AfterDawn: Tech news

USPS worker stole over 3,000 Netflix DVDs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 26 Sep 2009 14:42 User comments (28)

USPS worker stole over 3,000 Netflix DVDs Myles Weathers, of Springfield, Massachusetts, has pleaded guilty today to stealing over 3000 DVDs that had been sent to customers through Netflix, using his job as a postal worker to do so.
Weathers began stealing the discs in January 2007 and was arrested one year later. Netflix had alerted the authorities and the Springfield post office that up to 100 movies a week were disappearing from the branch.

The former postal worker was arrested on the spot when he was filmed taking the DVDs from their packages and stuffing them in his jacket or backpack.

Sentencing is set for December 23rd and Weathers will face 10-16 months and a fine of $38,000 to be paid back to Netflix.

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28 user comments

126.9.2009 14:59

Now that they caught him, I wonder who is taking all of the Gamefly games?

226.9.2009 15:08

Originally posted by pcrazy99:
Now that they caught him, I wonder who is taking all of the Gamefly games?
That's a good question PC....lol

326.9.2009 15:22
duke8888
Inactive

My local paper printed this story from Associated Press as him stealing over 30,000 since 1997 and they caught him on video doing it. Here in Pittsburgh the past 6 months they caught a postal worker female stealing over 3000 and a male postal worker taking 5000 so its not uncommon. This past week I never got my 5 dvd's they sent out and I usually get them in a day. I called and they resent them to me.

426.9.2009 15:40

LOL.

Greedy people.... that idiot should have made his copies and then returned the videos.....

526.9.2009 17:24

What a dumb ass. He could have just made copies (he must have had made the funds to get a laptop by then) if he wanted those films so badly, like all of us renters do.

626.9.2009 17:59

Stealing from the post office is a federal crime so 10-16 months and 38,000$ in fines is kinda like getting a slap on the wrist in comparison to 1 billion $ fines ;) peeps get for sharing a couple tunes via p2p.

This also opens the door for customers on a MORE frequent basis to jack the company using the ---> post office worker defense.

*** About 15 years ago I did the temp Christmas job at UPS and there employees are just as dirty. If a t.v. fit down the pants it would be gone however hot new video games were the most common stolen.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Sep 2009 @ 18:07

726.9.2009 17:59
fgamer
Inactive

I knew this stuff was going on. I use to have a Gamefly subscription, and LITERALLY a month or so into my subscription my disk began to come up missing. I think I reported about 5 or 6 disk total missing. Each freakin week I had to report something missing, so I had to cancel my service because they probably thought I was taking the disk reporting them stolen. Weird thing is, when they'd send me the replacement disk they'd all come, but the originals they sent out would never get to me. I hope that bastard does his full sentence, hell he needs a good 5 years if you ask me. I will NOT do game rentals anymore because of punk bastards like "Myles Weathers". Arse hole!! Just for the record I think allot of this stuff happens in the sorting rooms at the post office, I highly doubt it's the actual mail carrier...it's always easy for people to say it's the mail man, when in fact it's the people sorting the mail.

826.9.2009 18:56

Originally posted by fgamer:
I hope that bastard does his full sentence, hell he needs a good 5 years if you ask me.
5 years!??! That is what they give child pron peddlers. Come back when you have some residue of perspective.

Remember that WE the taxpayers have to PAY for it.

926.9.2009 20:43

Yeah, I heard about this years ago with people complaining that they had mailed the videos back and ended up paying for them.

Not like its a secret what it is with a big "NETFLIX" label on it. Kinda like the nudey magazines and the "blackout" cover... Maybe if all the mail were blacked out it wouldnt temp the mailman so bad?

I think its cool that you can stream Netflix over XBox Live now. Safer. Imagine how much other stuff gets lifted get from Postal service every year!

1026.9.2009 22:37

Its time...close down the USPS and pay fed ex or ups for 10 cents a letter to deliver it weekly....

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Sep 2009 @ 22:50

1127.9.2009 0:59

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
Its time...close down the USPS and pay fed ex or ups for 10 cents a letter to deliver it weekly....
I Hear that UPS should be in charge of all deliverys in the usa

1227.9.2009 2:33

I love how this guy gets fined $38,000 for stealing 3000 movies while people get sued for hundreds of thousands for downloading a CD or two of music.

1327.9.2009 2:36
fgamer
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by fgamer:
I hope that bastard does his full sentence, hell he needs a good 5 years if you ask me.
5 years!??! That is what they give child pron peddlers. Come back when you have some residue of perspective.

Remember that WE the taxpayers have to PAY for it.
OK, and you proved what by posting your silly little comment? I already know the laws are screwed up which is why he should be doing more time...that's where I'm going with this MR. Genius! Child predators or peddlers should get even more time than what they currently get under law but they don't. He should do more time than 10-16 months to really make him pay for the crap he sends people like me and many others through. In fact if you report so many disk missing they will cancel your membership and consider shipping to you a high risk. AS I SAID BEFORE THE BASTARD SHOULD DO 5 YEARS OR SOMETHING ALONG THAT AMOUNT OF TIME!!

1427.9.2009 3:32

Quote:
Originally posted by fgamer:
I hope that bastard does his full sentence, hell he needs a good 5 years if you ask me.
5 years!??! That is what they give child pron peddlers. Come back when you have some residue of perspective.

Remember that WE the taxpayers have to PAY for it.
Also remember that the tax payers also partly fund the USPS, and he was severely abusing that system for well over a decade.

1527.9.2009 4:27
pphoenix
Inactive

Quote:
10-16 months and a fine of $38,000
this guy steals over 3000 dvd's & by stark contrast Jammie Thomas was fined $1.92 million for infringing 24 songs.

RIAA, CRIA, SOUNDEXCHANGE, BPI, IFPI, Ect:

# Sony BMG Music Entertainment
# Warner Music Group
# Universal Music Group
# EMI

MPAA, MPA, FACT, AFACT, Ect:

# Sony Pictures
# Warner Bros. (Time Warner)
# Universal Studios (NBC Universal)
# The Walt Disney Company
# 20th Century Fox (News Corporation)
# Paramount Pictures Viacom—(DreamWorks owners since February 2006)

1627.9.2009 10:35

Nice to see real criminals get a pass while the fake ones get life...

1727.9.2009 12:21

LOL dumb ass

1828.9.2009 7:00

We have had stuff taken as well here in St Louis.Two games packets arrived here minus the the game(GTA 4 and Marvel Allience 1)and some netflix movie packets as well.Sounds like it's a common thing but what can you say because thieves are thieves no matter what the field is.Makes me feel better that the post office people are working on the problem.

1928.9.2009 10:16

Originally posted by Morreale:
I love how this guy gets fined $38,000 for stealing 3000 movies while people get sued for hundreds of thousands for downloading a CD or two of music.
People don't get fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for downloading a CD, movie, game, etc... They get fined a lot for sharing the downloaded content. Even if the people that you uploaded to got only 0.01% of the file(s) from you, it's still considered distributing copyrighted material. Unfortunately, this often happens to the naive ones that use Limewire or other p2p programs to download a few songs to their library and leave it running with full access to that library, not realizing that they are sharing the whole time.

This guy stole DVDs for himself. He made no attempt to sell or distribute them to anyone else (or so they know of). Don't get me wrong though; I'm not saying what he did was right. I'm simply agreeing with the level of punishment that he received.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Sep 2009 @ 10:19

2028.9.2009 12:24

Quote:
Originally posted by Morreale:
I love how this guy gets fined $38,000 for stealing 3000 movies while people get sued for hundreds of thousands for downloading a CD or two of music.
People don't get fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for downloading a CD, movie, game, etc... They get fined a lot for sharing the downloaded content. Even if the people that you uploaded to got only 0.01% of the file(s) from you, it's still considered distributing copyrighted material. Unfortunately, this often happens to the naive ones that use Limewire or other p2p programs to download a few songs to their library and leave it running with full access to that library, not realizing that they are sharing the whole time.

This guy stole DVDs for himself. He made no attempt to sell or distribute them to anyone else (or so they know of). Don't get me wrong though; I'm not saying what he did was right. I'm simply agreeing with the level of punishment that he received.
There's no way to tell really. In the past 2 years, He could have had friends over to watch his stolen movies. He could've lent some to friends who had the ability to burn copies. He could've done hundreds of things in 2 years with 3,000 movies that would qualify as more than just stealing for himself. Did they ever prove how much Jamie Thomas shared and tohow many people? I don't remember. Either way, I definitely see this as a double standard. He should get a much harsher monetary punishment than Jamie Thomas and a harsher jail sentence for physically lifting these DVD's. Any number of his 3,000 DVD's could have been copied by friends or family.

2128.9.2009 12:49

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by Morreale:
I love how this guy gets fined $38,000 for stealing 3000 movies while people get sued for hundreds of thousands for downloading a CD or two of music.
People don't get fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for downloading a CD, movie, game, etc... They get fined a lot for sharing the downloaded content. Even if the people that you uploaded to got only 0.01% of the file(s) from you, it's still considered distributing copyrighted material. Unfortunately, this often happens to the naive ones that use Limewire or other p2p programs to download a few songs to their library and leave it running with full access to that library, not realizing that they are sharing the whole time.

This guy stole DVDs for himself. He made no attempt to sell or distribute them to anyone else (or so they know of). Don't get me wrong though; I'm not saying what he did was right. I'm simply agreeing with the level of punishment that he received.
There's no way to tell really. In the past 2 years, He could have had friends over to watch his stolen movies. He could've lent some to friends who had the ability to burn copies. He could've done hundreds of things in 2 years with 3,000 movies that would qualify as more than just stealing for himself. Did they ever prove how much Jamie Thomas shared and tohow many people? I don't remember. Either way, I definitely see this as a double standard. He should get a much harsher monetary punishment than Jamie Thomas and a harsher jail sentence for physically lifting these DVD's. Any number of his 3,000 DVD's could have been copied by friends or family.
You're exactly correct. There's no way to tell what he did with the movies once he stole them. For all we or they know, he could've made copies and actually SOLD them, but then that's the issue isn't it? He's being sentenced for the crime he's been found guilty of, not what he "could've" done.

We also don't know the specifics of Jamie Thomas. I'm sure that with court orders, officials could do some sort of investigation with the ISP to determine how much data (or at least an estimate) was uploaded to peers.

2228.9.2009 15:44

Hmm, I served my time in a video rental store, and then a game store... Here's some interesting info:

We were in a bad neighborhood, and as such, we had shoplifting problems. We had a couple 'customers' who were regulars, and we had to deal with them regularly. Due to local state laws, we didn't have a whole lot of freedom to openly accuse them of the frequent repeated thefts.

That's not to say we didn't figure out how to scare the bejeebus out of them.

That said, the particular interest came in when I began working two jobs (Video store and game store). The game store would accept games and DVDs as trade in, and we'd even give cash. Some of the same folks who did mass shopifting would also trade in a LOT of them at the game store. We're talking STACKS of product. We'd even see movies that were released just that same day, with company logos imprinted on the inside of the dvd cases.

It seems likely that they guy might have been selling them to friends, or at another shop(pawn?) If you've got a steady bulk (100+ per week), you can make some nice supplemental income. Most folks aren't going to be keeping all those for themselves. Considering how many movies are probably duplicates(Many customers rent the same movie all at once while it's new), he wouldn't have motivation to keep thieving more copies if he wasn't making some sort of profit.

Perhaps I'm just cynical here... I had to go to special courses on catching shoplifters, etc.

2328.9.2009 15:57

Quote:
It seems likely that they guy might have been selling them to friends, or at another shop(pawn?)
Trust me, there's VERY little doubt in my mind that he didn't do something of the sorts. However, "likely" and "might" don't guarantee that he DID do those things. I'm simply saying that his sentence fits what they have proven... Fining him $38,000 for 3000 movies puts it at roughly $12.50 per movie stolen.

Who knows though... There's a good chance that a further investigation is going on, because of those words "likely" and "might." Maybe sometime down the road, there will be a re-trial and he will be prosecuted further for heavier charges.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Sep 2009 @ 16:00

2428.9.2009 18:48

Quote:
5 years!??!... Remember that WE the taxpayers have to PAY for it.

I'm not sure about this case, but criminals do a lot of DAMAGE and in MOST cases it's cheaper to keep the criminal in prison!

A couple of examples... Several years ago I worked with a guy that had his factory car stereo stolen. At the time, I figured that the "hot" used stereo was worth about $35. But, the car's dash was damaged (and probably a broken window) and it cost $750 to get it repaired! Just think about the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage the theif is doing every year if he's making a living stealing car stereos.

And, I know a lady that got mugged. A guy punched her in the mouth and took her purse. He only got a few dollars, but the lady needed $2000 worth of dental work to fix her teeth (and I guess she now has false teeth).

If you add-in the overhead costs (police officers time, insurance cost/time, extra costs for security, etc.), and the emotional costs, society is a lot better off with the criminals behind bars!

In this case, maybe it's not that bad... maybe he only stole a few thousand movies... maybe nobody got hurt... But really, what's the chance that the guy was only steeling movies and following all other laws? He was convicted of stealing ~$50,000 worth of movies... That's not petty theft so let's not go too easy on him.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Sep 2009 @ 18:51

2528.9.2009 18:51

I agree with Morreale, the punishment scale is a laugh. Point is he stole, shared most likely as we all do and kept being greedy about it. But the punishment that gets doled out in the courts system is a joke. Either way this kinda tells me it is cheaper to steal the physical media than to download it. Maybe some of us need to rethink what we do and start getting physical. (this is with tongue in cheek boys and girls). Maybe we need to start exchanging this stuff by hand to hand, from one friend to another. Seems harder for them to convict. Cause in the cyber world they can make wild assumptions and it is believed true by the courts and the law, but if we do it this new way, it involves too much investigation and the courts hate that. I think they like it when they are told what happened and how to dole out the punishment by the media companies.

2628.9.2009 20:56

It's kind of a catch 22.

You want the criminal to get it bad; but the public cost can be a lot.

I'd like to see more criminals made to pay for their own sentences, especially if there are large damages associated. That's not to say that criminals in violent crimes should get off any easier. And that's where the problem comes in. If we charge all these criminals for their sentences, they get out with a massive debt, and they're likely to repeat the offense once they're out.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing more 'work it off' programs in prison, so that inmates can do something productive for society while we pay for them.

Anyways, I'm going to be frank here: $38,000 over the period of a year or two really isn't that much. You should understand that rental companies pay more per copy than retailers do, they have to pay for a 'legal license' to rent each product, so each rental copy is costing at least slightly more than MSRP. Probably between $25-$30 each. Accounting for that, over an extended period, that will REALLY add up. Again, I'M NOT CONDONING THIS MAN'S ACTIONS, but I'm saying there are much worse crimes. The fact that he's doing 10-16 months is already pretty strong. Believe me, after just a few months in the penal system, he's not going to want to repeat that mistake if he can help it.

272.10.2009 16:57
lubricant
Inactive

why should ups or fedex, be trusted to be more reliable in delivering mail?

corporatization is not always the best. have you heard of the areas in s. america where the water is privatized and people cannot collect their own water without paying fees if caught?

282.10.2009 18:08

Originally posted by lubricant:
why should ups or fedex, be trusted to be more reliable in delivering mail?

corporatization is not always the best. have you heard of the areas in s. america where the water is privatized and people cannot collect their own water without paying fees if caught?

Becuse the USPS sucks either rise the price of mail to 2$ a letter/stamp or let soemone else do it that dose not lose money on it.

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