San Francisco News

Paramount looks for unreleased film stolen in SF

Monday, December 17, 2012

ABC7 News has learned that a yet-to-be-released version of a movie from Paramount Studios was stolen from a car in San Francisco and so far, police have been unsuccessful in locating it.

We spoke to a member of Paramount Pictures' security team who was here in San Francisco trying to locate the film. He had no comment, but said he would pass along our inquiries to the studios. So far no one has called us.

There are more than 1,000 items, mostly taken from car break-ins, such as: cellphones, laptops, digital cameras, expensive designer goods. You name it, it's here. Most of the items were stolen at Fisherman's Wharf and the Embarcadero, but police did not find one very important piece of stolen property they were looking for.

"We were looking for some electronic devices that were taken in an auto burglary a week later from the event which originally caused this to go in motion," said San Francisco Central Police station Lt. Ed Santos.

Santos did not tell us exactly what they're looking for, but a source with knowledge of the investigation tells ABC7 News that it's an external hard drive of a yet to be released movie from Paramount Studios. Which was stolen in mid-November, about a week after security cameras at the Pier 39 Parking Garage captured images of the suspects breaking into a car and their getaway car's license plate. That led to their arrests in late November and the discovery of the huge haul of stolen goods.

Police hoped the film would be in the stash of stolen goods. Our source tells us, the copy of the movie was stolen in the Pier 39 garage from a rental car leased by someone from Southern California, who was up here working on the movie's soundtrack.

The man filed a police report at the police substation at San Francisco International Airport, before his flight home. Police and Paramount's security team have been working non-stop, visiting flea markets and known fencing areas around the Bay Area, trying to find the hard drive.

"One major concern is the possibility that the thieves may copy the movie. Pirating, and it's very common now, people go on and create a CD or DVD, I should say, and sell it on the street," said former San Francisco Police Capt. Dan Lawson.

However, Lawson, who is now chief of the University of San Francisco's police department, says the thieves probably sold it to a fence, not knowing what was on the hard drive.

"The person who purchased has probably wiped it clean to get rid of any other evidence or that could have been done prior. And that's my sense of what happened," said Lawson.

Our source tells us, chances are the fence probably sold the hard drive for the going street price of around $30 to $40.

This is not the first time an unreleased movie has been stolen in San Francisco. A similar theft happened years ago with the movie "Transformers." A police source tells us, someone stole a copy of that movie from a car in the Mission District, but police -- the help of their confidential informant -- managed to get that movie back to the studio.

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Tags:
fisherman's wharf, movies, crime, san francisco news, vic lee
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