Stealing (or removing with good intent) an Internet Kiosk

Last week I decided to steal an Internet kiosk from outside the Student Service Center of my university. It's not terribly exciting, but here's the story; it all begins a long long time ago...

The Plan

There are two Internet kiosks outside the Student Service Center. On these computers students can check their email, school information, and print various documents. They're pretty neat, and they look pretty cool. I'm sure they would look cooler in my basement. The problem is, they're big, about the size of a person. The bigger problem is, the campus police desk lies between the front door and the kiosks.

Actually, there's a back door... but that's no fun.

I wonder if the police would stop me from rolling into the building with a dolly and taking a kiosk?

The Execution

Friday afternoon, 4:30pm to be exact: If there's any day to get arrested for stealing an Internet kiosk, it's Friday! I put on a button down shirt, a nice pair of dockers pants and shoes. Looking ballin, as if I were born for IT support.

I walk downstairs, find a hand cart, and see my neighbor walking towards the door.

I say: "Hey, do you want to steal an Internet kiosk."

"Sure"

I call up my friend, my POC, he's getting a hair cut, sucks for him.

4:43pm: We roll up to the Student Service Center, well, we actually walk and the hand cart rolls... There's a police car outside, and the campus police desk is staffed with two officers and two normal people. No worries. Walk through the front door, using the handicap access ramp of course. No one stares, they can't see the massive amount of dirt and cob-webs on the hand cart. It looks legit. We arrive at the kiosk, don't bother to look around, that would be suspicious. Immediately we tilt the machine, unplug the power and ethernet and move it onto the cart. We begin to load it on the cart while various students walk past and stare. No worries, we look legit.

4:47pm: The kiosk is strapped to the hand cart, we're ready to rock. My phone rings, it's my friend, he's on his way back from his hair cut, and he wants a piece of the action. My neighbor and I begin to wait, our cover is in jeopardy. Students and faculty begin to notice, something's wrong.

We wait a bit longer, I open my phone again. Nervously, I keep checking the time.

"We should go."

"Just one more minute, he has... uh, the keys, we can't leave without the keys." I make something up to seem like we SHOULD be waiting.

I stand watching the back entrance to the building, and I hear a whisper.

"Are you boys stealing the kiosk, put that back!" A tingle runs through my spine, the voice was a lady's voice, what does this mean? Who is she? I'm afraid to turn and look, but there's nothing else to do, it's almost instinctive.

"Haha, of course we are! We're taking it to the computer center, it needs some work." I respond. She laughs "carry on!" Close one, but she really wasn't concerned with the well being of the kiosk, just trying to make conversation on a Friday afternoon.


The Internet kiosk we liberated from my university. My new jukebox!4:50pm: My friend arrives, he has a purple "Mumrah" sweatshirt on, wonderful. We wheel the kiosk out towards the front door, the police are still hanging about the desk. I don't make eye contact, I'm only here for a kiosk, not a confrontation.

The kiosk rolls out the door on the hand cart, down the handicap access ramp, and on to the street. We begin to walk, in the opposite direction of the computer center, our cover is almost blown. I look back, checking to see if anyone is watching.

No one watches, no one cares. The kiosk is ours.

Aftermath

Unfortunately the whole operation was approved by the vice president of IT, who wanted to get rid of the kiosks. I volunteered to take a kiosk away but I wanted to do it without alerting the cops or anyone in the building, and see if anyone would stop us. I wanted to try out some social engineering, act confident, dress nice, take a kiosk.

Turns out it was really easy, and I imagine it's often this easy. I think I'll stick to technical feats, but at least we have a new jukebox!