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Calling tech support for help with stolen printer

Two days after a printer used for making driver's licenses is stolen, tech support gets a call seeking software drivers for the same printer model.

Sometimes calling tech support can be a real pain--like when you can't get a hard-to-obtain printer that was just reported stolen to work for you.

That's apparently the experience of Timothy Scott Short, who was arrested earlier this month after allegedly stealing a computer and printer used for producing driver's licenses and then calling Digimarc's tech support line a couple of times seeking software for the same model printer, according to a report from IDG. Short was charged with felony possession of "document-making implements" in connection with the October 5 theft of a PC and Digimarc printer used to print driver's licenses for the Missouri Department of Revenue.

However, the stolen PC has a lock that prevents its unauthorized use and its key was stored elsewhere, according to the department's director. Without the software on the PC, the printer won't print licenses. Needless to say that this is not the kind of printer you can pick up at CompUSA.

Two days after the theft, Digimarc's tech help line got a call from someone named "Scott" who wanted to buy software for the same model of printer that was stolen from the Missouri office building, IDG said. The tech staff tipped off the Secret Service, who listened to a recording of the caller's voice and recognized it as Short's from another, unrelated investigation, IDG reported. The caller also gave Digimarc a contact phone number that was used in the previous Short investigation.

A Secret Service agent said the printer's only use is the manufacture of licenses, and added that the personal information for as many as 500 Missouri residents was on the PC, IDG reported.

Short faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.