Texas man pleads guilty to on-demand electronics heist

A Houston, Texas man has pleaded guilty to trying to steal almost $100,000-worth of computers destined for Del Mar College in Corpus Christi.

Maksims Klopov (22) admitted he was offered money to hijack a large load of electronics – including personal computers – in June 2019. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

After the shipment left the warehouse in Illinois, someone had changed the delivery instructions using an online system, according to a Department of Justice statement.

Rather than deliver it directly to Del Mar College, which was unaware of the change, the shipping company was asked to hold the load at their Corpus Christi warehouse for pickup.

Klopovs arrived at the warehouse driving a rented U-Haul truck, and presented a fraudulent Texas driver’s license bearing his photo, but with the name Martin Smith. He also showed what was determined to be a fraudulent Del Mar College ID card also bearing his photograph and the Smith name, and had also made a fake Del Mar College business card.

He claimed the shipment and began to load the electronics into the rental truck, whereupon the authorities took him into custody.

Klopovs said he received an email from an unknown person offering $1,000 to pick up the packages, return to his Houston apartment and await more instructions.

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