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Navy Lab Thief Gets 18 Months in Prison

Navy Lab Thief Gets 18 Months in Prison
Navy Lab Thief Gets 18 Months in Prison 

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
December 23, 2008

Victor Papagno had two loves, federal prosecutor say: computers and 

For the Navy, it was a devastating combination.

Over 10 years, authorities said, the computer technician with 
obsessive-compulsive disorder ran one of the biggest computer theft 
scams in local history. He stole more than 19,000 pieces of computer 
equipment from the offices of the Naval Research Laboratory in Southwest 

The loot took up so much space that Papagno built a 2,775-square-foot 
garage to store it all. It cost the Navy more than $150,000 to inventory 
the stash of keyboards, monitors, floppy disks, hard drives, cables, 
batteries and a device to make security badges. When investigators came 
to haul the equipment away from Papagno's Charles County home, they 
needed an 18-wheeler.

He got away with stealing computer components from a secure Navy 
facility by walking out the front door with the booty in boxes -- an 
average of five items a day over a decade. The Navy never caught on. The 
tip that brought him down last year came from his estranged wife, 
authorities said.


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