Tallinn on the decrease in crime around the developed world in recent years:

But the sheer scale of the drop—and its broad persistence in the face of the deepest economic depression in a century—make a new crime wave seem unlikely. Policing is still improving; heroin and crack-cocaine consumption continue to fall; and no one is likely to reintroduce lead into petrol. The period of rising crime from the 1950s through to the 1980s looks increasingly like an historical anomaly.

A portion of the theory reminds me a bit of Minority Report’s “pre-crime”. No, not the knowing the future part, but the fact that would-be criminals realize their actions are more likely to be caught in some way, so they are simply thinking twice about doing anything in the first place.

Anton Troianovski:

As national euphoria gripped Germany on Tuesday with the arrival of its world champion soccer team, an apparent crime in the Rhineland served as a reminder that all was not well. Unidentified thieves, the police said, had spent the weekend stealing 10 truckloads of beer.

"Has anyone noticed a large amount of beer?" police in the city of Krefeld said in a news release. "Can anyone provide information on a possible storage area?"

The equivalent of 140,891 six-packs. Someone had a fun night.

Stephen Marche:

On Sunday morning, a thief managed to steal an estimated $136 million worth of jewelry from the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel on the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes, France, one of the biggest heists ever. That particular hotel is an appropriately filmic location. The Carlton is a setting of that most elegant of heist movies, Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief. The gang that’s almost certainly responsible for the heist is known as the Pink Panthers, and they have been working up to To Catch a Thief through lesser movies for nearly two decades now. They were originally dubbed the Pink Panthers when Scotland Yard discovered a blue diamond they had stolen kept in a jar of face cream, just like in The Return of the Pink Panther. Members have also robbed jewelry stores without masks, never to be seen again, leading some to assume that they have managed to produce Mission Impossible-style facial prosthetics. In other words, they’re just like the rest of us: trying to fit into the image of themselves created by the movies.

Life imitating art.

Gerry Smith digs a bit into the background of Jason Floarea, a Detroit area entrepreneur who is the founder of Ace Wholesale, a shop under investigation as a hub of stolen smartphone/tablet activity:

Now 27, Floarea is a married father of three and an ordained minister. He aims to open his own church focused on outreach to convicts, alcoholics and the homeless, the site says.

Local law enforcement, however, accuse him of less savory activities: acting as a well-known buyer of smartphones and tablets stolen in burglaries and armed robberies.

In January 2010, Dearborn, Mich., police pulled over Floarea in his wife’s silver Lexus and found two handguns, more than 30 cell phones, marijuana, a bottle of prescription drugs and more than $40,000 in cash, according to a local police report obtained by The Huffington Post through the Freedom of Information Act. He was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute narcotics and possession of a firearm in commission of a crime, the report says. 

Sounds like a great guy. Family man.

Michael Wilson:

Onward the officer drove, around cars beneath the subway tracks, like Gene Hackman’s character, Detective Popeye Doyle, in “The French Connection.” Of course, Popeye was after a cop-killing henchman for a drug smuggler, while Officer Hamid was chasing a teenager who had stolen a woman’s iPhone. But, as they say, the city has changed.

Gerry Smith reporting on the undercover cops in San Francisco using iPhones to lure would-be criminals:

As the officers stand up and head for their squad cars, Garrity issues one last order: “Try not to lose the fucking phones!”


Given that nearly half of San Francisco residents own an iPhone — the highest rate of any city in the nation — this stolen phone bazaar amounts to a crucial conduit in an illicit, increasingly global trade.


Nearly half of all robberies in San Francisco last year involved smartphones, according to police.