Stolen Equipment North Carolina
I received the info below in an email from the NC Society of Surveyors. Warning... the content could make you mad and freak you out at the same time.
If you can assist in helping to find these guys, please contact Jim Davis .
Merrick had a Trimble S6 Robotic Total Station, TSC3 Data Collector and Dell Laptop computer stolen from a work truck today in Charlotte. The incident happened around noon at the VA Medical Clinic on Tyvola Road. The VA Clinic had security cameras and recorded the incident. It appears the thief followed the survey truck into the parking lot and parked. He waited for the driver to go inside and then backed his vehicle up to the survey truck, pried open the back with a crowbar and took the instrument. He then used a tool to break into the cab of the truck and took the data collector and laptop computer. He tried to remove a set of tripod legs but couldn’t get them out easily. The whole incident only took 2-3 minutes. The thief obviously knew what he was looking for and he may have followed the survey truck from a nearby job site.
Probably worked on a survey crew in the past...One of the reasons we don't have any signage on our vehicles. Well, we usually don't, but I will slap a magnetic sign on when necessary to avoid people coming out to ask what you are doing. But usually not. If someone knows what type of equipment surveyors use, that is an attractive target. We take instruments, data collectors, etc in at night when on the road.
A friend runs the survey department for a company that works in several states. They had a very similar thing happen twice a few days apart a couple of months back. I believe they were in Georgia though.
A company I worked at in the 80's had a total station stolen FROM the office. A window was broken, they got inside and just took a total station. what was strange is that it looked like the window was broken from the inside out. Years later one of the party chiefs saw the stolen instrument on a construction site, still had the company sticker on it. It turns out it was an inside job, the guy said he bought it from someone who used to worked there. He didn't think anything was wrong since the guy said he was selling it on behalf of the owner.
The guy who stole it was a real shady character. He was from eastern Europe, and he would disappear for months at a time. Then he would return with some wild stories about Saudi Princes, that he was a bodyguard to some princess, crazy stuff. The FBI came to my house one time to ask questions about him. One time he wanted to pay me to acquire Wild (before it was Leica) GPS software for him, said it was for some middle eastern government. Very strange character, but a competent draftsman. He was also charming in person, drove a mercedes sports car and dressed flashy (on a draftsman's salary). Suspicious, naw...read on...
There was a book written in 1989 called "The Cuckoo's Egg" (ISBN 0-671-72688-9) that told the story of a spy getting into government computers and stealing information. This guy was involved in that (and the reason the FBI came to interview me about him), and my old boss and his daughter/secretary are mentioned a few times in the book because he apparently did some hacking from the office. I believe he was probably a spy from some eastern bloc country back in the days of the cold war.