Used laptop buyers, beware the bargain; it might be stolen
Published Thursday, December 20, 2018 10:00PM AST
Halifax-area police have issued a warning: if you're offered a great, last-minute deal on a laptop computer, there's a good chance it might be stolen.
Thieves carted away $10,000 worth of laptops after breaking into a tech store in Cole Harbour last weekend.
“We keep reasonable amounts of security, but it just goes to prove there's not much you can do if the guy's determined,” said Thomas Wheatley, co-owner of TechMania.
Two thieves broke into the store, and they even had the foresight to bring a large suitcase.
They smashed a hole in the front door and it only took a few minutes to get inside, load up on laptop computers, and get out.
It was all captured on the store's surveillance-camera, but the thieves also made sure their faces were covered.
Although they’re not hopeful of ever seeing the computers again, the owners would welcome information.
Although the thieves acted quickly during the break-in, unloading the merchandise might be more difficult than they thought.
“If anybody out there sees this and finds a stack of laptops with no chargers, that are completely new in like pawn shops and stuff, maybe they could give us a ring and let us know,” Wheatley said.
Robert Boutilier, who is the manager of a pawn shop, says they're not even slightly-interested in accepting stolen goods, no matter how good the deal.
He said alarm bells would go off if somebody tried to sell a bunch of laptops without chargers.
In fact, details on the break-in at Wheatley’s store have already been shared, and the thieves won't be welcomed with open arms.
“Twenty laptops, no chargers?” Boutilier said. “We added it into our stolen report, and it goes to all of our locations.”
Which leaves the internet and any number of buy, sell and swap sites.
If not unloaded there, police say the thieves may try a more direct approach.
“So, at any time, if anyone approaches you and offers you a discount on a laptop computer, you may want to reconsider it, and you may want to do some research yourself and determine whether or not the item itself is stolen, or if it's legit,” said Nova Scotia RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dal Hutchinson.
The police investigation is ongoing and officers suspect efforts to unload the looted laptops are continuing as well. But, given the time of year, that may prove easier said than done.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.