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 Post subject: Telescope theft
PostPosted: March 21st, 2017, 3:45 am 
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Joined: March 21st, 2017, 3:17 am
Posts: 6
Hi folks, a bit over a month ago the incident described below occurred. I did not identify the items in the post copied here from my alert on "Nextdoor" but the first item mentioned is a TEC 160 refractor, which luckily was not stolen. The item referred later that was stolen is a Meade 10" SCT optical assembly (flat blue crinkle finish) with a Canon 70D camera attached on a custom wooden alt az mount (similar to those here: http://ejamison.net/refractordobmounts.html) and Meade tripod.

This post is to alert anyone who might stumble across the OTA and mount (highly unlikely but possible) and remind everyone to keep invoices and other sorts of documentation about your stuff. I got a reasonable insurance settlement because I had everything well documented, but I still would like to find the scope and fake UPS agent who set up the theft, especially the mount that a friend of mine built for me. I have my Craigslist alerts set up in the area and check Ebay frequently. The cop said it probably would end up on one of the two outlets.

Cheers and clear, crime free skies.
Chris C.

From the crime section of Nextdoor.com.

Bogus UPS agent crime ring
Chris Carlton from Southdowns ยท 10m ago
On 10 Feb I took delivery of an item from UPS in the normal manner. On 16 Feb I received a call on my cell from a fellow claiming to be from "UPS security." He said he was calling to confirm delivery of the 16 Feb item. He quoted my name, the name and city of the shipper, date of the delivery, had my phone number (obviously), and mentioned that the delivery was reported left at "met customer man." These three words were verbatim from the UPS delivery invoice accessed via the tracking number. I just said yes and the call ended. It seemed odd but seemed reasonable in the sense that the guy had all the necessary shipping information. I figured maybe they were checking on items above a certain insured level, or some such.

Twelve hours later, during the wee hours of the morning of 17 Feb, an item was stolen from my cluttered and somewhat secluded back yard, within 20 ft of my bedroom. The item weighed about 100 pounds and was removed without a trace or noise through the side gate, presumably down the driveway and into a waiting vehicle. The item stolen was similar in both appearance and function to the one delivered by UPS. Nothing else was stolen or molested.

After visiting with the police the next morning I went by the local UPS store and shared the details with the folks there. They confirmed that UPS has nothing like security agents, nor would UPS ever call to confirm a documented delivery. She even called the number and asked a couple innocent questions and was hung up on.

In summary, this suggests a criminal enterprise that involves access to UPS shipping information. If you have received a similar call after receiving a package, whether you responded or not, I suggest calling the police. Someone is trying to arrange a pickup! If you were the victim of a theft following such a call, by all means call and provide a follow up if it was not part of the original report. The police are not likely to follow up on a one time case, but if a pattern emerges, then they might take it more seriously.

In addition to the police, I reported it to the generic UPS helpline, which was not reassuring.


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