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help Free Geek recover stolen computer equipment

Break in at Free Geek, look out for stolen laptops / LCD monitors being sold.
Bummer! I just learned that Free Geek, Portland's computer recycling non-profit ("Helping the needy get nerdy") has been broken into and several laptops / LCD monitors were stolen. Please report suspected stolen laptops / LCD monitors (being sold on Craigslist, on the street, etc.) to Free Geek. They track the serial numbers of items and could likely tell you if something was stolen from them, if you are able to obtain the serial number. If someone tries to sell you any of these things and refuses to give the serial number, or otherwise acts suspicious, notify the police (on the chance that they can distract themselves from harassing immigrants and shooting mentally handicapped people) and give them as much detail as you can.

Here is the message:

Hello, fine people. I'm writing with sad news. Last night, Free
Geek, Portland's groovy technology non-profit, sustained its most
major break in to date. The majority of the items stolen were
laptops, a few hard drives, and LCD screens. Many doors were smashed
in forcibly in the process. While our laptop program is becoming a
major source of income for us, it also is a great source of needed
hardware for local non-profits. This income is now gone, and local
do-gooders will have to go without our free source of laptops for a
few months.

So we're making a call out to the community to help us stop these
thieves and prevent this from happening again. If you're offerred a
laptop with Ubuntu Linux installed on it in the next couple months,
give us a call. (503)232-9350 Used LCD screens, while harder to pin
down as originating at Free Geek, might raise an eyebrow as well.

homepage: homepage: http://www.freegeek.org/news.php#breakin
phone: phone: (503) 232-9350

jjust wondering 19.Nov.2006 01:46

andrea pdx

wasnt it last week that the Independent Publishing Recource Center had its computer equipment stolen?

just wondering if there might be a connection with this theft

maybe local non profits should look out and protect files etc

KBOO? Portland Alliance? co-ops? BTA? and others

yes 19.Nov.2006 09:32


That was the first thing that popped into my mind. Activists: WATCH YOUR COMPUTERS. Apparently, someone is having some fun grabbing people's stuff. Given the history of the FBI's furtive raids on activists and independent media, I would say it's a good bet we know who it is, too. Thank God for a resource like indy, where we can compare notes like this. Otherwise, it might have seemed like isolated, unrelated incidents....

how about getting some flyers up around town too? 19.Nov.2006 10:27


how about getting some flyers up in the hood and anywhere the goods might show up? Can we freegeek fans help out in some way like this or fixing the doors or...?

contact Free Geek if you want to help 19.Nov.2006 18:16


Hey, the contact info for Free Geek has been posted, so anyone who wants to help in any way (such as helping repair the damage) please look at the post and contact FG. FG is a volunteer-run non-profit, whose mission is to simultaneously keep electronic equipment out of landfills and also to bridge the digital divide by providing computers to those who cannot afford new ones. Free Geek does this with as little money as possible.

Maybe you have security suggestions for them or can donate computer or video cameras... let them know about that.

security 20.Nov.2006 13:06


If your worried about your privacy or losing your data to thieves/surreptitious raids, checkout TrueCrypt for on-the-fly hard-drive encryption. http://www.truecrypt.org/

Compare notes non-profits 22.Nov.2006 01:11


Sounds like it would be reasonable to compare recent volunteer lists, and maybe talk to some other organizations that utilize a lot of volunteers. Often the "special kids" make the rounds at a lot of non-profits at the same time, and it can be helpful and collaborative to be aware of volunteers that get 86'd repeatedly, or are active at all orgs getting robbed. Just a suggestion, and not a call to start shaking down volunteers, but, it could be helpful...there are some whack jobs out there, and not the good kind.