A former thief claims a production company stole his idea for TV show about stealing.

Walter Shaw said the producers of “It Takes A Thief,” a program that shows real-life burglars telling people how to make their homes safer, stole his idea and name for a TV show.



“A lot of people saw the show and started calling me, thinking it was my show. I said, ‘It’s not my show. Did you see my name in the credits?’ They say, ‘No.’ I said, ‘It’s not my show.’ I’m going to do something about this. I’m not taking this laying down,” Shaw said.



Shaw, a notorious former jewel thief famous for breaking into thousands of wealthy South Florida homes in the 1970s and 1980s, has filed suit in Miami Federal Court against Lion Television and the Discovery Channel.



“There are things in writing, but it’s Hollywood. People will try to get away with what they can. That’s why I’m in business,” Shaw’s lawyer, Richard Wolfe, said.



As Shaw and Wolf tell it, producers from Lion Television saw an article in Maxim magazine about Shaw, contacted him and agreed to collaborate on a show based on Shaw’s own video, also called “It Takes A Thief.”



Shaw said Lion Television also shot a pilot episode starring Shaw, but then cut him out of the project.



“He feels ripped off … It is ironic,” Wolfe said.



Shaw said he does not expect sympathy from the public after his previous life of crime.



“Even though I did my 11½ years, and all that’s in the past, and I’ve been clean since ’87, they’re not going to empathize with me. They’re going to say, ‘He’s getting back what we got from him,'” Shaw said. “It’s not about the money. It’s about the principle. You just can’t rip off an idea or a patent and just do what you want,” Shaw said.



Shaw’s lawsuit demands that the show “It Takes A Thief” be taken off the air. Shaw is asking for 50 percent of the show’s profits so far.



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