Montana Man Goes Down in Flames

This happened many years ago. It's a long story, but worth reading.

The Facts

On April 27th of 1999 we shipped Mr. Ron Weber of Billings, Montana a brand new JR 10X radio set.

On it's arrival, Weber called and claimed that the transmitter was scratched and wanted it replaced. We contacted Horizon Distributors and they drop shipped a new transmitter to Mr. Weber, along with a UPS call tag. The call tag was so Weber could ship the scratched radio back to Horizon at their expense.

The transmitter Horizon sent was an Airplane version. So naturally Horizon drop shipped another transmitter, and another call tag with no argument at all.

Weber was given instructions to use the call tags to return the radios.

In the mean time Horizon invoiced us for the radios with the understanding that we would be credited when the radios arrived back at Horizon.

About three months later we received a call from the credit department at Horizon telling us the invoices are were past due and asking for payment.

In the next few days we called Mr. Weber several times. Each time he claimed to have sent the transmitters back via U.S. Mail. When I asked whether he had insured them, he said that he had his secretary take them to the post office and she failed to insure them. She also failed to get a receipt for the postage.

He claims that there weren't any call tags in the packages that came with the radios, so he used the mail.

Horizon was growing more and more anxious to resolve this and we were getting ready to bite a bullet and pay them. I even called their service department and had them do a search of the service department to make sure the radios weren't there.

The Investigation

Shawn, Doug and Rick all said they thought the guy was lying. I was the only hold out. I believed him!

Knowing that they might be right, but not wanting to think one of my customers would try anything like this, I called a man in the same town. I had met this man and I knew him to be an honest and moral man.

This man knew of Weber, but didn't claim him as a friend. However, he did know someone who flew with Weber quite often and volunteered to check this out for me.

In a matter of hours, we learned that Weber did indeed have all three radios in his possession. He also found out that Weber had offered the radios up for sale. No doubt about it.

I called Weber and informed him that we had the goods on him including witnesses and gave him a choice. He could either have the radios sitting on my desk by the next day, or I would call the police. Weber still insisted that he didn't have the radios and that he had mailed them to Horizon. I restated his options and hung up.

The next day two JR10X transmitters arrived via UPS Next Day Air. I had to pay UPS $102.50 for the shipping, which I did, using a Postal Money Order made out to Ron Weber.

I called Weber and left a message on his answering machine which suggested that he should think twice about cashing the money order, which was marked "For return of stolen radios".

If the Money Order isn't cashed in 60 days, I can take my receipt to the post office and get a refund. Should he elect to cash the money order, I will contact the police. Most people think I should anyway.

End of story? Not really

The Results

I told this story to my family over the supper table. My little 7 year old daughter said " He had the devil sitting on his shoulder".

Our new employee couldn't understand it. He said even if he got away with it it would be "bad karma"

Shawn just shook his head.

Steve wanted to put Weber's picture on the "Wall of Shame" right next to the evidence bag we have tacked up in remembrance of the guy from California that's still in prison.

I don't really care about the $102.50. As a matter of fact, I hope he cashes the money order. I don't know if the police will arrest him or not, but I will certainly try my best to present the case to them well enough so they can get a conviction. I will travel to Montana to testify if need be.

Ron Weber should be very ashamed of his actions. He decided that it was ok to try to steal from someone else. I hope he gets nervous every time a police car drives up to his business.

Too bad, from what I understand, he's pretty well off and didn't really need the money. So why did he do it? Because he thought he could get away with it.

He underestimated us...simple.

The Moral of the Story

There isn't room in the model helicopter community for cheats and crooks. We're a big family.

Thieves are not welcome in our community.

By the way

The helicopter transmitter he returned wasn't scratched. He had this planned all the way. And...he never cashed the money order.