Thieves Bring Dark Times to Two Sunny State Movers


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As movers, our first priority is making sure the belongings our customers entrust us with remain safe. We lock our trucks and our warehouse doors and chain up the gate.

But just as important as protecting our customers’ goods is protecting our own stuff—namely, our trucks.

Sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

A U-Haul center in the paradise of Hawaii has fallen victim to not one, not a couple, but dozens of instances of vandalism and theft this year. Kaleo Alau, owner of the U-Haul center, tells Hawaii News Now that the accused perpetrators, homeless individuals living under a nearby viaduct, have smashed windows, stolen batteries, siphoned gas and even lit a fire, causing thousands in damage and lost business.

It’s something that’s very hard to catch,” says Alau. “They have lookouts on one side who will warn people when a car is coming. There is a place to jump in the water and swim away which has happened before when they got caught.”

So what about security cameras? They might help—though not if your perpetrators know they are there.

That was the case in Hollywood, Florida, where two men scoped out the lot of the North American Moving Company before moving in and stealing ten wheels off two trucks, leaving the rigs sitting on wooden blocks as they rolled the stolen tires under a fence and into their white van. (It’s always a white van, isn’t it?)

Security camera footage shows the men hiding their faces with pieces of cardboard from whichever cameras they hadn’t already disabled or turned toward the sky. Moving company owner Gary Manning noted that these guys knew exactly what they were doing. “These weren’t just two guys walking off the street,” he added.

Unfortunately, these guys are still walking the streets. More evidence if there ever was some to keep your equipment as secure as you possibly can.

Expert on Criminology Has Items Stolen by Movers, Is Challenged to a Lie Detector Test


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Imagine spending twenty years studying fraud and white-collar crime. Imagine you’ve taught on the subject at the university level, you’ve written articles and books on fraud, and imagine you’ve even made a documentary on the largest case of municipal fraud in U.S. history. Top your hypothetical off with a Ph.D. in accounting, and you’d be pretty sure you could handle it if someone accused you of lying. Especially if you weren’t.

So now imagine how a woman by the name of Kelly Pope, who actually fit all of these descriptions, felt after she complained to her moving company that her movers stole some of her property, then they accused her of lying. Pope found herself on the defense, accused by the moving company of making a fraudulent claim. Says Pope in a recent Forbes article,

A crime was committed (in my case, movers working for a large moving company ransacked my drawers, found my hidden wedding bands, and stole them, during my move). I discovered the theft right after the movers left my house and immediately reported the crime to the police, offering a minute by minute account of what had happened. Next, I contacted the president of the company via LinkedIn and shared my complaint, then I waited and waited…and waited for a resolution. During that wait time, I never thought that the moving company would turn the tables on me to the point where I now find myself scared to speak about my story because the company has threatened to seek legal action…against me.

Kelly Pope.

Her story plays out like a movie, complete with a lie detector test and the very real chance that her name and good reputation, not to mention her life’s work, could all be forever tarnished if she didn’t clear herself – which, Ms. Pope would find out, can be extremely difficult to do in this age of instant commentary and lies flying all over the place.

So you may be wondering …

Did our heroine pass her polygraph? Did she clear her name? Did she get her property back? And what about those thieving movers? Whatever happened to them?

Well, she didn’t get her stuff back. The law makes thievery difficult to prove without proof. But she did use a polygraph to help clear her own name against the movers.

As for the loss of wedding bands that were selfishly stolen from me, probably never to be returned or replaced by the moving company, I feel sad. But what I feel sadder about still is the way a legal maneuver was used to silence a would-be whistle-blower.

You may be wondering, by the way, about the results from my polygraph test. Was I lying?  Hell No! I passed the polygraph with flying colors. I did not issue a false claim against that thief-of-a-moving company… The truth has set me free.

Not the best situation all around, but a lesson to any crummy moving companies out there thinking about crossing your customers: be careful who you steal from.

Real Local Crime Blotters: Movers Edition


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Lexington, Massachusetts

Saturday, Feb. 25

3:55 p.m.: A caller from Burlington Street reported a suspicious black van parked in their driveway. When Lexington Police arrived, it was found that the van belonged to the moving company which helped the caller move into their home.

Meanwhile, the movers were on the phone with police to report a suspicious individual lurking in the house they were moving furniture into…



Brockton, Massachusetts

Sunday, February 26th

Officer Amanda O’Shea took a report in the lobby of the Scituate police station from a Scituate fisherman who had just come in from pulling his traps and had a box of lobsters intended for sale at the town pier. The fisherman said he had put the box of lobsters in the rear refrigeration unit of a Mullaney’s truck that was at the town pier.

As he pulled away to moor his boat he saw a moving truck pull up beside the Mullaney’s truck. Footage from Area surveillance cameras showed two occupants of the moving truck getting out and approaching the Mullaney’s truck. One of the men was then seen going to the rear of the moving truck before both occupants got back into their truck and drove away. Goodbye lobsters.

Upshot: Both men ended up turning themselves in, were released on $500 bail and are due back in court in April.

Rumor has it they don’t even like lobster.


Des Moines, Washington

One Sunny Sunday, 2016

An employee at a Des Moines storage and moving facility alerted authorities after discovering more than two tons of illegal fireworks in a shipping container earlier this week.

Federal, state and local and local agencies searched the scene and uncovered 131 boxes of consumer fireworks – including artillery shells, cakes fountains and aerials.

These type of fireworks are illegal and require a fireworks import license, the State Fire Marshal’s Office said.

The containers were being moved from Olympia to Honolulu.

131 boxes. More than two tons. That’s more than 30 pounds of stuff that can explode per box. Talk about heavy artillery.


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