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How To Catch An Xbox Thief - Use The Internet!

by Dave Parrack

Are you sitting comfortably? Then enjoy the following story of how one man managed to get back his stolen Xbox 360 by utilising the power of the Internet…

Jesse McPherson, a gamer from Philadelphia, returned from a trip to the SXSW festival on March 12th to discover his home had been broken in to, and a number of valuable belongings had been stolen.

The thief’s haul included a TV, a laptop, and his prized Xbox 360. Deciding not to take this lying down, McPherson leapt in to action, and started ringing around a number of local pawn shops to see if anyone had been trying to sell his good lately.

How To Catch An Xbox Thief - Use The Internet!

The first place he tried had indeed been the target for someone trying to sell a laptop with peculiarities very similar to his own. So he went down there, and got a few stills of the guy from the CCTV footage (as seen above).

He then called the police and explained the situation, but they weren’t really interested. His friends and co-workers meanwhile had rallied around to buy him a new Xbox 360. So McPherson recovered his Xbox Live account, and the first thing he finds on it is a voice message from a randomer.

It turns out to be the thief, who offers to sell him his own stolen Xbox back to him for a price. Again, the police were called, and again, they don’t get back to the victim of the crime… nice.

So McPherson decides to use the Internet instead, and posted details of the thief’s Xbox Live account on his personal blog. Digg then did what it was made to do, and within hours the community had uncovered all sorts of details on the thief, including his name, address and telephone number.

The it turned nasty, as the alleged thief started getting harassed all around the World Wide Web, from YouTube to AIM. By Sunday evening, shamed in to submission, or possibly just frightened at having thousands of people after his blood, he returned the laptop to McPherson in person. And now, the Xbox has also been returned.

It now looks as though the person who returned the gadgets isn’t the original thief after all, and is instead just someone who bought the stolen goods from the real culprit. But that’s not the point.

What matters here is that the Internet community worked together, and through a combination of teamwork, and going viral, a guy gets his stolen items returned to him intact. And all while the police were sat scratching their backsides.

[Source: Filefront]

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