Employee theft costs companies billions of dollars every year. But most of the time, that’s an aggregate number; the total sum of zillions of stolen pens, Post-Its, and paper, along with more valuable conceptual information like patents and other classified materials. It’s pretty rare that one person walks out of an office with, say, several thousand dollars’ worth of office furniture. Which is why we were so fascinated with a recent story from the O’Fallon Patch, in which just four men boosted $75,000 of furniture.
GMAC insurance was moving its headquarters from Maryland Heights, Missouri to Cleveland, Ohio. Over the course of a few weeks in March, April and June of this year, the company transported its furniture to its new location. Or, should we say, they transported most of their furniture. A sizable portion never showed up at the new place.
Where it did show up was on Craigslist, where police found it and eventually traced it back to Joseph Resimius (of nearby St. Charles County), his roommates, Jerald Ieans and Shannon Nester, and a fourth man, Jereld Hanks.
Here are our favorite facts about this story:
1. Resimus was the building supervisor for the realty management company that leased GMAC’s Maryland Heights location.
2. He decided to store the furniture at his house.
3. He sold the furniture on Craigslist, using an address that was directly traceable back to him.
4. Even though he’s obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer, he still managed to walk out with $75,000 worth of office furniture.
Resimius, Nester, and Ieans were arrested and released after posting bail. Hanks, who helped move the furniture, apparently got off scot-free. After all, if you have the masterminds, you don’t need the sidekick.
Ha, ha, ha, just kidding. There was no mastermind here. True evil geniuses at least use a fake email address or, we don’t know, rent a storage space for the stolen goods instead of just keeping them on the property and hoping the police don’t know how to use the internet or a map.
The real lesson here is that there’s no office-related theft too bold or obvious for someone to attempt. And if you’re moving offices, keep an eye on those packing lists. Make sure everything that went out the door in the old place shows up at the new location. And when you get to your new home, make sure the security staff keeps an eye out of people walking out the door with stuff that seems too big to steal. In the end, there’s no such thing.