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Payphone thief


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#1 Havoc

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:34 AM

http://videos.pennli...hone_thief.html

Harrisburg police say this man is alleged to have stolen about 30 payphones throughout the city.


he is not taking the whole body so what does he do with all these parts ? ebay ?

Edited by Havoc, 14 December 2009 - 03:12 AM.


#2 Phail_Saph

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 03:18 AM

lol...there were actually 30 payphones left to steal in Harrisburg... :tongue:

He must be trying to make a social/political point here...He's saying to everyone, "Look you have your cell phone thinking it is safe and all, cancelling your home service to save on monthly bills, but what would happen in a prolonged power failure and you run out of juice on your cell...what would you do?....What would you do?...without pay phones you are screwed...Hahahaha<cough>(he's an out-of-shape guy)haha<cough>...You should all leave my precious, er, pay phones alone if you know what's good for you!"

Cool video. I'm assuming the original feed has higher quality? If it did they would be able to id the guy and get his plate when he drives away. As to what he is really doing with them I'm curious to know too. The components might bring in some money like you say but I have a feeling something else is up such as a small organized crime job where they are stealing the phones and selling them whole to smaller pay phone companies. It would be cheaper for the third party to buy from this guy than to purchase a new phone outright. From what I understand of pay phones there isn't any security that prevents another phone from being used on another connection unlike a cell phone...but I could be wrong if someone could enlighten me I would appreciate it.


#3 rbcp

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 11:48 PM

I read an article years ago about guys that steal just the circuit boards from Cocots because they're worth several hundred dollars. Maybe he's taking the front of the phones because the circuit boards are located inside them.

#4 ticom

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 10:01 AM

The guy has a key. No way he's picking a Medeco payphone lock in 5 seconds.

1. Disgruntled communications company ex-employee.
2. Relative/friend of someone in the business.
3. An actual employee or owner of the company that owns the phones taking them out of service.

#5 rbcp

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 01:48 AM

The guy has a key. No way he's picking a Medeco payphone lock in 5 seconds.

1. Disgruntled communications company ex-employee.
2. Relative/friend of someone in the business.
3. An actual employee or owner of the company that owns the phones taking them out of service.


I think he's only taking the top section of the phone and he's leaving the back part and the coin box. You can see as he pulls it out, the innards of a phone. Maybe the top part of Cocots aren't as tough as Bell pay phones. He might just be using a mini crowbar to get the front off.

#6 snakesonaplane

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 10:11 AM

At least he's stealing them. A few months back, there was a guy in Cambridge, MA going around beating the shit out of parking meters.

#7 ticom

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 03:09 PM

COCOTS use the same form factor as Western Electric, GTE, et. al. single-slot coin stations.

Talking as someone who has experience working on them professionally, you aren't going to take a little 6" Stanley Wonder Bar and pry off the top cover on a coin station. A Dremel tool with the correct bits takes about 5-7 minutes to remove the top lock, if you know what you're doing. (If I ever find the asshole who took an epoxy-coated toothpick...)

The guy in the video isn't walking up to the phone with a 36" wrecking bar, nor would there be enough room along the side of the phone in those pedestal mounts.

Whatever he used fits in one hand and is manipulated with one hand.

Edited by Ticom, 21 December 2009 - 03:14 PM.


#8 Havoc

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 03:34 PM

If it would be just a video with no title as 'thief' and van would had some telco logo on it you could say this is a maintenance guy doing his job. Isn't it obvious that this bastard is just pretending to make a phone call while opening payphone with a matching key ??? I know this from real life experience (don't ask).
He is dumb enough to continue pretentinding while taking away the front cover.

#9 nyphonejacks

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 03:40 PM

The guy has a key. No way he's picking a Medeco payphone lock in 5 seconds.

1. Disgruntled communications company ex-employee.
2. Relative/friend of someone in the business.
3. An actual employee or owner of the company that owns the phones taking them out of service.



i watched this video again... and i seem to believe that he must have the authorization to be removing, or repairing these phones...

1- the video is too short to prove otherwise... it does not show what happens after he places the phone into the back of the truck, if he returned to the phone pedestal or if he drove off..

2- video quality is too poor to tell if that is a keyring, or tool belt on his waist (viewing it several times it looks more like a key ring to me)

3- aside from walking a little quickly to the back of the van to put the phone down he does not appear to be acting suspicious, or looking around concerned who is watching... the quick walk in itself may not be suspicious at all, since it appears he was carrying the phone in one hand, and may have wanted to put it down as soon as possible due to its possible weight?

4- it appears to be a COCOT, so it is not like a non-bell truck pulling up, taking a bell payphone...

5- the license plate is conveniently covered by the tree... when he drove off it would be completely visible by the camera, if this is a video of an actual payphone theft then this guy would have been arrested pretty quickly...

#10 Skunkworks

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 03:27 PM

Still looks fairly suspicous to me.

If the quality of this video is indeed the quality from the camera, not much could be done as far as enhancement to view to license plate.

#11 nyphonejacks

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 03:51 PM

Still looks fairly suspicous to me.

If the quality of this video is indeed the quality from the camera, not much could be done as far as enhancement to view to license plate.

true that it would be difficult to identify the state, but the numbers on the license plate should be large enough and spaced out enough to if not get the full plate number, at least be able to get a general idea of the plate, and narrow down the search..

#12 Havoc

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 04:25 PM

am I watching too many US tv series or there isn't any other video camera in this city ???
he robbed 30 payphones so detectives should have more evidence than just a single video; he is not wearing any gloves
so it's just a matter of time

#13 nwbell

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 12:04 PM

Aren't some COCOTS alarmed? Perhaps that's why he had to make a call while disassembling it... either dialing the sequence to disable the alarm, or "phoning home" to have the alarm disabled/ignored.




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