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Reports From the DVD Crime Blotter

11 Nov, 2003 By: Holly J. Wagner

These accounts are culled from newspaper reports of police activity across the nation:

* October 2003: A man who allegedly stole 17 DVDs from a Winchester, Va., Wal-Mart got into a scrape with a federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agent who was in the parking lot when the man fled. Drug paraphernalia was found in the supect's car after his arrest.

* September 2003: A man went into a St. Petersburg, Fla., Blockbuster and started emptying shelves into a bag. When he realized security cameras had caught him, he dropped the bag and left. A deputy found him 25 feet from the store. Before his arrest, he told the deputy, “I was trying to steal DVDs from Blockbuster.” His sister told the deputy her brother planned to pawn the discs for cash.

* Two youths were cited in Grafton, Wis., after allegedly stealing CDs, DVDs and clothing valued at $159. The pair told police they planned to resell the goods for pocket money when school started.

* Thieves reported a fire in Tampa, Fla., and then stole a TV, a DVD collection and a truck from the firehouse while the firefighters answered the call.

* August 2003: A man in Greenacres, Fla., was sent to jail after he was caught on security cameras taking DVDs from their cases and putting them into old cases he had brought into the store with him in a cooler. He trashed the new cases, put some shirts and small appliances on top of the cooler and went through the checkout. He was arrested after he tried to pay for the appliances and shirts, but not the DVDs.

* October 2002: A Hollywood Video store in Murietta, Calif., was burglarized of an estimated 300 to 500 of its rental discs. The suspects have not been caught.

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