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  • Tue

    NPWG features "The Perfect Heist: Recipes from Around the World" - Jarret Lafleur, SNL

    6:30 pm3102 Etcheverry Hall

    Within the past 12 months, have you experienced an inexplicable desire to make over $100,000,000 in one weekend? Within the past 3 months, have you found yourself dressing up as a police officer, posing as a diamond merchant, digging tunnels underneath city streets, driving a backhoe through your neighbor’s fence, or landing helicopters atop tall buildings? Do you now find yourself shopping for wine, pâté, hair spray, acetylene torches, or well-qualified underworld henchmen?  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it is important to know you are not alone.  You may be a thief.

    On the morning of Monday, February 17, 2003, concierge Jorge Dias De Souza descended two levels beneath the Antwerp Diamond Center. Thought to be among the most fortified businesses in the world, entry into the Diamond Center’s vault required a controlled access card, a two-story descent to a guard-controlled gate, and both a key and one of 100 million possible combinations.  If those measures failed, an intruder would be detected by a broken magnetic door seal, a motion detector, infrared detector, and light detector.  Any tunneling would be detected by seismic sensors.  With a police station some 200 feet from the center’s entrance, any detected thief would be surrounded in minutes, without even the benefit of an audible alarm to warn him to run.  Nevertheless, when De Souza reached the vault, he discovered the lights on, door open, and between $108 million and $432 million in diamonds, gold, cash, and other stored valuables gone.  The Antwerp Diamond Heist was heralded as the heist of the century.

    The Antwerp heist is one of 23 sophisticated and high-value heists and heist attempts surveyed as part of an ongoing project at Sandia.  Intended to help inform future security system analysis, these heists are analyzed in terms of (1) circumvented security measures, (2) thief deception anddiversion methods, (3) thief timing and target selection, (4) weaponsemployed, (5) thief resources and risk acceptance, (6) insider information and actions, and (7) failures in security policies and people.  These heistsare used to both quantitatively and qualitatively characterize the range,diversity, and commonality among criminal methods utilized in the theft of high-value assets.

     Speaker Bio:

    Jarret Lafleur is a systems analyst in the Homeland Security and Defense Systems Center at Sandia National Laboratories.  Jarret earned his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in May 2012, focusing on the conceptual design and analysis of manned and unmanned space vehicles and programs.  Jarret has also engaged in engineering design and analysis work at the U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA White Sands Test Facility, and NASA Johnson Space Center.  For the record, he does not endorse the practice of thievery.

    Photo credit: Dino Vournas, Sandia National Laboratories

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