Chicago buyer scams Texas equipment dealer out of camcorders worth $17,000; reward offered

The owner of a Texas equipment company is asking for local help in recovering $17,000 worth of camcorders brazenly stolen by a Chicago man.

Craig Berlin, president/CEO of the large Austin-based Pro-Tape Systems, said his company was a victim of a mail order scam perpetrated May 24.

An individual, using the name Mark Ragan purchased four Canon XL2s with fraudulent credit card information, Berlin said. They were worth a whopping $17,000.

Ragan ordered the camcorders shipped to 4420 S. Drexel Blvd., Chicago 60615, a non-existent Chicago address. He was able to con the UPS driver into meeting him on the street to deliver the merchandise.

Berlin stated that Pro-Tape Systems sales manager did not follow a policy that requires signed authorization forms and copies of the buyer’s driver’s license and credit card, front and back, for a high-dollar item sent via expedited delivery.

“UPS also, in my opinion, violated policy by not delivering to the listed address,” he said. “The driver called the buyer and met him on the street. I am hoping cell phone records will reveal the owner of the cell phone.”

If you are offered the purchase of new camcorders, Berlin asks that you check the serial numbers and if they match the stolen items to please phone him at 800/950-8653, ext. 108 or 512/443-3911, ext. 108.

Those serial numbers are: 332020600192; 332020600193; 332020600200, and 332020300201.

“Any assistance in recovering this merchandise or nabbing the perpetrator would be greatly appreciated,” says Berlin. A reward is offered. His company also has a Houston operation and represents hundreds of major manufacturers.