Barcode-bargain iPods

The price of iPods apparently wasn't music to the ears of a do-it-yourself-discount shopper in Boulder, Colo., recently. Police say they arrested 19-year-old Jonathan Baldino earlier this week when he used homemade barcodes to lower the price of a $150 iPod to $4.99, according to a report in the Denver Post.

Baldino told police he downloaded a program called Barcode Magic--made by Ichiku Software--to create phony barcodes to place over the legitimate barcodes. The software maker's Web site says the program allows users to "generate bar codes for home, hobby and retail with our easy to use bar-code software. Simply select a bar-code style and font, enter desired text and numbers, and a bar code is automatically created."

Then he selected his target, which turned out to be a Target store. He allegedly told police that he scouted the store for inexpensive items, then took those barcode numbers home to punch in to his software to make his own stickers. He even got away with it this first time, making off with a CD player for $24.99, police say.

But then Baldino, a freshman studying electrical engineering at the University of Colorado, made a mistake that revealed his alleged scam. Apparently the CD player didn't soothe Baldino; he returned to Target this week and tried to walk out with the $149.99 iPod with a receipt that says he purchased $4.99 headphones, police told the paper.

In a statement to police, the suspect said he was "terribly sorry" and that he would "never ever do this ever again." Baldino faces a felony count of forgery and two misdemeanor counts of theft, the newspaper reported.

 

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