The economy has been rough for the past few years and we’ve all had to find ways to become more efficient and to drive more customers to our business. Kevin Andrew Lutes, a computer repairman (formerly of 2121 Cypress Road, Bethlehem, PA) may have come up with the worst idea for business development yet.
According to court documents:
This young man visited a client he’d done work for in the past by breaking into their office in the middle of the night. He then proceeded to steal a hard drive out of one of their computers and waited for his client to call him for help. Sure enough, they did end up calling and he assured them that he could recover the data despite the missing hard drive. He then showed up at the client’s office a few days later having completed the miracle data recovery and charged them a hefty $2000 fee for the 40 hours of data recovery services he performed (when in reality he just gave them their own hard drive back).
Luckily, his client called the computer manufacturer to verify the young man’s claims and got confirmation that there’s no way to perform data recovery on a PC when the hard drive is missing (barring an online backup service of course). As a result, the client called the Police and shortly into the investigation the Police found video footage of Lutes’ vehicle parked outside his client’s building the night of the break-in, complete with “Computer Repair” decal. Mr. Lutes ended up being charged with theft and receiving stolen property, and was arraigned and sent to prison under a $10,000 bail.
Lesson learned here? There are lots of snake oil salesmen in IT. Because IT is a fairly complex field, many business owners and decision makers can become intimidated by a salesman who throws out a lot of acronyms and technical mumbo-jumbo sprinkled with positive-sounding business jargon like “synergy” and “the cloud”. Before you hire someone, especially for a position of trust such as an IT role, do yourself and your company a favor and at least Google the individual or company in question. If you look for “Kevin Lutes Bethlehem PA” you’ll see an article about the alleged theft on the first page of search results*. If you look for Kevin Lutes on Facebook you’ll find a gentleman with that name still living in Bethlehem, PA who claims to have studied “Comuter Technology” and who in the “About Me” section of his Facebook profile* says:
I am an easy going, go with the flow kinda dude, whatever happens, happens. like i say in my quote, when all else fail just say f**k it.
That was a direct quote, except for the asterisks I replaced his actual letters with. I’m not personally a fan of requiring job applicants to hand over passwords to social media accounts as part of the employment process but if I can find negative information about a job applicant within five minutes of Googling their name then I would at least know to ask further questions. Have you come across any people with questionable morals in your time working in or with IT people? Let us know in the comments below.
*We’re not saying this is the guy who allegedly committed these crimes. We’re just saying we found a computer repairman in Bethlehem PA who shares the same name as this alleged criminal and the question would bear further scrutiny.