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Hard disk crime wave continues

Hard disk crime wave continues

Further to a story carried in the previous edition of ARN, storage product distributor Agate Technology has - like Maxtor, Edge and Westan - reported a disturbing increase in break-ins in recent months.

Managing director Hugh Evans says Agate's premises have been broken into twice in three attempts since July. Goods were taken on the first two occasions, leading Agate to heavily increase its security systems and sharpen response times, in the hope of deterring future attacks.

Agate has also been the victim of what Evans describes as a "drive-by shooting", with shots fired at its premises one night in September. Although some property damage was sustained, Evans believes the incident was more a test of the responsiveness of his company's security systems.

Sydney police have not reported any marked increase in the number of thefts of computer components, according to Detective Sergeant John Walker of Chatswood police. "The com-puter industries are getting hit obviously because they've got a product that is relatively small and of high value."

Police have reported two major break-ins in the North Ryde area in the last six months, including one incident where 1,100 hard disks were taken. A number of the drives were recovered by Federal Police in Canberra, indicating a criminal body with the ability to move product without difficulty. Evans believes the break-ins at Agate have been the work of professionals, who take products that comply with a predetermined "shopping list".

Det Sgt Walker agrees, as quite often the burglars know exactly what to take and where to go, even to the point of avoiding motion detection devices. "I'd say that they are definitely organised and know what they are looking for. They obviously target their victims, do their homework and in they go."

Walker says only a small percentage of the stolen goods are ever recovered, and recommends measures such as motion detectors and video cameras to deter break-ins.

Evans believes it is up to dealers to ensure the products they are stocking are not stolen, and to be wary of cut-priced goods. "If they suddenly find that the product is being offered at a very good price, it's up to them to then check and make sure that they are not receiving stolen goods." He said most problems with stolen goods can be eliminated if resellers only buy from reputable sources.


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