The Burglar Who Uses Taxis As Getaway Cars (and life/sleephacking, sunspots redux)

“You find [cash] anywhere; under the bed, in a biscuit tin, a coffee jar. I got a roll of notes once in an ice cream box in the freezer; no ice cream in the f***ing thing, just cash.”

Fascinating look at the mind of an average adversary in physical security. Note he’s learned to thoroughly search the house looking for cash — and yet, a point made repeatedly in defense of teaching lockpicking over the years, his tools of the trade are all ones of force.

Life/sleep hacking update: I’m reliably shaving a half an hour off the amount of sleep I need every night by syncing the micropower TMS and the blinkenlights photic entrainment. How? I’m turning the lights on and off with the signal that drives the relay coil in the micropower TMS. Because the lights draw 500mA when they’re on, this can’t happen directly. The lights are powered by 4xAA NiMH batteries, acting as a switch is a BC517 (darlington) transistor whose gate is connected to the + wire of the relay coil via a 1M resistor. (The emitter of the BC517 is connected to both the lights-ground [AA battery pack negative terminal] and the micropower TMS-ground, the collector of the BC517 to the – wire of the lamps, and the + wire of the lamps to the AA battery pack positive terminal.)

Also, it turns out fresh crunchy carrots, stored wrapped in paper so they last longer, kept within arms reach along with a veggie peeler, make a fantastic snack.

Sunspots, Talk Like a Pirate Decade? edition:
I’m having way too much fun with this. The last time sunspots were at a low point was the Maunder Minimum of 1645-1715. Guess what neatly correlates to that? The Golden Age of Piracy, 1650-1718 (maybe 1730):
…as always, correlation != causation. But it is a fun intellectual exercise. Avast!

“He first got into trouble with the Garda before the age of 10, and more than 200 convictions and nearly three decades later he’s still “on the rob”. He says it’s common for people to leave substantial quantities of cash in their homes.

“You find it [cash] anywhere; under the bed, in a biscuit tin, a coffee jar. I got a roll of notes once in an ice cream box in the freezer; no ice cream in the f***ing thing, just cash. Sometimes they even leave it out on a counter . . . I don’t do old people’s gaffs, but if you do the money is always under the bed.”

Modern security features are not a major hindrance to breaking in, he says.

“There’s no door or window you can’t get past with the tools; a Philips screwdriver, a jemmy bar, a hammer. When you get in, if the alarm goes off you’ve two or three minutes [to] fly around the gaff looking for the money. If you have a car with you and if the gaff is not in an estate, you might stay a bit longer; get the plasma , the PlayStation, Xbox, all the games and all that. If you don’t leave prints forget about it, the Garda’ll never get you.

“If the gaff is a bit out in the country and the Garda station is miles away or closed down you have loads of time to load up the car if you have one. You just go up to a gaff, knock on the front door and if someone answers say you want a drink of water or water for the car. If nobody answers, just go round the back and get in.

“A couple of times . . . I called a taxi and got them to collect me at the gaff. You tell them you’re moving and you want to put a bit of gear in the car, the plasma and that. And when they come you put the gear in and they drive you off. They have to know what you’re up to; they’re not thick. But you pay them the fare; you might give them a few quid extra to keep their mouth shut.”

Ronny spoke to The Irish Times last week at a facility for homeless, drug addicted and alcoholic men. He says he needs to keep stealing to feed his drug habit. “


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