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Internet Community Catches a Car Thief

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the crowdsourcing-justice dept.

The Internet 169

COredneck sends us a NYTimes story (registration may be required) about an Internet community solving a crime in less than 48 hours. An auto dealer in Calgary lends a car for a test drive — a 1991 Nissan Skyline GT-R. The test driver and another person don't return the car. The dealer then files a police report, but also posts a message about the stolen car on Beyond.ca, an automotive fan board. Many people who read the board keep their eyes out and find the car. They also use Facebook to find the suspect and his high school; and they use Google Maps to pinpoint the thief's location. They film the collar and post the video on Beyond.ca. The dealer says, "This guy has worldwide recognition for being a car thief for the rest of his life. The Internet is not going away."

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This just in! (5, Funny)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047866)

The internet is *not*, I repeat *not* going away! Film at 11.

Re:This just in! (1)

Minimalist360 (1258970) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047914)

Also, it's a "community." Perhaps we should "raise awareness" that it's not going away.

Re:This just in! (1)

psunerd (848034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047988)

LOL..... no right to freedom of expression on SLASHDOT Slow Down Cowboy! Slashdot requires you to wait longer between hitting 'reply' and submitting a comment. It's been 8 seconds since you hit 'reply'. Chances are, you're behind a firewall or proxy, or clicked the Back button to accidentally reuse a form. Please try again. If the problem persists, and all other options have been tried, contact the site administrator. Lameness filter encountered. Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition.

OLD NEWS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047878)

What an old ass story.

Re:OLD NEWS (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048582)

Indeed.

I recall seeing this at first... two weeks ago.

South Park (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047886)

Reminds me the "24" episode of South Park.

Wrong guy... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047894)

The only problem is that the guy they blamed turned out to be innocent. Of course, the Internet heroes won't ever mention that.

Re:Wrong guy... (2, Informative)

dow (7718) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047908)

Even though they got a picture of him driving the car the next day? And the description the car dealer gave was that the guy was missing a few fingers, and lo, the guy they caught was a regular Dr Zoidberg too? Did I miss something?

Re:Wrong guy... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048016)

He could've been driving the car for a number of reasons. Perhaps he bought the car and wasn't aware that it was stolen, or perhaps he borrowed it from a "friend." Most of the reasons I can think of off the top of my head definitely assert that he's an idiot, but he's not necessarily a criminal. This type of thing should be left to the police and not random retards on some car enthusiast forum. If they merely found the car and reported its location to the police it would be fine. Unfortunately, they decided to post videos and pictures condemning the guy all over the Internet and went out of their way to spread it to "news" sites.

Re:Wrong guy... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048172)

Dude officer, I bought this car from my friend.

Yes... it did come with the screwdriver in the ignition, why do you ask?

Re:Wrong guy... (5, Informative)

Sepiraph (1162995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048314)

I am not sure how you can be mod insightful, I could've mod you down but I would rather reply to your rather insightless comments. They very definitely did catch the right guy, I read the forum on beyond.ca and the people involved in catching the thief were not some retard retards, but rather some good guys helping out a fellow enthusiast.

They decide to post pictures because in the original description, the owner of the right-hand drive GTR (a very rare car in Canada) said that one of the thieft hand had two of its fingers cut off. So what happened was that one of the members, when spotted a similar GTR, flashed the 'rocker' hand-sign and the thief did the same, showing his hand which completely matched the owner's description.

And actually they did contact the police from the beginning, but the police only did show up in time the 2nd time and they BOX in the car.

Re:Wrong guy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048420)

I read the forum on beyond.ca and the people involved in catching the thief were not some retard retards

After reading the thread at beyond.ca, I think it's safe to say that the people involved in catching the thief are definitely idiots. They did catch the right guy in this instance though.

Re:Wrong guy... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048338)

Nope it was the guy.

1. The person who let him "test drive" it remembered the guy was missing fingers. And after the arrest, he was identified as the person who went on the test drive. He even had a fake id that they let them photocopy.

2. The person photoed driving the car the day after it was stolen was missing fingers.

3. The person who photoed him told him he knew that he stole the car. And instead of talking to him about it, he recklessly takes off in a blaze of glory eluding them.

4. The night before he was arrested, he sprayed mud all over the back of the car, so that the license plate (dealer plate) would not be easily recognized.

This is an open and shut case. It's not even close to "mistaken identity".

Re:Wrong guy... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048430)

You can't "buy" a car without a transfer of title.

And by law, you don't borrow or ever be operating one without seeing and having a copy of the registration.

That is to say operating a vehicle without having a valid registration is a crime.

Being in posession of a stolen vehicle is, well, also equivalent to being complicit with the crime, and also a crime in and of itself.

No matter how you slice it, anyone operating the stolen vehicle is a criminal. Unless the operator has documents that were forged and don't know they were forged.

But in reality he'll probably be assumed to be guilty until proven innocent by law enforcement, et al.

In a criminal courtroom, while on trial, you are assumed innocent until proven guilty, but that principle simply does not apply anywhere else.

Re:Wrong guy... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048078)

The day when someone who looks just like you steals a car just like yours in your area and the Internet mob is after him, you'll understand.

Re:Wrong guy... (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048602)

Or when the netmob mistakenly posts the wrong info, and some innocent gets hundreds of threatening phone calls [local6.com] , or worse.

Re:Wrong guy... (1)

solitas (916005) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048476)

damn. my points expired yesterday. Can anybody spare a "mod:funny" for the parent?

Re:Wrong guy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047934)

Yes. But they televised it when the Mechanical Hound got him. So it wsa good entertainment.

Yeah for this example at least (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047906)

The only reason this worked as well as it did was because of the type of car. You don't see Skyline GT-R's driving around all over the place and it's very well recognized by car enthusiasts (especially the sport compact/drifting crowd).

If it was something like a Honda Accord then they never would have found it this way.

Re:Yeah for this example at least (2, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048100)

Not to mention that any skyline that old in the US is right hand drive and had a lot of effort put into it just to get it over here. Which leads to the question of why a dealership would lend out such a car to a high school kid.

Re:Yeah for this example at least (2, Informative)

bmajik (96670) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048142)

beyond.ca == canada, where all of this took place.

It's reasonably easy to import cars into canada once they are 15 years old. That's why this was an R32 and not the newer R34 which has been the star of a few famous western movies :)

In the US the rule is 25 years.

Re:Yeah for this example at least (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048200)

beyond.ca = Calgary, which is a haven for rednecks and bible thumping simpletons. The rest of Canada doesn't want much to do with it I'm afraid.

Re:Yeah for this example at least (1)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048510)

Most of the people I know in Calgary are well educated university graduates who moved from other parts of Canada for work and to be close to the mountains for recreation.

Poor guy (0, Flamebait)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047910)

So basically his life is ruined, even if he honestly tries to redeem myself afterwards, because he'll be forever known as the infamous first criminal to be caught thanks to the almighty Internet.

Re:Poor guy (1)

sadgoblin (1269500) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047944)

He will probably publish a book about that and will become rich from the sales...

Re:Poor guy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048152)

Only if he has something original and intelligent to say. Otherwise he will keep getting modded down to -1.

Re:Poor guy (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048640)

LOL, that was a good one.

Re:Poor guy (5, Funny)

MicktheMech (697533) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048030)

So basically his life is ruined, even if he honestly tries to redeem myself afterwards...

So, now we know his slashdot UID too!

Re:Poor guy (5, Funny)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048168)

Can't type. Must have early dementia. No wonder I got caught so easily.

Re:Poor guy (0, Redundant)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048154)

Sounds like he could get a nice book deal.

Re:Poor guy (4, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048490)

So basically his life is ruined, even if he honestly tries to redeem myself afterwards, because he'll be forever known as the infamous first criminal to be caught thanks to the almighty Internet.

I don't think the above issue (in general) can be understated. There isn't a person alive who hasn't once done something that is embarrasing, in bad form, wrong, or even illegal, or otherwise said or wrote something that wasn't poorly worded, taken out of context, intended as an off-colour joke, or simply a case of temporary stupidity.

Why is this a big deal? Now the average person is subjected to the same level of scrutiny given to, for example, a candidate running for political office. Dunno about you, but my family and friends tend to be forgiving of my failings and shortcomings, but I sure don't want a million random strangers participating in the dissemination of information that is then recursively subjected to the judgment or actions of another million random strangers, with a prospective employer or someone similar thrown in for added fun. And that's assuming we're talking about disinterested parties and not angry ex-girlfriends, wives, schoolmates you teased, or hookers you didn't sufficiently tip.

When talking about "folks on the internet", we're mostly talking about mobs and mob mentality. In this case it seems the mob was right, so we're free to cheer for its leaders and the outcome.

Re:Poor guy (2, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048540)

"So basically his life is ruined, even if he honestly tries to redeem myself afterwards, because he'll be forever known as the infamous first criminal to be caught thanks to the almighty Internet."

Alternative interpretation:

"So this person who has proven that he does not care about the property rights of others (at a minimum!) is identified so it will be more difficult for him to rip off more people in the future."

Re:Poor guy (2, Interesting)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048612)

Hardly the first - about a year ago, someone on Beyond.ca got pics of some kid that did a hit and run, and said kid got caught because of it.

Re:Poor guy (1)

British (51765) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048694)

Not really. The internet as a whole has a limited attention span. A few years from now, you will have to check archive.org's intercept of the forum posts(or blog entries) and so forth. By that time, we will have had moved onto the next criminal, viral video, or RickRolling. The whole interweb isn't going to focus on said car thief for months & months.

This story is not unlike the guy who got his Xbox 360 & Mac laptop burglarized, and some kid tried to sell the box back to him. He got it all back for free, with the help of the community. Did a lot better than the police could.

A bunch of seeing, hearing & knowing Internet users(with free time) has quite a bit of investigative power over the police in some situations. They are too busy persecuting students for wearing a mohawk to school, or other equally pointless stuff.

Mmm (-1, Troll)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047920)

Skyline. Tasty.

Good that the guy was caught... (4, Insightful)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047938)

...but Vigilantism shouldn't be encouraged. While a few cases of internet Vigilantism have made news, overall, it is still a bad idea. If stuff like this continues, we are going to end up with mob rule. And who is to say that the mob has the right guy?

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (5, Funny)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048028)

Why do you hate democracy?

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048056)

And who is to say that the mob has the right guy?
The police.

The term "vigilante" has been misused a few times in this thread, so either bunches of people haven't RTFA, or people aren't clear on the definition of vigilantism. This isn't a case of vigilantism as per the dictionary definition because it was the police that arrested the guy and the government who will try and (maybe) punish him.

Vigilantism is when "a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement" -New Oxford American Dictionary

All the Beyond.ca guys did was identify the thief. The actual police have done all of the enforcement, if you'd like, here's a video to confirm. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1T-kZ7pk1NU [youtube.com]

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (2, Interesting)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048444)

All the Beyond.ca guys did was identify the thief. The actual police have done all of the enforcement

They also made claims about his guilt etc. What if they were wrong, would they compensate him for their error? THAT is the problem with this, and why it has been labeled vigilantism.

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (3, Insightful)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048610)

All the Beyond.ca guys did was identify the thief. The actual police have done all of the enforcement, if you'd like, here's a video to confirm.
And box in the car, twice apparently. Since it's not a person we can't call it an arrest, but I would argue that at this point they took a very active role, rather than just passive reporting and photographing.

A group took it upon them selves, to investigate and take measures to assist in the identification and apprehension of the thief and recovery of stolen property. The action they took to me is a form of vigilantism. I wouldn't say they violated due process, though if they had boxed in the wrong car I'm sure they would have to answer for their actions in one way or another.

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (1)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048058)

As someone who really enjoys their car and would hate to see it stolen, I'm all for others helping me catch the thief before they either wreck it or chop it. Sure there are lines that people shouldn't cross but I'd rather see people doing something proactive rather than sitting by and watching a crime unfold.

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048106)

Your fucked in the head! there needs to be a HELL of allot more vigilantism. Notice Vigilant is part of the word. I takes a good deal of vigilance to maintain a free society. Honestly, instead of calling the cops, they should of rolled in and shot this retard in the face, and did us all a favor. People like this have no right to live.

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (1, Insightful)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048328)

I like your way of thinking.
Steal a car = death penalty

Perhaps being stupid online should carry, not the death penalty perhaps(it is a lesser crime), but perhaps the penalty of having your index fingers severed so you can't spew your mental diarrhea for everyone else to deal with?

Of course, being a minor, oh Anonymous Troll that you are, you'd be spared that penalty.

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (2, Informative)

Korveck (1145695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048132)

Reminds me a few cases I saw. People made up stories of someone unfairly treated in some ways, posted them on popular interactive sites. Some of the people who believed the story quickly found contact info of the target and bombarded them with phone calls and e-mails. These cases ended without serious damages, but eventually this practice will ruin life of an innocent person.

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048156)

And who is to say that the mob has the right guy?
Um....probably all those people with the torches and pitchforks.

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048196)

Yes, yes go away to your nanny state pleasure land please. Where you wait for the "police" to do everything for you (AFTER THE FACT I might add).

Lord help you if you're ever involved in a crime.

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (5, Insightful)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048228)

It's not vigilantism when the crime is reported to the police and the police make the arrest. That's what happened in this case.

Vigilantism would be if upon finding out where the car is, an angry mob descended, beat the crap out of the guy, and then took the car back.

There's quite a difference between vigilantism and what happened in this case.

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048242)

If the VIN matches and he's in possession of a stolen vehicle, then it's close enough.

Oh, and don't kill him... or videotape the beating that he desperately deserves.

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048250)

The same thing was said about Joe Horn in Houston. The fact is that if the cops can't help you keep your stuff and the "Internet Mob" can, who do you turn to? The cops have been crippled by PC garbage, so people go after criminals directly. And if your car gets stolen, I bet you post it to your forums, tell your friends, and look for it yourself. My girlfriend did, and we found her stolen truck. Then we called the police and told them that they could stop "looking" for it now.

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (1)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048350)

Under the common law it was legal to perform a citizen's arrest on someone committing a felony.

Unfortunately I do not know how much of the common law remains intact in Canada.

Yes I know the beyond.ca guys didn't arrest the guy, but merely identified him. I'm just saying...

Re:Good that the guy was caught... (1)

Neko-kun (750955) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048492)

I'd say that yes, you do have a point that all of this could have gone wrong. But just remember that if enough of these incidents go wrong, the internet crowd won't help out anymore since they'll be sticking their neck out for a liar.

Think along the lines of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and the fact that, for the most part anyway, trolls and the like are usually outed or marked before they do any real damage.

Thinking about it, I'd like to believe that this is where the saying "Anonymous is NOT your personal army" originated from. Sane people with the intelligence to carry stuff like this out just tired of being played by a random troll or person with a bone to pick.

headline in 5 years: (4, Interesting)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047940)

"Internet vigilante group charged with 5 counts of murder"

I'm glad these thieves were caught. Law enforcement could take a few notes.

What troubles me is the implications of internet vigilantism. Look at Perverted Justice to see a prime example of how it can go wrong. When the NYtimes is reporting on this, it's just a matter of time before we see internet vigilante groups doing all kinds of suspect activity.

There is nothing wrong with helping the police catch thieves, but when vigilantism gets so much play in the media without a counterbalance, you will undoubtedly see citizens setting people up for the thrill of it. Perverted Justice is a perfect example. PWNing n00bs in World Of Warcraft gets old, so they try something with higher stakes...'hunting' bad guys in the real world via the net. It's the perfect escalation of a video game, and it WILL get out of control (more than it already has).

Re:headline in 5 years: (5, Insightful)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047994)

This wasn't vigilantism. Other than blocking the car in, they did not engage the guy directly, nor did they try for mob justice. They blocked him in so he couldn't get away, and then they called the cops and waited for them to show up.

I see nothing at all wrong with this. The cops can then determine if a crime was committed, and guess what? If not, they can arrest the "vigilantes" for filing a false report.

(Now if they d actually tried to hold the person *himself* then I'd have a problem with that. That's when you get into the realm of false imprisonment and civil rights violations.

Re:headline in 5 years: (1)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048054)

This wasn't vigilantism
didn't say it was...my issue with this was the implications if unchecked...in case you missed it in my first post:

There is nothing wrong with helping the police catch thieves, but when vigilantism gets so much play in the media without a counterbalance, you will undoubtedly see citizens setting people up for the thrill of it. Perverted Justice is a perfect example.
now, you said:

they can arrest the "vigilantes" for filing a false report.
if you look at particular cases you will see that police are reluctant to prosecute vigilantes, especially when the newsmedia portrays their illegal, civil-rights infringing behavior in a positive light. Your idea that "oh, if vigilantes go to far they can be charged with crimes or sued" is just incorrect. In practice, there is very little legal protection for those wrongly targeted by vigilantes, especially online

Re:headline in 5 years: (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048244)

...they did not engage the guy directly, nor did they try for mob justice.

This time.... A little work with photoshop can turn any one of you into a "child molester", and you will be smoked out of your house and hanging from from a tree before anybody can clear it up.

Re:headline in 5 years: (5, Interesting)

penguin king (673171) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048756)

It's kinda scary even if you don't think it's vigilantism. In this case an actual wrong was committed (I think we can safely say this). However what proof did the dealer provide of his ownership? Lets think of a situation where some guy has really pissed me off. I go onto a forum, identify him with a characteristic that can't be mistaken, the car he will be driving that I "own" (actually in this example his car, but you don't know that) which luckily for me is a very distinguishable car (or bicycle, whatever) claim he stole it and sit back waiting for him to be harrassed by forum members trying to find my stuff.

The thing about this kind of investigation is that the police have policy and procedure for a reason. Whilst they might ask a few questions, when it becomes evident that you're using them as a tool for harrassment, it's gonna bite you in the ass (arse).

I for one think it's lovely that people will go out of their way to do this kinda thing, but I can see it going really wrong. Don't stop running after the guy you just saw mugging the old lady, or taking photos of the hit and run (FA) that you just saw, but next time you read "X stole my Y, he looks like Z keep an eye out", perhaps investigate the truth of the story before you investigate X when you see him in his/the Y looking like Z

Re:headline in 5 years: (4, Insightful)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048202)

Slippery Slope fallacy. This isn't even remotely close to what you're proposing it will lead to. While there may someday (and already have been) cases of vigilantism gone wrong there are just as many case of it gone right. So long as the correct sort of vigilantism (the 'get some info and call the police', not the 'go batman on them') is portrait as a good thing I highly doubt the other one will become seriously popular.

Re:headline in 5 years: (1)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048292)

While there may someday (and already have been) cases of vigilantism gone wrong there are just as many case of it gone right
I gave you a specific, relevant, ongoing example of how internet vigilantism IS going wrong right now:

What troubles me is the implications of internet vigilantism. Look at Perverted Justice to see a prime example of how it can go wrong.
You did not counter that example in your argument at all. Dxplain how my example of cyber-vigilantism does not apply. Perverted Justice started out similar to the scenario in TFA. If you are going to throw around debate terminology "slippery slope fallacy" you have to have the chops to back it up.

Speaking of which, the slippery slope analogy only becomes a fallacy when the two instances in the analogy are not related [wikipedia.org] . In TFA and in Perverted Justice's website, both groups are involved in catching alleged criminals. One group went too far, therefore it is logical that without counterbalance, other groups will go too far as well.

Re:headline in 5 years: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048496)

I gave you a specific, relevant, ongoing example of how internet vigilantism IS going wrong right now

I'm not seeing the specific, relevant, ongoing example. You made reference to a website without so much as providing a link to it. You did not cite a single case in which the so-called vigilantes stepped outside the bounds of the law. You did not describe how they did so. You have not identified anything specific that has gone wrong. You have not mentioned anything relevant that has gone wrong. You have to mentioned anything ongoing that has gone wrong. If you want someone to take your claim seriously you need to back it up with more than the name of a website that most people have never heard of.

What troubles me is the implications of internet vigilantism. Look at Perverted Justice to see a prime example of how it can go wrong.

You did not counter that example in your argument at all. Dxplain how my example of cyber-vigilantism does not apply. Perverted Justice started out similar to the scenario in TFA. If you are going to throw around debate terminology "slippery slope fallacy" you have to have the chops to back it up.

If you want someone to counter your example, you must first provide an example! If you are going to throw around allegations you have to have the chops to back it up.

Re:headline in 5 years: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048288)

Damnit , I wish I was in my Supra without Gf and kid..... They are also lucky they gunned it when i was getting outa my car , would have shit kicked the cocky mofo....

Anyways they said the car wasnt stolen lol - JAYMEZ

shit that would have been a great chase lol - crx/gsr

That's two quotes from the first two pages of the thread at beyond.ca. It only gets dumber from there. This JAYMEZ fucking retard would have gotten into a car chase and put the lives of other drivers at risk just to try and catch these idiots. All over a shitty car... Read the thread at beyond.ca. Most of these "car enthusiasts" are complete fucking retards, and many of them are street racers.

We're very lucky this didn't end badly.

Re:headline in 5 years: (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048432)

It happened in Canada, I'm not in Canada, I don't think it would have affected me at all if it had ended badly, I don't count that as being lucky.

Re:headline in 5 years: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048618)

That's really great. Thanks for sharing.

news to me! (0, Offtopic)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047954)

Now can the Slashdot community help me find my missing Porn? Shes about 5'8", nude, has many "Talents". Last seen on 'D:\pr0n\"

Re:news to me! (1)

krovisser (1056294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047972)

I also store all my pr0n in a folder named, "pr0n".

Re:news to me! (1, Funny)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048014)

Hmm, a D: drive. Try putting in the CDROM.

Re:news to me! (1)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048024)

And, just to get my quota of smartassism in for the day, here is another nice smartass comment...

I prefer to put my pr0n on a DD drive. Just seems more fitting somehow.

Another person doesn't return the car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047970)

Might as well say "The test driver and 6.6 billion other persons don't return the car."

poor dealer practice (3, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048038)

First off as a dealer you should not allow anyone to test drive without proof of insurance and license. Your dealer lot insurance may cover an uninsured/unlicensed driver's accident, (I've been hit by someone that way before) but your insurance co is not going to like you after the fact. That license has your name and picture on it. You should at least record their name. Better would be a photocopy of both before you give them the keys.

Second, why are they letting someone go for a test drive unaccompanied by someone from the dealership, someone they don't personally know?

This should not have happened in the first place. I can't say I would have felt sorry for them had it not gone this well. It does not set a good example to show how you can be stupid and get away with it due to the marvels of modern technology.

I personally hope their lot insurance rates go through the roof for a year over this. Roundabouts, it's people doing stupid things like this and NOT getting lucky that result in MY rates going up to spread the loss coverage.

Re:poor dealer practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048096)

Second, why are they letting someone go for a test drive unaccompanied by someone from the dealership, someone they don't personally know?
I'm not particularly experienced in the world of car buying, as I've only purchased one. However during that purchase I visited several dealerships, and there was only one dealership who even brought up the idea of riding with me. I took him along, but it was made fairly clear that I had the right to refuse if I wanted to. The other dealerships never even mentioned it, and it was just assumed that I would be taking the car alone and bringing it back when I was done.

I would be wary of any dealer who insisted on having someone ride with me during a test drive. It's harder to get a correct impression of a vehicle when a guy who makes money from getting you to buy it is riding shotgun.

Re:poor dealer practice (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048232)

Odd. When I went shopping every single dealer wanted to ride shotgun. They did say that I could refuse, but it was more 'You can if you want, but...' type things than making it clear.

Re:poor dealer practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048364)

Maybe it's regional differences. This was at three or four different dealerships in Wisconsin. I've also taken a test drive of a car in Virginia, more out of curiosity than out of desire to buy anything (although I didn't let on to the salesman!) and that one also didn't accompany me.

I can understand why they might want to have somebody ride with you. But on the other hand they have the information from your ID and the item in question is pretty readily identifiable.

I had similar thoughts about how I was able to write a check for near $14,000 for my car, just a regular plain old check from the checkbook. I thought they would want a cashier's check or something else more secure. Then I realized that they had my name, address, phone number, driver's license number, vehicle VIN, vehicle license plate number, and that my ass would be toast and pretty easy to track down if my check bounced and I didn't make good.

As long as you get the person's driver's license ahead of time then you should be pretty safe. If this dealership didn't do this, then they were indeed pretty stupid. But it would seem that it's fairly safe to let them take the drive on their own as long as you've done this. You have to be a pretty dense criminal to steal a car after you've handed over a picture of yourself and a bunch of identifying information.

Re:poor dealer practice (1)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048436)

It depends on the car and the dealer. If you arrived in a decent car they have that as collateral, along with a copy of your driver's license. It sounds like the dealer didn't follow any of the rules.

Re:poor dealer practice (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048472)

I've taken both kinds of test drives. Probably, a combination of people preferring to test the car without someone watching over their shoulder and excluding that car salesman from performing other tasks makes the cost of dealing with the occasional car theft (against which the dealership presumably has insurance) low -- particularly since the dealership has all the necessary data about the car handy, can report it quite quickly, has multiple people who have seen the perpetrator up close, and hopefully have some (probably fake) identification.

Re:poor dealer practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048102)

I thought dealers went to "photocopy" your drivers license so they could run a credit check on you.

Re:poor dealer practice (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048122)

The kid brought forged ID documents.

Re:poor dealer practice (1)

kris.montpetit (1265946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048160)

Agreed, another case of talking monkey syndrome.

Re:poor dealer practice (2, Informative)

topham (32406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048216)

Proof of what insurance? You need a vehicle to have car insurance. While this individual may have a car in his name, that doesn't make it a requirement for purchasing a car.

As for driving without being accompanied by someone from the dealership; it's actually pretty typical in Canada, at least everywhere I've been.
Sure, if your young and trying to test drive a fancy car they might insist on accompanying you, but they typically only do that if they think you can't be trusted for 5 seconds to not do something stupid. If you find the original story in this case, they had previously taken the car out with someone else, they stole it the second time they took it for a spin. Somebody comes back to check out a car after a test drive they are generally pretty interested in the vehicle, and I would expect not stupid enough to think they won't be recognized.

As well, they provided fake information when they borrowed the car.

All that said; he's an interesting circumstance for you:

I went to a local dealership to buy a new car, just looked it over. Came back a few days later and decided to test drive the car. We (girlfriend and I) took it for a spin on a Saturday, came back a little while later and told the sales guy I wanted to buy it. We start the process and it turns out it was about 10-15 minutes too late in the day to process the credit check. Sales guy tells me I can take the car for the weekend and we can finish up the sale on Monday. No photocopy of my license was taken, he had merely glanced at the license to verify I had one.

An hour later we stopped off to rent a movie and the rental place did a more thorough job of verifying who I was. So yeah, easier to steal a 30K vehicle than a $15 DVD.

Re:poor dealer practice (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048268)

The difference is, that it's easier for the cops to track down a stolen car, then track down a stolen DVD.

Re:poor dealer practice (1)

schon (31600) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048456)

it's easier for the cops to track down a stolen car, then track down a stolen DVD.
Uhh, because the stolen DVD is inside the car?

Or does the car thief know the whereabouts of stolen DVDs?

I'm unsure about your causality here - can you elaborate?

Re:poor dealer practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048616)

You need a vehicle to have car insurance.

No you don't.

Re:poor dealer practice (1)

Shawn Parr (712602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048560)

Better would be a photocopy of both before you give them the keys.

You are absolutely correct that a dealership should check that you have valid ID, and possibly even insurance (which you might not have yet if you are buying your first car).

However, in this day and age of identity theft, if an employee of a dealership asked to make a copy of my license, or even take it for longer than to just check its validity, I would walk off the lot right then and there.

Part of the sales guys job is to try to find out how likely you are to actually buy the car before letting you in there. If they think I'm a potential buyer, and they see that I have a valid license, that is all they should need. Honestly that is part of the challenge of the dealership's business model and the insurance they have, that while they do their best to asses whether the customer is legit or safe, they can not be correct 100% of the time.

I watched this in real time... (5, Interesting)

thompo (1271946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048062)

...from the initial post about the car being stolen, to posts from various members sighting the car, to the eventual arrest video and hilarious photochops to go along with it all. At one point, there were 400 members and 5000 guests viewing the thread. Every refresh would bring up 5-10 more posts instantly. This wasn't so much a case of internet vigilantism. The thief had literally been spotted driving like an idiot by multiple members of that board - before the post was even made. At that point people started chiming in with "holy hell, i saw that guy too, he was driving 90 down a residential street near ". All of these sightings eventually led to a sighting right outside the guy's own home... case closed. I highly suggest logging into beyond.ca and reading the thread, there is some serious photoshop comedy gold in there.

Show the stalkers how to do it (2, Insightful)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048064)

Doesn't this just show how easy it is to stalk someone using the internet?

Re:Show the stalkers how to do it (1)

vandoravp (709954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048164)

No. However, it does show how easy it is to "crowdsource" the stalking and coordinate it using the Internet. He wasn't doing anything online himself, but people observing him in the real world were able to report back. They only used Google Maps to communicate where he was, not actually find him, and his Facebook account was inconsequential to the actual apprehension, used only for humiliation.

Re:Show the stalkers how to do it (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048658)

Doesn't this just show how easy it is to stalk someone using the internet?


No, I think it shows how easy it is to use the Internet to track down a guy driving around town like an idiot in a rare, right-hand-drive car waving his distinguishing feature at anyone who flashes him the "rock 'n roll" sign.

It would have been more dramatic (-1, Troll)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048176)

Had it not been a 17-year old used car. The story says the kid was charged with larceny over $5,000. In light of that, I think it's the dealer who should have been charged with a larceny.

Re:It would have been more dramatic (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048534)

Had it not been a 17-year old used car. The story says the kid was charged with larceny over $5,000. In light of that, I think it's the dealer who should have been charged with a larceny.
Age does not determine value. It's an obscure model that you may not have heard of, but that doesn't mean it's not worth $5K. You've probably never heard of a VW Syncro Westfalia Vanagon either, a vehicle they quit making in '91, clean examples of which sell for between $15K and $20K. Basically, your ignorance does not set market price.

Please post Claw-related links here (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048210)

Let's see 'em: ytmnd, *chan, worth1000, etc. Let the people laugh!

If the summary sounds familiar... (2, Funny)

TheUni (1007895) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048240)

New Agent: All right, people, I'm in charge now and we will find the terrorists. Jarvis, I want you to check for any terrorist chatter on AOL. Marley and Greggs, try searching for nuclear devices on askjeeves.com.
Kyle: Ask Jeeves? Nobody uses Ask Jeeves! Just Google-search it!
New Agent: Are you tellin' me how to do my job?
Kyle: Yes. There's a Russian guy named Vladimir Stolfsky who's got search engine hits all over this thing.
New Agent: Chase, search the name Stolfsky on YouTube and cross-reference it with JDate!
Chase: Checking.
Stan: Look, these Russian guys all have blogs talking about this like it's just some big diversion for something much bigger!
Female Agent 2: Sir, these kids are right. We've just received intel that Russian terrorists are believed to be responsible for the threat.
New Agent: Where's the intel from?
Female Agent 2: We just read it on Drudge Report.
Kyle: Look, we already have the guy's blog. Maybe we can find an address and check it out on MapQuest.
New Agent: We do this my way! I'm the one in charge!
Kyle: [he and Stan look at each other] ...Not anymore you're not.
New Agent: Oh, snap.

Ok, thieves don't deserve any privacy... (5, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048258)

What about the rest of us? If somebody posts my car's pictures online and asks people to help them find me, the same tricks will work. It will be even quicker, because I will not even be expecting any sort of pursuit...

When police try to use these methods, we are full of "big brother" gloom. When "the mob" does it, we are cheering...

Re:Ok, thieves don't deserve any privacy... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048572)

"When police try to use these methods, we are full of "big brother" gloom. "

That would be due to a fundamental hatred of law enforcement, government, and The Man (until someone steals YOUR shit!). :)

Vigilantism done right (2, Interesting)

Naito (667851) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048336)

Vigilantism can be a dangerous thing, but I think in this case they did it as correctly as they could have. At no point did they actually confront the perp, and basically left all confrontations to the police. All they did was help track him down and then let the proper official channels handle him from there. At the very worst, they might have been called out for harassing the guy by hiding outside his house etc. But then again, if the perp really was innocent, he could have called the police himself for possible harassment and stalking charges against the groups that sat outside his house, but he didn't. I think these guys deserve some credit for doing this as "properly" as vigilantes possibly could. Well done.

Neat, but the classic P-P-P-Powerbook is better. (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048354)

I still consider the ultimate classic 'P-P-P-Powerbook' [zug.com] to be the prime example of creative internet community vigilantisim. Allways a funny read indeed.

How about solving a buglary in about 2 hours (1)

eric76 (679787) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048446)

The best I saw was someone solving a burglary in something like 2 hours on the internet. The stolen goods were recovered in something like 4 hours or so.

Re:How about solving a buglary in about 2 hours (1)

prestomation (583502) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048590)

Citation Needed

15 megabytes of fame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048458)

This guy has worldwide recognition for being a car thief for the rest of his life. The Internet is not going away.

No, in about 3 days everyone involved will COMPLETELY FORGET about this whole thing. Haven't you noticed there's an awful lot of stuff on the ol' internet?

Anonymous never forgives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048530)

"This guy has worldwide recognition for being a car thief for the rest of his life. The Internet is not going away."

We are legion, for we are many.
We do not Forgive.
We do not Forget.
Expect us.

Re:Anonymous never forgives (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048700)

"This guy has worldwide recognition for being a car thief for the rest of his life." Yeah, right. To me wishing that upon someone - let's ignore the pompous craziness of actually believing it for a moment - can be much worse than stealing a car, depending on the circumstances. Not that I even read TFA, I mean, c'mon... vindictive little bitches playing sheriff on the internet, what else is new? I do that all the time haha.

Interesting, but a similar thing happened before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048558)

A german fan-forum of the Mercedes Benz 190 (or W201) solved a similar case when one of the member's car's interior was stoled from within his garage. It's a very rare original car.
One member found the interior on eBay, where there even was an image of the bottom of one of the seats showing the exact serial number the other forum member's car has.
He bought it with a ridiculously high bid, went there with the police and it turned out the woman who tried to sell it on ebay bought it very cheap from some other guy.
It wasn't solved in 48 hours, but pretty quickly anyway.

Two wrongs don't make a right (1)

Rich Klein (699591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048766)

I'm not real impressed with the used car dealer selling the thief's hat after he was arrested. Yeah, the kid was a dope, but that doesn't make it any more acceptable to steal his stuff.
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