German Thief Nabbed After Online Sale to Victim

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Today, I decided to save the best for first ... PAT]

A German thief stole a man's in-car navigation system and unwittingly auctioned it online back to his victim, who had police arrest him, authorities said on Wednesday.

Police in Berlin said the 26-year-old victim spotted the device on an Internet auction site and quickly re-acquired what he had reported stolen from his car some two weeks previously.

He informed police, who went to the thief's house posing as the buyers and then arrested the 21-year-old.

"I think the thief got a bit of a surprise," said a Berlin police spokesman, adding the man confessed to the theft.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Although this would have worked as a 'last laugh' feature, I was inspired by the clumsy stupidity of the thief and decided to present it early on in this issue.

I am very much reminded of the incident three weeks ago where the 'nice young man' showed up here at my house on one of the hotter, more humid days of this summer asking for a drink of water and a chance to use my bathroom, which I allowed. Afterward, as Timothy Garotte was acting so grateful and lovey-dovey about the water and the bathroom, he walked off with a box of unused checks of mine, which were for use on our local bank. I did not even find out about it until the next day, when a woman who is my part time housekeeper called from her other (full time) job on the other side of town to ask me if I had given an okay for this fellow to come in with my checks to purchase cigarettes and get cash back. Not just once, but _three times_ that day and again the next morning. If Timothy had not been so damn dumb and instead had gone out to Walmart, he could have pulled it off, mainly since Walmart is friends of no one here in town, nor would they have bothered to inquire, as the cashier at Mikey's Conoco station thought to do. Fortunatly for me, police had the guy the same day, a few minutes after he was on his _fourth trip_ to the station for cigarettes and cash back. According to police officer John Edwards, my instance was 'almost a record' in the time from offense to capture, much like the German lad who ripped off the man's automobile GSM unit, then turned around and sold it back to him via E-Bay a few days later. It makes me glad to be part of a small town where the merchants know all the citizens and care about them. PAT]

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