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Dear Valued Customer: You are a dumbass

epson-stylus-c79-printer.jpgImagine you are a petty crook and you want to make some fake IDs. You want them in a hurry, but you don’t want them to be crappy, do you? So, what would be a good way to solve both problems? If you said “steal a printer designed to print driver’s licenses,” then you are of one mind with Timothy Short. He stole one from a Missouri state office, and even remembered to take the PC that was attached.

But now a new problem cropped up. The PC was locked by a special key kept in a separate secure location. This lock rendered the computer unusable to anyone. Now Timothy was stuck with a useless computer and a printer that would not work without the proper drivers. So how did he fix his dilemma?

Why, he did what any other person having trouble with his computer would do. He called tech support.

Surely, this would have normally been a good idea. But what Tim did not know was that the Secret Service was listening in on the customer service calls:

According to a sworn statement by Secret Service Special Agent John Bush, someone who identified himself as “Scott” called Digimarc two days later and asked if he could buy printer drivers for the model of printer that had been swiped from the St. Charles office.
The Secret Service agent later listened to a recording of this call and recognized Short’s voice from a prior investigation, Bush said. The caller also gave Digimarc the same phone number Short had used in an unrelated identity theft case, Bush said.

Agent Bush happily ‘assisted’ good old Tim right into a jail cell (the charge is “possession of document-making implements”), and now he is facing 10 years in prison and a whopping $250,000 fine. Next time, buddy, you might want to check the website first. Or not steal government printers. Whatever.