A Theft is one of the possible plots in a game of Covert Action. It is the most common of all plots in the game. A Theft a slightly more complex version of the Simple Theft plot, featuring a longer scenario with a couple of extra Participants. This plot should still be simple enough to thwart even for novice players, although catching all of the Participants - and particularly the Mastermind - is significantly trickier.
In a Theft scenario, 6 participants attempt to steal an important and/or valuable item to assist them in future plots. This is performed loosely in four general steps:
The plot begins with several participants planning the operation and getting in touch with some of the other participants.
In the next step, several Minor Agents acquire items by performing Minor Crimes. The Researcher acquires a set of Blueprints of the location where the target item is kept, and an Alarm Specialist acquires a specialized Alarm Bypass. Both items are delivered directly to the Thief.
In the third step, the Thief commits the Primary Crime by breaking into the target location and acquiring the stolen goods.
A Theft will be one of the setup missions in the Bioweapon Crisis, Financial Strike, Nuclear Crisis and Super Drug sets. It may occur as either the first or second mission in any of these sets, but never third.
In the Broken Arrow, Satellite Control and Stealth Fighter Heist sets, the Theft plot will always occur last, making it the second the most common Ultimate missions (after the Ultimate Plot).
In the Super Cannon mission set, the first two missions will both feature a Theft plot. This is the only case in which the same plot appears twice in any set.
The following actions are performed by the participants in the plot. The order in which these actions will occur is not strict, and may change slightly depending on random factors, as well as in reaction to Max Remington's actions.
This plot is remarkably similar to the Simple Theft plot that only appears in the Local Disturbance difficulty. Many of the Participants function in exactly the same way in both plots. However, there are several key differences that will definitely impact your approach to thwarting this plan and arresting the relevant people.
The Mastermind does not act at the beginning of the plot. He will simply wait until the end to receive the Stolen Goods item. This is his only action during this plot, making his capture very difficult.
An Inside Contact serves as an additional link in the chain between the Organizer and the Alarm Specialist. His only function is to provide information, which means that he can only be captured early on before disappearing.
Acquisition of the Blueprints is an actual Minor Crime, complete with a CIA Bulletin. There is no glitch during the Meeting between the Researcher and the Thief. This makes it slightly easier to Confiscate this item and to Arrest or Turn the Researcher.
A Courier serves as an additional link in the chain between the Thief and the Mastermind. His only function is to move the Stolen Goods between these people, and only after the Primary Crime has already been committed. This makes his arrest very difficult without allowing the Primary Crime to take place.
All of this means that it is significantly more difficult to arrest all of the participants of this plot, compared to the Simple Theft plot.
"Bulletin: (INTERPOL NewsNet) A set of floor-plan blueprints were reported missing this morning from <Target Facility> in <Researcher's Location>. Local authorities are baffled as to the motives for this crime."
"Bulletin: (INTERPOL ComIntercept) Someone within the <Alarm Specialist's organization> has acquired some unusual electronic components. It appears some sort of alarm-disabling mechanism is being built."
The Alarm Specialistvisits the Thief and delivers the Alarm Bypass.
"This bypass box I built should disable the alarm system at <Target Facility>. Be sure not the confuse the red and yellow wires."
By this point, both of the above participants (Researcher and Alarm Specialist) have fulfilled their mission and will go into hiding if not arrested or turned.