hit the head.


Posted by on March 10, 2011 in DNA, Interesting Cases, Theft


Cattle Rustling and Drug Abuse: Old Crimes Meet New Crimes

This is something you don’t read about everyday. Maybe 100 years ago or so, but in 2009? Seems Texas (and many other states) has a cattle rustling problem. Not that rustling has ever really gone away, but lately it’s been on the rise.

The vaunted Texas Rangers have a cattle theft division, manned by 29 officers. And don’t overlook the power of the Cattle Raisers Association. Still, cattle go missing on almost a daily basis.

In 2008, 6400 head of Texas cattle disappeared, three times that of 2007. And when a fattened steer can rake in 500 to several thousand dollars a head, the money motivation is very real. Also, many ranchers are “gentlemen ranchers.” They live in the city but own and manage ranches out in rural Texas. They don’t always keep tabs on the head count so cattle can slide off the radar and never be seen again.

Case in point: Supreme Farms in Denton, just north of Dallas/Fort Worth, lost track of 122 head of Black Angus worth over $100,000. Enter the Texas Rangers. Most modern rustlers simply sneak on to a ranch, load up some cattle, and drive away. That’s more or less what 34-year-old Marty Kays did. The son of a ranch hand on the Supreme Farm spread, Marty actually used one of Supreme Farm’s pickups and livestock trailers to abscond with the cattle.

Ranger Troy McKinney went to work. Using the state’s registry of 100,000 brands, he found that cattle bearing the Supreme Farm brand were being sold at cattle sale barns by Kays. When confronted with the evidence, Kays confessed, saying that he needed the money to feed his drug habit.

Old crime meets new crime. And it’s not just in Texas, with cases reported in Missouri, Oklahoma, California, Alabama, and the list goes on.

Where’s Randolph Scott when you need him?


LA Times article

NY Times article

Reuters article

1 Comment

Posted by on August 11, 2009 in Police Procedure, Theft

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