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October 2001

Of all the businesses that are vulnerable to a nocturnal attack by would-be robbers, a commercial printing company seems among the least likely to be targeted.

That didn't stop a gang of thieves from conning their way into One Source Digital Solutions and making off with approximately $250,000 in prepress equipment and damaging a press to the tune of $500,000 while trying to steal it. In the process, the robbers bound and gagged the only employee who was on duty, only after asking him specific questions pertaining to the equipment and stealing his pickup truck to aid in the equipment removal.

According to Mike Chiricuzio, president of the Phoenix-based printer, none of the suspects have been apprehended and none of the equipment has been retrieved. Judging by the MO of the thieves, One Source Digital was not the subject of a random attack.

"They weren't guys looking for equipment to resell. They were on a shopping mission for a forgery ring," notes Chiricuzio. "They took scanners, graphics computers, color printers, proofers, servers and supplies."

Posing as a delivery man, one of the perpetrators was able to gain access to the shop late in the evening of July 16, and brandished a semiautomatic weapon at the One Source employee, according to Chiricuzio. A group of men then entered the building and proceeded to loot the company's prepress department for approximately 90 minutes. The employee was bound and gagged with duct tape, the tape removed from his mouth momentarily as he was asked specific questions about which computers operated which equipment.

Too Much to Handle
The robbers even took an Indigo UltraStream 2000, but didn't get very far with the 5,000-pound digital press. Chiricuzio said the thieves used the employee's truck to push the press across the parking lot. Realizing that they would not be able to get the UltraStream on a truck (which would likely collapse under the weight), the crooks left the heavily damaged unit behind.

Chiricuzio received the nightmarish phone call at 1 a.m. Upon arriving at the plant, it seemed odd to him that only the prepress and press areas were targeted.

"It wasn't a smash-and-grab robbery. Nor was the intent to specifically do us harm. One guy with a hammer could have done more damage in 20 minutes," he notes. "Until hearing from the secret service (which suggested the theft was for forgers), nothing made sense about the robbery, because they didn't take any of the other computers, didn't go through anyone's belongings or even take the employee's wallet. And I don't think they were thinking too clearly with the Indigo."


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