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How a Phoenix Man Scammed Redbox to the Tune of $31,000

How a Phoenix Man Scammed Redbox to the Tune of $31,000
Ian Lamont via Flickr

Earlier this week, Phoenix police announced that detectives arrested a man who stole about $31,000 worth of movies and games from Redbox machines.

Police said that 35-year-old Vincent Bandin found a way to "defeat the security system" to steal the movies and games. We found out exactly what Bandin (allegedly) did, and it's not exactly computer-hacking wizardry.

The Redbox machine knows you've returned something to the kiosk when you put the movie or video game back in there, and it scans the barcode on the disc.

Posts online describe how people started photocopying the discs, so the machine scans the barcode on a piece of paper, and accepts the empty case.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, Bandin didn't even put that much effort into it.

Bandin simply removed the sticker with the barcode from the disc, and stuck it to the outside of the case.

"At least" 680 movies and games later, police finally caught him.

Police say he was reselling all the movies and games for meth money.

Bandin "estimated that he stole from Redbox between two and three times a day, seven days a week since early 2012 [until] August of 2013," court documents state.

Redbox knew the incidents were connected, as Bandin used the same e-mail address and prepaid credit card, according to court documents. Police then discovered he was selling the games to Game Stop locations, and found 48 of the transactions linked to Bandin's "rewards card" at Game Stop.

Bandin admitted to all of this, according to the court records. He even identified himself in surveillance-video stills as he used the Redbox kiosks at Walgreens stores.

Court records indicate Bandin's facing 49 felony charges in this case.


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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


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