This month, Timothy Scott Short allegedly stole a computer and printer used for producing driver's licenses.
However, the stolen PC has a lock that prevents its unauthorized use and its key was stored elsewhere. Without the software on the PC, the printer won't print licenses. Needless to say that this is not the kind of printer you can pick up at CompUSA.
Two days after the theft, Digimarc's tech help line got a call from someone named "Scott" who wanted to buy software for the same model of printer that was stolen. The tech staff tipped off the Secret Service, who listened to a recording of the caller's voice and recognized it as Short's from another, unrelated investigation.
A Secret Service agent said the printer's only use is the manufacture of licenses, and added that the personal information for as many as 500 Missouri residents was on the PC.
Short was charged with felony possession of "document-making implements" Short faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
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