My stolen wallet, donuts and CoinStar

Probably at about 2am, according to the local police, thieves took my wallet. Yes, right out of my car. Which was in my driveway.

Security editor loses wallet to petty thieves. Ah, the irony. Why, you ask, was my wallet in my car in the driveway? Because I live on a dead end, and I was lulled into a false sense of security. (On the purely mechanical side there’s also a trip to Dunkin Donuts involved – too many donuts and coffees and not enough free hands to carry a wallet back into the house.) Readers of our magazine, CSO, face the continual challenge of keeping corporate employees alert to security risks. My recognition of the magnitude of that task is greater today; I spend each and every workday writing and thinking about security, and yet even I apparently leave my wallet in my car in my driveway. Employees like me, we’re a forgetful lot. Of course, once you finally have your wallet stolen, your vigilance goes up for a very long time thereafter, I expect.
Happily my wallet was stolen by thieves who were either very petty or completely incompetent. They got the four dollars in the wallet but missed the ten-dollar bill that fell on the floor of the car. Then they tossed the wallet in a snowbank a few blocks away, leaving my driver’s license and my AmEx plate in the wallet.

The investigating officer introduced me to a new fencing mechanism, effectively: CoinStar! The officer said that in days gone by, stealing change was an inefficient proposition because of the time required to roll the coins. Now the thief can just dump change in an automatic counting machine and essentially pay about 10% as a laundering fee. I have used CoinStar myself but never considered its potential to serve the dark side.


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