Login, password used to steal cigarettes

A Central Otago man stole $10,000 worth of cigarettes after using a former colleague’s login and password to hack his ex-employer’s freight truck tracking system to locate the truck carrying them.

Ross John Murdoch (30), contractor, of Moa Creek, was convicted by Judge Michael Turner in the Alexandra District Court yesterday on charges of accessing a computer system without authorisation and burglary.

The charges relate to Murdoch’s former employer, Summerland Express Freight, where he was given permission to use the login and password of a colleague to access the company’s E Road programme for use when he relieved that colleague.

The offending occurred after Murdoch had left the company.

According to the summary of facts, about 9pm on October 29, 2019, he used the password and login to access the E Road system to locate a Summerland truck known as the Green Goddess.

About an hour later, Murdoch entered the Summerland yard in Cromwell, walked the length of the trailer attached to the truck.

He opened the buckles of the curtain, entered and unwrapped shrink wrapping on a pallet and removed three boxes of cigarettes valued at $10,000.

He then tried to conceal the crime by placing the shrink wrap back and doing up the buckles on the trailer.

Analysis of Murdoch’s movements through his telecommunication provider showed him travelling from Moa Creek at 9pm through Alexandra to Cromwell and returning at 10pm.

When spoken to, Murdoch told police he had not been in Cromwell that night, and his phone accidentally went on to the E Road system when it was bumped and he had used it once.

Judge Turner remanded Murdoch for sentencing on January 14.

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