Current Conditions

Cloudy
-3.1°C

Federal files: lost BlackBerrys, mysterious suitcases and grand-theft stupidity

The BlackBerry Classic is is shown in Toronto on December 17, 2014. It would appear not even the federal government is immune from the occasional lost BlackBerry, broken window or head-scratching security concern.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
August 06, 2016 - 8:35 AM

OTTAWA - It would appear that not even the federal government is immune from the occasional lost BlackBerry, broken window or head-scratching security concern.

What follows is based on snippets from security reports filed since December, copies of which The Canadian Press obtained under the Access to Information Act.

1) It's December 2015. A federal worker in Ottawa thought they had forgotten their BlackBerry at work. They retraced their steps on the last day they saw it, checked with three businesses they visited that day, searched their car and home, asked the guards at their office building if it had been turned in, and called the phone to see if someone picked up — all for naught. Value? About $346.

Who knows: maybe it fell in the snow. That's what happened to another worker who reported dropping his phone while he was rushing to his car.

2) A Fujifilm Finepix XP-70 digital camera — billed by the company as a device that can survive water, snow and a 1.5-metre drop — couldn't survive a government office. The security report into the $200 loss says the camera was usually stored in a locked cabinet. But in December, the camera may have been left on the worker's desk, or he forgot to lock the cabinet — he wasn't sure. He said it took him a couple of weeks to realize the camera had disappeared, and even then he didn't report it missing right away.

3) When is a bomb threat not a bomb threat? Apparently when someone leaves a heavy but harmless suitcase chained to the front of a federal building. In February, that's what happened at the Service Canada office near the Scarborough Town Centre in Toronto.

Officers from the Toronto police bomb squad unit were preparing to X-ray the suitcase when a woman claimed it as hers. She lived in a nearby condominium and found the suitcase too heavy to haul home, so she chained it up to run an errand, with plans to pick it up on the way home. About 30 minutes after building security called 911, the bomb squad officers declared the all-clear and the woman hauled away her belongings.

4) A 20-something man was caught in February at the Place du Portage building in Gatineau, Que., just across the river from Ottawa, after he tried to steal a pickup truck parked in the underground garage. He was captured after failing to open the heavy garage door.

Here's how the security incident report put it: "Subject was able to obtain control of the truck, but was unable to exit the facility as a swipe card is required to activate the automated garage door — however, the subject did not have such a card. Police attended and arrested the subject."

Let that be a lesson for would-be thieves: Don't forget to steal the parking pass as well. And to federal workers: Keep your parking pass with you to aid in the future apprehension of less-than-intelligent criminals.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Comments

View Site in: Desktop | Mobile