Clever Museum Theft
Some expensive and impressive stuff was stolen from the University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology:
A dozen pieces of gold jewelry designed by prominent Canadian artist Bill Reid were stolen from the museum sometime on May 23, along with three pieces of gold-plated Mexican jewelry. The pieces that were taken are estimated to be worth close to $2 million.
Of course, it's not the museum's fault:
But museum director Anthony Shelton said that elaborate computer program printouts have determined that the museum's security system did not fail during the heist and that the construction of the building's layout did not compromise security.
Um, isn't having stuff get stolen the very definition of security failing? And does anyone have any idea how "elaborate computer program printouts" can determine that security didn't fail? What in the world is this guy talking about?
A few days later, we learned that security did indeed fail:
Four hours before the break-in on May 23, two or three key surveillance cameras at the Museum of Anthropology mysteriously went off-line.
Around the same time, a caller claiming to be from the alarm company phoned campus security, telling them there was a problem with the system and to ignore any alarms that might go off.
Campus security fell for the ruse and ignored an automated computer alert sent to them, police sources told CBC News.
Meanwhile surveillance cameras that were still operating captured poor pictures of what was going on inside the museum because of a policy to turn the lights off at night.
Then, as the lone guard working overnight in the museum that night left for a smoke break, the thief or thieves broke in, wearing gas masks and spraying bear spray to slow down anyone who might stumble across them.
It's a particular kind of security failure, but it's definitely a failure.
Posted on June 6, 2008 at 5:04 AM • 50 Comments