[ISN] Woman kidnapped in 0.5m IT theft

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Sun Aug 17 2003 - 22:40:48 PDT

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    Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkat_private>
    
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/7/32363.html
    
    By John Leyden
    Posted: 15/08/2003
    
    IT companies are being urged to review their physical security after
    the financial director of a computer distributor was kidnapped and
    forced to help burglars steal computer equipment worth more then
    500,000.
    
    The kidnap of the 30-year-old woman and subsequent robbery, which are
    reminiscent of attacks normally carried out against bank staff,
    represent a disturbing new trend in crimes against IT companies.
    
    According to a police statement, the 30-year-old woman had returned
    home from a meal out with friends in Guildford just before midnight on
    13 August, before she was grabbed from behind and forced to the floor.
    
    She was forced to hand over the keys to her workplace before being
    tied up and bundled into a white or silver Transit-type van, which was
    waiting outside.
    
    After a 30-minute drive, the woman was forced to give the crooks the
    access code for the Hampshire premises of Pyramid Ltd. She then spent
    around two hours in the warehouse while the men selected various
    computers, valued at more than 500,000, which they loaded onto two
    lorries using a forklift truck. They then drove off, leaving the woman
    behind. She eventually managed to free herself then reported the
    incident to the Police.
    
    Thankfully the woman did not suffer any physical injuries as a result
    of her terrifying ordeal.
    
    Police believe three men (two black and one white) were involved in
    the abduction of the woman. Up to four further men were involved in
    the theft of the computer equipment that included Compaq Evo N610,
    N800 or N1015 notebook computers and Compaq flat screen monitors.
    
    Detective Chief Inspector Brian Marjoram of Surrey Police, who is
    leading the investigation, said: "This was a very frightening
    experience for the young woman concerned. Thankfully incidents of this
    nature are extremely rare in Surrey.
    
    "However, I would ask anyone working for companies dealing with high
    value attractive goods, such as computer equipment and jewellery, to
    look at your personal and business security," he added.
    
    
    Don't let it happen to you...
    
    IT Industries, which is part of the Pyramid Group, handles the excess
    inventories of HP/Compaq along with a number of other OEMs. The
    company sent out a statement on the attack to around 5000 customers
    and business partners yesterday. This gave an early estimate that
    goods worth 300,000 had been stolen. This figure has since been
    revised upwards to 500,000. The goods, already paid for, were
    insured. IT Industries continues to trade as normal.
    
    Conrad Mohr, managing director at IT Industries/Pyramid Group,
    explained its motives for publicising the crime against it: "We are
    trying to ensure that the market is fully aware of what has happened
    so that they can then increase their own personal and business
    security measures.
    
    "If any good can come from this awful event - which is a sign of the
    times - then I'd hope that it would be that we have helped prevent
    this happening to others," he added.
    
    Mohr told us that the young woman at the centre of the distressing
    crime is fine and coping "brilliantly" in the circumstances.
    
    
    Police appeal
    
    Police are appealing to witnesses to the crime. In particular, they
    are interested in any sightings of a white or silver van around the
    Bellfields area in Guildford on the evening of Wednesday, August 14 or
    in Alton in the early hours of Thursday, 14 August.
    
    DCI Marjoram added: "We are also appealing to anyone who has been
    offered Compaq Evo N610, N800 or N1015 notebook computers or Compaq
    flat screen monitors at reduced prices, or anyone who has been
    contacted to obtain prices on these items, to come forward."
    
    Anyone with any information should contact the Major Incident Room at
    Guildford police station on 01483 653930, quoting Operation Dolphin or
    to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
    
    
    
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