Proving that Malaysian industrial complexes aren't the only venues where shoddy security can facilitate the theft of thousands of PC components, a pair of crooks in California turned a minor fender bender into a successful heist of some 100,000 microchips on Tuesday afternoon. Police suspect that the men had been planning the crime for some time, as the victim's Fremont-bound Mazda MPV had just left a warehouse with $190,000 worth of chips when the robbers rear-ended it with their white van; rather than using weapons to subdue the driver, however, the two thieves simply waited until he exited the vehicle to discuss the accident, when one of them proceeded to slip into the minivan and drive away. The driver of the van followed suit, leaving the victim standing on the side of the road, no doubt confused and worried that his employer would chew him out for being so careless with the precious cargo. Although the brand of chip has not been revealed, since this all went down in Santa Clara, it's not too difficult to figure out whose products got pinched. So far authorities have no leads as to the whereabouts of the chips or the two robbers, but if someone in an MPV with license plate 4NKV115 tries to sell you a CPU for a buck and some change, do the right thing and notify law enforcement officials after you've purchased enough silicon to meet your needs. And if you're driving back home with your cheap booty when someone happens to ram your car, for heaven's sake, don't leave the keys in the ignition when you get out to exchange insurance info.

[Via Boing Boing]