New TiVo owner gets robbed – and gets even

Live Journal user John Marzulli got fed up with his Comcast Motorola DVR, running the Microsoft DVR software, and decided to replace it with a TiVo Series3.

Then, thanks to UPS leaving the box on his doorstep, without a signature, he was robbed.

But John didn’t take this laying down, and he’s a clever chap. He reported the theft to TiVo, of course, so they could flag the TSN as stolen in case someone activated it. He also got the serial number from TiVo. Then he called his local police department to report the theft, and gave them the serial number. Most people would have stopped there – but not John.

John checked Craigslist – and spotted a suspicious ad for a TiVo Series3 for sale in his area. Suspicious because it was placed the morning after the theft, it was for a new S3 marked down to $450, and the seller was looking to sell fast.

Working with the police, he set up a sting. He contacted the seller posing as an eager buyer and setup a meet to make the purchase – with the police waiting in the wings. When the seller presented the TiVo, John gave the sign and the police rushed in.

The serial numbers matched, and it turns out the seller had rap sheet – and a crack pipe. As John put it:The suspect is now facing a count of Possession of Stolen Property 2 and a felony charge of Possession of Stolen Mail.

The TiVo was taken as evidence, and the trial process could take up to a year. Hopefully TiVo will be sending him a new unit – and contacting him for their next newsletter! (Hint!)

Congratulations John!

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  • Christopher graber

    Okay, just clear something up for me. If UPS does this (and leaves this on your door step). Don’t you get your money back on this purchase? I mean TIVO for not requiring signature? Someone else is responsible -or am I crazy

  • megazone

    I believe TiVo does require a signature – the UPS person failed to get one. TiVo would have to file a track and claim for the lost package, and in the end UPS should be liable for it – depending on how it was shipped. I don’t know if TiVo insures them or not.

    In the end it should be UPS or TiVo that has to cover it, but they’ll investigate to make sure they aren’t being scammed first.