Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

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Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby william-james88 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:28 pm

It's not every day Transformers toys make the news. But several people have written in to let us know of this major bust in Alberta Canada where the authorities in Medicine Hat arrested a 37-year-old man after a six-week-long investigation into fraudulent transactions that targeted a number of big retailers in Alberta and Saskathewan, such as Walmarts.

The bust includes many figures you'd recognize, such as many from the Siege line, like Shockwave, and even G1 reissues like Devastator. the items seized tallies up to a worth of over $30,000 in Canadian dollars (which is equal to 300 Devastator sets). The perpetrator has been arrested for fraud and theft. What he would do was make his own bar codes of much lower prices to scan at the self check out. This criminal strategy has been used in the past for Lego sets, and also lead to arrests.

Below are some quotes form the news article from CTV.

Charles Dale Glasier was taken into custody on November 7 by the Medicine Hat Police Service.

Investigators recovered over $30,000 worth of items, consisting mainly of Transformers action figure toys and a variety of DVDs and DVD box sets. The property is believed to have been taken from stores in Medicine Hat, Calgary, Lethbridge, Taber, Brooks, Drumheller and Swift Current.

Police believe Glasier obtained the items directly from retailers by fraudulent means for a fraction of their regular price. Officials say he was intending to sell the items for profit.

Glasier has been charged with one global count of fraud over $5,000 and possession of stolen property over $5,000. He is currently in custody awaiting a bail hearing.


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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby Deadput » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:06 pm

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Oh wow that's right where I am! (Lethbridge)

This is some interesting news indeed.
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby Nemesis Maximo » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:18 pm

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Take that, Scalper Scum!
Back at it again!
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:33 pm

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So police auction when? ;)

But yeah, holy scrap that's a big haul!
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby zko » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:35 pm

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Nemesis Maximo wrote:Take that, Scalper Scum!


My thoughts exactly.
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby Aimless Misfire » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:48 pm

What? No Titans Return wave 5? Pffft........AMATUER! :roll:
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby -Kanrabat- » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:20 pm

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It's that simple."
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I remember a story about a guy who stole tone of Lego sets in order to launder money. What he did was putting UPC-scan code stickers over the original ones of the Lego sets. Items that were much cheaper that scanned for a fraction of the price. Then he resold the sets via Ebay and such. His crimes finally ended when a cashier that cared a little bit more than usual about the job noticed something was amiss.

Lego sets is (or was) also a hot commodity to launder drug money or stolen credit cards. So when buying from a scalper, beware. The scalper may be an even bigger douchebag than you think.
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby D-Maximal_Primal » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:16 pm

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Take that asshole scalper!
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby Cyber Bishop » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:34 am

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Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!! Scalper gets what he deserves.
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby carytheone » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:00 am

Motto: "shelf space may be fleeting, but plastic is forever"
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I work in the cash register side of POS and this is very interesting to me. Mostly I wonder what tools (on the retail side) the police used to link all this together.

Self check out usually has a weight check verification to verify what was scanned versus what it should weigh. Seems a barcode swap would rule that out real quick unless someone went to a cashier. Going to a cashier seems pretty ballsy, and requires the cashier to not care or be paying attention.

Some retailers use AI software via their camera systems to tag suspicious transactions/scans (or non scans). The software uses image recognition to match up what was scanned with what the camera sees. It can also recognize items not being scanned or left in the shopping cart.

I'd have to assume the retailers noticed a pattern and reported it to the authorities first? I can't even imagine the amount of work that went into this investigation. Well, good job :APPLAUSE:
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:28 pm

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Nemesis Maximo wrote:Take that, Scalper Scum!

D-Maximal_Primal wrote:Take that asshole scalper!

Cyber Bishop wrote:Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!! Scalper gets what he deserves.


Scalper nothing, his supposed acquisition methods make him nothing more than a common thief.
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby william-james88 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:07 pm

carytheone wrote:I work in the cash register side of POS and this is very interesting to me. Mostly I wonder what tools (on the retail side) the police used to link all this together.

Self check out usually has a weight check verification to verify what was scanned versus what it should weigh. Seems a barcode swap would rule that out real quick unless someone went to a cashier. Going to a cashier seems pretty ballsy, and requires the cashier to not care or be paying attention.

Some retailers use AI software via their camera systems to tag suspicious transactions/scans (or non scans). The software uses image recognition to match up what was scanned with what the camera sees. It can also recognize items not being scanned or left in the shopping cart.

I'd have to assume the retailers noticed a pattern and reported it to the authorities first? I can't even imagine the amount of work that went into this investigation. Well, good job :APPLAUSE:


I have no clue how he pulled this off. Canadian Walmarts do indeed deal with weight. Plus, I thought there was a mechanism where it rings when you leave with a non scanned item and the original bar code remains unscanned in any case.

However, I did hear of this scam in the past with Legos in the US: https://www.vocativ.com/underworld/crim ... index.html
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby haldand » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:24 pm

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And... that's why I never liked the whole 'self checkout thing'. It's greedy on the part of the retailer. Pay a person to do that job. I refuse to use them. But there will come a day when there will be no humans on the floor and I'll have no choice.

Starting to think that I employ more folks with I on-line shop...
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby carytheone » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:34 pm

Motto: "shelf space may be fleeting, but plastic is forever"
Weapon: No Weapon
william-james88 wrote:
carytheone wrote:I work in the cash register side of POS and this is very interesting to me. Mostly I wonder what tools (on the retail side) the police used to link all this together.

Self check out usually has a weight check verification to verify what was scanned versus what it should weigh. Seems a barcode swap would rule that out real quick unless someone went to a cashier. Going to a cashier seems pretty ballsy, and requires the cashier to not care or be paying attention.

Some retailers use AI software via their camera systems to tag suspicious transactions/scans (or non scans). The software uses image recognition to match up what was scanned with what the camera sees. It can also recognize items not being scanned or left in the shopping cart.

I'd have to assume the retailers noticed a pattern and reported it to the authorities first? I can't even imagine the amount of work that went into this investigation. Well, good job :APPLAUSE:
I have no clue how he pulled this off. Canadian Walmarts do indeed deal with weight. Plus, I thought there was a mechanism where it rings when you leave with a non scanned item and the original bar code remains unscanned in any case.

However, I did hear of this scam in the past with Legos in the US: https://www.vocativ.com/underworld/crim ... index.html
Are you talking about the buzzer at the door? Those tags get deactivated at the front end. Typically the deactivation device are always on, so you could just run any item over them and deactivate the tag. Some fancier ones turn on after a scan and then turn off. Either way the typical security tags are not item specific and just get deactivated by a big ass electromagnet. Can't tell you how many of those I've pulled out of stores that bought used check stands. They weigh a ton and are built like a tank.

Once the technology is perfected, expect to see stores running either on fully RF IDs or just image recognition (the latter way more likely). There are several test/pilot stores on the west coast. Companies like Amazon will probably be the first to bring the "no check out" experience to mass market.

Theft is a constant battle at retail and a sizable chunk is internal. Eliminating theft and employees are high up on the wish list of most retailers. Most Walmart Supercenters I visit now have at least 30 self checkouts. Some of which have no weight checks. Eliminating that many employees (salary and benifits) can afford you a few dishonest customers. Unfortunately that's exactly the sales pitch of self checkout units. Think about that the next time you check yourself out at Walmart in the 10 lane self checkout corral with only one employee watching them all.
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:39 pm

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Weapon: Dual Bladed Sword
carytheone wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
carytheone wrote:I work in the cash register side of POS and this is very interesting to me. Mostly I wonder what tools (on the retail side) the police used to link all this together.

Self check out usually has a weight check verification to verify what was scanned versus what it should weigh. Seems a barcode swap would rule that out real quick unless someone went to a cashier. Going to a cashier seems pretty ballsy, and requires the cashier to not care or be paying attention.

Some retailers use AI software via their camera systems to tag suspicious transactions/scans (or non scans). The software uses image recognition to match up what was scanned with what the camera sees. It can also recognize items not being scanned or left in the shopping cart.

I'd have to assume the retailers noticed a pattern and reported it to the authorities first? I can't even imagine the amount of work that went into this investigation. Well, good job :APPLAUSE:
I have no clue how he pulled this off. Canadian Walmarts do indeed deal with weight. Plus, I thought there was a mechanism where it rings when you leave with a non scanned item and the original bar code remains unscanned in any case.

However, I did hear of this scam in the past with Legos in the US: https://www.vocativ.com/underworld/crim ... index.html
Are you talking about the buzzer at the door? Those tags get deactivated at the front end. Typically the deactivation device are always on, so you could just run any item over them and deactivate the tag. Some fancier ones turn on after a scan and then turn off. Either way the typical security tags are not item specific and just get deactivated by a big ass electromagnet. Can't tell you how many of those I've pulled out of stores that bought used check stands. They weigh a ton and are built like a tank.

Once the technology is perfected, expect to see stores running either on fully RF IDs or just image recognition (the latter way more likely). There are several test/pilot stores on the west coast. Companies like Amazon will probably be the first to bring the "no check out" experience to mass market.

Theft is a constant battle at retail and a sizable chunk is internal. Eliminating theft and employees are high up on the wish list of most retailers. Most Walmart Supercenters I visit now have at least 30 self checkouts. Some of which have no weight checks. Eliminating that many employees (salary and benifits) can afford you a few dishonest customers. Unfortunately that's exactly the sales pitch of self checkout units. Think about that the next time you check yourself out at Walmart in the 10 lane self checkout corral with only one employee watching them all.


One of my local ones has an extra layer of "defense": a security officer at the exit. Not always there, but when he is, he'll scan the bar code either on your receipt or the Walmart app and some bigger items you have bought.

I fail to see the effectiveness of that.
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby carytheone » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:11 pm

Motto: "shelf space may be fleeting, but plastic is forever"
Weapon: No Weapon
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
carytheone wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
carytheone wrote:I work in the cash register side of POS and this is very interesting to me. Mostly I wonder what tools (on the retail side) the police used to link all this together.

Self check out usually has a weight check verification to verify what was scanned versus what it should weigh. Seems a barcode swap would rule that out real quick unless someone went to a cashier. Going to a cashier seems pretty ballsy, and requires the cashier to not care or be paying attention.

Some retailers use AI software via their camera systems to tag suspicious transactions/scans (or non scans). The software uses image recognition to match up what was scanned with what the camera sees. It can also recognize items not being scanned or left in the shopping cart.

I'd have to assume the retailers noticed a pattern and reported it to the authorities first? I can't even imagine the amount of work that went into this investigation. Well, good job :APPLAUSE:
I have no clue how he pulled this off. Canadian Walmarts do indeed deal with weight. Plus, I thought there was a mechanism where it rings when you leave with a non scanned item and the original bar code remains unscanned in any case.

However, I did hear of this scam in the past with Legos in the US: https://www.vocativ.com/underworld/crim ... index.html
Are you talking about the buzzer at the door? Those tags get deactivated at the front end. Typically the deactivation device are always on, so you could just run any item over them and deactivate the tag. Some fancier ones turn on after a scan and then turn off. Either way the typical security tags are not item specific and just get deactivated by a big ass electromagnet. Can't tell you how many of those I've pulled out of stores that bought used check stands. They weigh a ton and are built like a tank.

Once the technology is perfected, expect to see stores running either on fully RF IDs or just image recognition (the latter way more likely). There are several test/pilot stores on the west coast. Companies like Amazon will probably be the first to bring the "no check out" experience to mass market.

Theft is a constant battle at retail and a sizable chunk is internal. Eliminating theft and employees are high up on the wish list of most retailers. Most Walmart Supercenters I visit now have at least 30 self checkouts. Some of which have no weight checks. Eliminating that many employees (salary and benifits) can afford you a few dishonest customers. Unfortunately that's exactly the sales pitch of self checkout units. Think about that the next time you check yourself out at Walmart in the 10 lane self checkout corral with only one employee watching them all.
One of my local ones has an extra layer of "defense": a security officer at the exit. Not always there, but when he is, he'll scan the bar code either on your receipt or the Walmart app and some bigger items you have bought.

I fail to see the effectiveness of that.
A deterrent to keep us honest chumps inline :lol:

Some of the stores I support in sketchy neighborhoods hire security guards (typically off duty cops), but shoplifting prevention is not their main objective...
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby Rogue-Primal » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:21 pm

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Good thing he got shut down before he could profit on it.
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:31 pm

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Weapon: Dual Bladed Sword
carytheone wrote:Some of the stores I support in sketchy neighborhoods hire security guards (typically off duty cops), but shoplifting prevention is not their main objective...


We have police at my local one too, but we suspect they only care about parking violations and directing traffic (lots of one-way lanes).
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby D-Maximal_Primal » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:00 pm

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carytheone wrote:Some of the stores I support in sketchy neighborhoods hire security guards (typically off duty cops), but shoplifting prevention is not their main objective...

All of my local walmarts now employ people up front to scan your receipt and check some of your items. It's annoying and not really helpful
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby carytheone » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:05 pm

Motto: "shelf space may be fleeting, but plastic is forever"
Weapon: No Weapon
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:
carytheone wrote:Some of the stores I support in sketchy neighborhoods hire security guards (typically off duty cops), but shoplifting prevention is not their main objective...
All of my local walmarts now employ people up front to scan your receipt and check some of your items. It's annoying and not really helpful
That is annoying and I think I've seen a few WMs doing that. Reminds me of Sam's Club.

People are always going find a way to chest the system and confidence goes a long way to not being questioned. If you act like you belong or are doing something on the up and up, people tend to just accept it. Being someone who operates behind the scenes, I can confirm this 100%. I'm so used to walking into warehouses and back offices I have to mentally police myself when I'm at non-customer sites. :lol:
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:16 pm

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Weapon: Dual Bladed Sword
D-Maximal_Primal wrote:
carytheone wrote:Some of the stores I support in sketchy neighborhoods hire security guards (typically off duty cops), but shoplifting prevention is not their main objective...

All of my local walmarts now employ people up front to scan your receipt and check some of your items. It's annoying and not really helpful


Just have the receipt or app screen ready upon leaving the register, and have the bigger items and/or their bar codes readily accessible. Minor inconvenience, but you'll be fine if you do that.

Mine were friendly enough, some small talk as he does his work, maybe I just got lucky :lol:
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby william-james88 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:19 am

carytheone wrote:Theft is a constant battle at retail and a sizable chunk is internal.


I have a good story about that, and Walmart. One person I bought Transformers from told me to meet him at a Walmart since he would be working there that day. Turns out he was in charge of internal theft and would set up hidden cameras in stores but just to monitor employees and then offer evidence when they'd get fired over it. He had just finished firing 3 employees before meeting me.

But back to what you were saying Cary, I just had a hard time believing how in all our modern tech world, it seems someone can still just take a boxed tf from the shelf and just walk out the door with no alarm going off.
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby -Kanrabat- » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:34 am

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It would cost too much to put alarm triggers on everything. Only high value items or the ones that are stolen too often get tagged. So the thieves just target the unprotected low value items.

It hurts everyone though. The retailer, the employees and the customer. Because those retailers depends on volume sales to make a profit. And for each stolen items, 20 or 50 must be sold.
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby carytheone » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:47 am

Motto: "shelf space may be fleeting, but plastic is forever"
Weapon: No Weapon
william-james88 wrote:
carytheone wrote:Theft is a constant battle at retail and a sizable chunk is internal.


I have a good story about that, and Walmart. One person I bought Transformers from told me to meet him at a Walmart since he would be working there that day. Turns out he was in charge of internal theft and would set up hidden cameras in stores but just to monitor employees and then offer evidence when they'd get fired over it. He had just finished firing 3 employees before meeting me.

But back to what you were saying Cary, I just had a hard time believing how in all our modern tech world, it seems someone can still just take a boxed tf from the shelf and just walk out the door with no alarm going off.
Things my be different in Canada, but I've never once seen a small/hidden security tag on any Transformers I've bought at Target or Walmart.

I have seen randomly at TRU the security devices that are usually on electronics on the really large expensive figures like Fort Max.

If you had the courage and no one sees you, you could walk right out with a TF. Now they all have door greeters, but I rarely if ever get stopped or they're distracted with other customers and just walk by them. I know I paid for my stuff, so why wait if not asked.

So someone could take a TF to the front, slip it in a bag at one of the many un-manned checkouts and walk right out the door. This goes back to confidence, act like you own it or are doing nothing wrong and it's very unlikely you'll get questioned. With that said, everything will be caught on camera, once out the door all they have is evidence after the fact. It's very rare anyone monitors cameras in real time unless they have a reason to watch a person. Act normal and no one pays any mind.

The expectation is that most people follow the rules and those that don't will act suspicious. I've seen a good bit of security footage and those expeditions hold true most of the time.
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Re: Over $30,000 worth of Transformers Toys and DVD sets Seized in Alberta Bust

Postby william-james88 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:19 pm

carytheone wrote:If you had the courage and no one sees you and you have a warped sense of morality, you could walk right out with a TF.


Fixed that for you there. I know you are talking practical/factual sense but I do want to remind people that this conversation is not about tips about how to get away with any of this. It should go without saying that theft is not condoned.
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