When the director of security for the Coleman Company contacted Gary Glanz about the apparent theft of some of his firm’s high-end gas barbecue grills from its plant just outside Joplin, Mo., he wasn’t even sure how many of the items were involved. He just suspected some of the grills were being resold in Tulsa.
Glanz went to work on the case and soon located a ring of thieves selling the grills for less than a third of their retail value. Working on information they unwittingly supplied, Glanz and his team set up a sting operation at the company’s manufacturing plant, where the theft ring had an employee working on the inside. The private investigator arranged to have an empty tractor-trailer rig driven into the plant and loaded with the grills, then driven out the front gate, right under the nose of company security. The crooked employee then deleted the entire transaction from company records.
Glanz and his associates documented the illegal sale and busted up the ring. His team worked with the Newton County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI to bring the perpetrators to justice, but not before three truckloads of grills – almost 500 units all told – had been stolen from the plant without the company’s knowledge. Eventually, all four members of the theft ring pleaded guilty.