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Bad hair, good story


This is a heartwarming story of high-tech vigilante justice; kind of a flash mob in reverse. The dude with the really unfortunate haircut (and tattoo) is Jesse McPherson. He was robbed. On March 12, thieves broke into his apartment and stole his TV, his Powerbook and his X-Box.

Police dusted for fingerprints and then totally lost interest.

So McPherson used Google maps to find all the pawn shops in his area and, sure enough, the first hit had been offered a computer that sounded like his (wrong charger; lid wouldn’t stay open properly). So he snapped a pretty good photo of the perp from a surveillance camera image. Police still not interested.

Meanwhile, cow-orkers got together and bought him a new X-Box. When he logged in to his X-Box Live account, there was a message waiting, purportedly from the thief, offering to sell him back his own X-Box.

The username of the message leaver was not a brand new account created especially for this taunting. Oh stupid, stupid taunting message leaver.

The police: still not interested. But the innernets: always up for a lynching. McPherson submitted a post to Digg, and off it went. Worldwide. Accounts for Taunting Message Leaver turned up on Photobucket (with pictures of his winky!), YouTube (including a rap performance), MySpace, AIM. Real name, address and phone number followed soon after. The kid was harassed out of every available orifice: gaming, chat, email, IM, txt, phone.

It was a kid, too. Turns out, the idiot taunting kid with the X-Box was (probably) not the thief. My favorite bit:

One avenger, from England, even posted a recording on YouTube of a phone call he had with the kid’s furious mom, who was adamant her son wasn’t a thief but had bought the Xbox from a neighborhood crack-head.

Ohhhhh…well, that’s okay then, Mom.

Mom and co. left the X-Box on McPherson’s stoop, along with a beg for mercy.

And the thief? Once the story got international press (in actual, like, newspapers and stuff) the police developed an interest at last. The fingerprints matched two; arrest warrants have been issued. The Powerbook mysteriously appeared on McPherson’s doorstep. His TV, however, is probably gone for good.

It’s like my old mother used to say. “Stoaty,” she’d say, “don’t be a dick.”


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2008, 9:23 am

I heard about this on NPR last night. I’m listening to a lot of NPR lately, on account of it’s the station I get best and I’m doing lots of painting after work. Sob.

The cool thing about picking up news from NPR is knowing the Moronosphere won’t have been listening.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: April 3, 2008, 10:02 am

I bet to get interest (i.e. to be made popular and placed on the front page) on digg.com he’d’ve had to link it to stories about how Macs are greater than PCs, how America is a ‘z0mg teh fascist statez!!1!LOL’, how Bush is both a knuckledragging simpleton and an evil genius simultaneously, and how Obama is the new Jesus…wait, scrap that – Obama is the original Jesus (he was a poor, black Palestinian living under evil Israeli occupation, right?), and so on.
Anyway, I’m glad he got his Xbox back. (Xbox or Xbox360?)
He does – from what I can tell – look a bit like George Harrison if he’d been momentarily subjected to vacuum…and was still alive obviously. In other words, if you looked like that, you’d have a hair’style’ that covered half of your face too.
I bet that T-shirt stinks.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2008, 10:13 am

What isn’t clear from the weasel noir photograph is that the eye-covering lock of hair is bright magenta. Oh, he made the front page, he did.

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 3, 2008, 10:28 am

Totally emo. McGoo might be able to corroborate.

Sometimes I despair how criminals get away with crimes, but then society evolves different ways of pursuing criminals.

Good, heart-warming story with which to start the day. Thank you!

Comment from nbpundit
Time: April 3, 2008, 10:35 am

Take an artiste break Stoaty.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2008, 10:42 am

What a great site, NB! I want me one of these lamps! The brain one, I think.

Comment from nbpundit
Time: April 3, 2008, 11:49 am

A brainy lamp to put into a nice window in your new
home…wonder how that would work as a stoop light at the
front entrance…

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 3, 2008, 12:31 pm

Oh my. McGoo, I hope the last x-ray is not yours.


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: April 3, 2008, 12:36 pm

Reassuring to learn that the US police, too, have taken to redefining burglary as a non-crime.

I thought it was just our PC PCs that had done that.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2008, 1:10 pm

No, our police don’t bother much with burglary. I’m surprised they took fingerprints, frankly. We’re better off with judges, though: if by any wild chance a thief is caught, there are usually consquences.

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 3, 2008, 1:14 pm

Yeah, but many of us have the power to take care of the burglars ourselves – if we catch them in the act. If we shoot ’em dead or smash their skulls, the cops will just make a report and take the body away.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 3, 2008, 1:22 pm

PnB! How many time I gotta say it: that’s an exit, not an entrance!

Reminds me of a Jackass Movie episode: A JA guy went into emergency with a little matchbook car up a his wazoo in Japan. That’s where I got the idea of complaining to japanese medical folks (online) that I had a six-foot feather boa stuck up my ass.

Good times!

I’d read somewhere several years ago that the British police “counted” crimes differently than here in the States. If – say – a burglar robs 20 houses over a period of many days, they were all considered ONE crime. This allowed them to downplay the numbers to the public. A new Police Commissioner (or whatever) put a stop to the practice, after they got caught at it.

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 3, 2008, 1:47 pm

PnB! How many time I gotta say it: that’s an exit, not an entrance!

Did you note the titanium knob? You coulda swallowed the bottle in one of your incredible thirst episodes you know. 😉

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 3, 2008, 1:53 pm

Holy sheep shit! I didn’t see that, PnB! No! Not me! That’s an old staleness style. Mine is the new hotness.

Whoever that is, they’re giving a bad name to titanium knobs everywhere! They should be stripped of their knobs and made to limp home with the flaccid remains of their leg dangling uselessly.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2008, 2:03 pm

Sadly, my father has the flaccid remains of a leg. His titanium knob didn’t take. They had to remove it.

He was going to make a walking stick out of it, but those things are *heavy*.

He’s still hobbling around pretty good for a very old dude with one hip.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2008, 2:22 pm

Ha! Check out this Photoshop! Man, that’s beautifully done. I wish I’d thought of it.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: April 3, 2008, 2:39 pm

Every time I see hair like that I want to push someone’s face in.

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 3, 2008, 2:45 pm

LOL…I saw that picture last week somewhere….either Ace’s or VtheK. I love it.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2008, 3:01 pm

Awww…sadly, it looks like the guy who did that P’shop is a moonbat.

Comment from Lemur King
Time: April 3, 2008, 3:18 pm

Thanks Stoaty – God that was a fun read. Little disappointed in the “Protect and to Serve” crowd’s underwhelming response but per’aps they were out “catching bad guys”, nevermind that bad guys out there probably engaged in this form of assholery at some point in their lives, too.

Goes to show you, that if you steal anything more high tech than a paperclip or a highlighter, someone might be able to track you down if they are so inclined. Bears thinking about… hmmm.

Those teddy bear skulls are a riot. The thing with McCain, Obama, and Hil… looks like business as usual.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: April 3, 2008, 3:22 pm

Speaking of moonbats, check out this Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iraq from yesterday. (There’s a Windows Media Player doodad on there too if you don’t have Realplayer.)
Code Pink members are in the audience, behind the military personnel giving testimonies. God knows how they have the restraint not to turn around, grab one of the Code Pink members by the face and shove their stupid pink tiaras down their quixotic throats.


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 3, 2008, 4:52 pm

Weaz, I remembered your story about your dad and his titanium knob not taking. I was really worried about that before I had mine done until the Doc reassured me.

Heh. I saw that p-shop the other day somewhere around the ‘sphere.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2008, 5:16 pm

Got infected, so that could happen in any surgery.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 3, 2008, 5:43 pm

Yep. Supposedly, they have that kind of crap reduced to a minimum now. But I figure it’s simply the roll of the dice. I got lucky. Or I stayed lucky. Whatever.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2008, 6:07 pm

The sad part was that nobody believed him. He was in so much pain he couldn’t get out of bed and they thought he was just being a pussy about it.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 3, 2008, 6:16 pm

That’s terrible. Hate to say it – mine was damned near painless, mainly because I was having fun abusing serious opiates.

They used to have a lot more trouble with post-surgery bone infection than now. Part of the trick is they get in and out in an hour. It used to take 3-4 hours. That’s a long time to expose living bone marrow to air.

Taking a night off from painting? You deserve it. Have a drink! Roll one. Turn on the wireless. Play with the cats.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 3, 2008, 6:35 pm

Nah. Writing an obit 🙂

Somebody I know has had *six* titanium knobs, and he’s just been told he has to go knobless from now on, like my dad. At a guess, he got a few bad ones in the early days. Now the socket is so worn out they won’t do another.

They’ve gotten MUCH better with time.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 3, 2008, 6:40 pm

God, that sucks. That upper bone can only take so many chunks of metal rammed into it. Mine is doing fine, so far as I know.

By the time my grandkids that I don’t have are old, they’ll be able to clone the actual joint assembly and replace the original equipment with OEM parts. that’ll be nice.

Sorry about the obit. Hope it’s not too painful.

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