Prion thieves vanish with $450,000 Toshiba booty

Prion thieves vanish with $450,000 Toshiba booty

The popularity of Toshiba notebooks among thieves has led to yet another theft from a local distributor's warehouse.

The robbery at Prion Technology's Port Melbourne premises in the early hours of Monday, November 30 was to the tune of $470,000 worth of Toshiba stock. A total of 160 Toshiba Tecra and Satellite notebooks were stolen, including Tecra 8000 266 and 300MHz PIIs and a large quantity of Satellite 330 and 4000 CDSs. This is by far the biggest in a series of similar notebook thefts that have occurred in Melbourne over the last year.

Last year, another distributor, CHA, was robbed of about $200,000 worth of notebooks, and this year reseller BCA was robbed twice of a large quantity of Toshiba products.

Crime scene

In an attempt to piece together the Prion crime scene, sources claim the thieves smashed a hole in the northern wall of Prion's warehouse, and despite setting off an alarm system and surveillence by Prion's security contractor, the robbery was not detected until the following morning.

Senior Detective Rod Arthur from the South Melbourne Criminal Investigation Branch told ARN that five men were seen running from the scene on the Sunday night at around 10.30pm, and the alarm was subsequently set off two hours later. One report said police attended at this time, but also failed to detect the break-in.

Police believe the hole in the wall had been made with a sledgehammer, but this had not been noticed until daylight.

Michael Bosnar, Prion's general manager, said that the premises had been broken into about three weeks earlier and although security had been reviewed, it was a well-executed theft. He added that he had received several calls from resellers expressing their concern about the robbery and offering to look out for any suspicious offers of Toshiba stock.

Anyone with information about the robbery is requested to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or contact Rod Arthur directly on (03) 9646 7475 at South Melbourne CIB.

The list of stolen models and serial numbers can be seen on ARN's Web site

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