If there was a lesson to be learned in 2014 besides “don’t store private company information on public servers with zero security” (this will never be learned, by the way)….it’s “if you buy a game console from the store, and it’s been previously opened, for the love of Pete CHECK INSIDE before you leave.” In two separate incidents last month, mere days apart, two people wound up with something other than the PS4 promised on the box.

You may have heard already about the box of rocks. Igor Baksht, hunchbacked assistant to Dr. Frankenstein Denver resident, purchased a PS4 from his local Wal-Mart. The store employee who retrieved the box told him it had been previously returned, and Igor said that was fine. The employee also remarked the box was unusually heavy. Igor thought that was fine too.

Until he got home and discovered the present he’d purchased for his 13 year old niece was a $400 box full of rock bags sealed with duct tape. By the time he’d discovered this, the Wal-Mart he purchased it from was closed, so he took it to a different Wal-Mart that was open 24 hours and tried to get a refund. There, nobody knew him and it was impossible to prove he hadn’t done it himself.

Thankfully, he was able to get a refund from the original Wal-Mart eventually, but not without a lot of badgering and corporate calls.

Later, on Christmas Day, Sandra Ortiz waited excitedly for her boyfriend to open the wrapping that concealed the new PS4 she’d bought for him from Target. It had also been previously returned. he opened his gift and found…..two Bibles. Evidently the crook thought “I’m a thief, but if I spread the Good News in the process, it’ll balance out.”

Based on the previous story you’d think they were in for days of hassles, but this time, the Target they returned the box to believed them immediately. This was because it wasn’t the first time. They had also, in the recent past, had a woman come in with a PS4 box containing nothing but a stack of heavy paper.

As of the new year, there is no word on if any of the three perpetrators have been found or charged. There’s also no word if Target or Wal-Mart is enacting any new policies to prevent this kind of thing from slipping through. Check those boxes!

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