Man Steals 2,000 New-Car Key Fobs, Sells Them on eBay

In February 2018, Detroit Big Three automakers started to notice something strange with many new vehicles shipped from southeast Michigan to dealerships: they were missing one of the two key chains they are with. books. The 2018 Great Key Fob Caper, as we call it, was up and running – and it would last six full months and spawn numerous complaints and investigations from Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler before the keychain disappearances suddenly occurred . at a panic button stop, as indicated by the Detroit Free Press.

It turns out that the alleged attacker was arrested by authorities, who tracked his whereabouts and identity from eBay key chain sales, and then searched his house. By the time he was arrested and charged, Jason Gibbs, a local Dearborn resident who worked for a CSX contract company in an auto construction site used to ship new vehicles, allegedly lifted more than 1,900 new key chains. vehicles, such as like Ford F-150 – going through CSX custody and had them thrown on eBay. It was, apparently, a fairly lucrative secondary activity for Gibbs, who reportedly earned about $ 60,000.

Nor was the criminal activity very well concealed. While the stolen fobs were sold via an eBay account whose registered owner had no apparent connection to investigators at the CSX establishment linked to the missing keys, payments made for the stolen keys would have been paid into a linked PayPal account at Gibbs. According to Car and driver, the Gibbs connection was easy for investigators to spot: the username “scarpone21” on the PayPal account corresponded to Gibbs’ Instagram name. Oh, and shipments from some of the fobs to eBay buyers carried a return address (an abandoned house) where Gibbs had previously resided, the report said.

In an almost amusing way, it seems that Gibbs was not mistaken in using a proxy eBay account to move the stolen key chains. The main offending eBay account is believed to be owned by a friend, and he appears to have used it because his own eBay account had been suspended six years ago for offering bogus headphones for sale. There were other advantages to the seemingly low-key nature of this crime. Namely, it is assumed that no one on eBay realized that the fobs were stolen and that all of them were purchased as a replacement and reprogrammed for personal use; there are no reports of the use of keys to steal new cars or trucks from which they originate.

This story of true crime surfaced earlier this week when Mr. Gibbs was charged in a Detroit federal court with theft of goods from interstate shipments. (Remember, the cars were headed to dealers beyond Michigan.) Do you have to remember the lesson here? Theft is bad, and if you decide to put your criminal enterprise online, chances are you will be quickly caught and buried with a mountain of electronic evidence.

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