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Xbox thief thwarted by community & Live idiocy

This story is proof that karma and technology go together like chocolate syrup and vanilla ice-cream. Jesse McPherson, a 26 year-old engineer from Philadelphia, was shocked to find his Halo 3 edition Xbox 360, big-screen television and Apple G4 Powerbook stolen from his home upon returning from the recent SXSW event. After dealing with local authorities, who seemed more interested in taste-testing donuts than helping, Jesse took the matter into his own hands to solve the crime.

After booting up a new Xbox 360 Jesse was shocked to find threatening messages from Xbox Live user I iRandom I claiming to be one of the perpetrators of the crime and demanded cash for the safe return of the Xbox console (coupled with ignorant NSFW language, of course!). After submitting his story to digg, which included an image of the second suspect in the theft that was taken from a local pawn shop's security monitor, Jesse was shocked to find over 7000 users had launched the event to the top of digg's main page.

After a barrage of threatening messages to the admitted thief's account from random Xbox Live users and dialog with the brave thief's own mother (His mommy got involved? Ultimate bad-ass!), Jesse's Xbox 360 console was returned in working condition (the Powerbook was also returned on a separate occasion). What, you may ask, were the officers of Jesse's local precinct doing in the time he solved the crime? Who knows, but hopefully it was updating their resumes to include sloth as a major skill.

[via The Age]

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Reader Comments (Page 2 of 3)


3-26-2008 @ 1:12PM

Neuromancer said...

@Xav de Matos
Thanks for the apology, you're OK in my book! (Some of your readers can be cops too ya know)

Dustin still needs to get himself out of the doghouse after his last Ask X3F post, though....

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Nathan Keller22

3-26-2008 @ 2:49PM

Nathan Keller said...


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Greg B.23

3-26-2008 @ 3:03PM

Greg B. said...

1. It wasn't just the account that was stolen; his 360, tv, and laptop were stolen as well.
2. He tried to contact the police with information he had, and they never got back to him.

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3-26-2008 @ 3:11PM

Dick said...

once again, Neuromancer comes out on the wrong side of the joke, through a fault all his own.

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Xav de Matos25

3-26-2008 @ 3:15PM

Xav de Matos said...

@Greg B: Not sure who that's directed to. Those points are made in this particular synopsis of the original story.

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3-26-2008 @ 3:17PM

c4v3man said...

I swear we need to start cutting off hands like they do/did in other countries. This crap is too prevalent, and it demonstrates that the punishment is not enough of a deterrent to prevent this crime. My friend had his xbox and wii stolen 2 months ago, and my parents were robbed about 6 months ago, and they live out in the middle of nowhere. There's a reason people get concealed carry permits... the only defense you can rely on is your own.

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3-26-2008 @ 3:18PM

Sunny said...

I was following this story as it was happening over the weekend and there are a lot of details missing, such as probably the most important part which was that the kids home address / phone number were all found and posted in a wiki made about this story. His mother got involved because people kept calling his house at all hours threatening him to give the xbox back.

After that there was a whole lot of he-said she-said, and some people actually went to McPherson's home saying they had the wrong guy. After that, he called the police again and only then did they take notice because he had been approached and more or less threatened by other people about the whole matter. Soon after the Xbox and laptop got returned and now the police supposedly have a lead on the TV.

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Greg B.28

3-26-2008 @ 3:19PM

Greg B. said...

Sorry, Xav. They weren't directed at you. I was talking to two of the commenters.

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Xav de Matos29

3-26-2008 @ 3:23PM

Xav de Matos said...

@Sunny: Since we are an Xbox focused site I didn't feel the need to delve into the detailed information of the address situation because it was inconsequential to the angle taken for this synopsis. We're reporting specifically on the occurrence's outcome as it pertains to the Xbox 360. Thanks for your comment though, maybe it answered a question someone had.

@Greg B: It's all good!

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3-26-2008 @ 3:42PM

Dick said...

Waah Waah Waah
I got death threats because I'm a piece of garbage that has to steal just to get what I (think I) want.
Waah Waah Waah
I'm a defective little mutant and now people are angry at me because I do heinous things and expect nothing bad to come back to me.
Waah Waah Waah
No One in my family ever took the time to raise me right, or show me right from wrong, yet my mommy is up in arms and angry at everyone else when there are threats coming in to my deviant sorry pathetic excuse for an existence.

Sunny, go join greenpeace, cuz shilling for little losers like this one are a waste of your bleeding heart.

Or maybe you can take your investigative excellence and join the cops there in Philly. They clearly need someone with your attention to all of the right details.

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3-26-2008 @ 3:43PM

Dick said...

I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be a troll, but these stories about idiots... And then the people who defend them...
It all just really makes my blood and my bile boil.

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3-26-2008 @ 3:47PM

Neuromancer said...

I never said ONLY his account got stolen. My point, which I didn't think I had to spell out explicity, was that this guy was only able to track down his Xbox by using Live. I'm sorry if you think the cops should have done an undercover Xbox Live operation or stakeout or whatever, but honestly I think in Philadelphia they've probably got more important things to do.

Love the blog BTW. What's that, you saw a crazy lookin black dude on the street wearing a fedora? Stop the press!

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3-26-2008 @ 3:47PM

dylan said...

I followed this story on Digg, and I believe that Jesse called the cops to file a report, then took matters into his own hands, as he found more evidence, like a security tape with the kid holding his laptop at a pawn shop and the kids name and number, he phoned on at least two more occasions where the cops told him they didn't have time to come by and weren't interested in his findings... so I'd say sloth is an accurate way to describe that precinct, especially considering that people involved in home invasion are also usually tied to drugs and violent crimes, or working their way up to that.

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3-26-2008 @ 4:02PM

Sunny said...

@Dick I wasn't defending him, I was just putting more context to the story. Some people were angry because it put the police in a bad light, and that just shows that they should be put that way. It also says that nasty messages are what brought the story to a close, and thats not true. That kid got what he deserved and should burn in hell.

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3-26-2008 @ 4:02PM

Zeus.:God said...

Abyssmal, you would shoot yourself before you ever got that gun and its "steel coated bullet" aimed anywhere, ya' fool.

Hell, I doubt you've ever held, let alone fired a REAL gun- as a matter of fact, a "steel coated bullet" would serve no purpose other than proving your ignorance and pure stupidity.

Maybe you would like to take a peek at my Savage 30-06 and Talon full metal jacket rounds?

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3-26-2008 @ 4:32PM

Neuromancer said...

You're getting an account of an event from some random guy's blog, all I'm saying is there's two sides to every story and his is the only one getting told here. And yes he went to a pawn shop and got that surveillance photo which was a smart move, but the way he got this guy's personal info was through the Xbox Live account. Half the people I work with don't even know what Xbox Live is, you can't expect robbery detectives to know what to do with that.

Also I would imagine these detectives have a huge workload of cases, many of which may involve violence against persons which would take priority over a stolen XBox. It's unrealistic for people to think that all of a sudden these cops can drop what they're doing at a moment's notice and give this case priority.

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3-26-2008 @ 7:32PM

dylan said...

If you feel a need to defend these people, by all means find the info that proves me wrong, the info from some guys blog is what I have to go on and from my experience with the police it sounds quite feasible. I never implied that anyone should "drop what they are doing at a moments notice" but sending out an officer at their convenience sounds like something they could have managed. It may not have been laziness, but it does sound to me like the system is broken and needs some serious overhauling.

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3-26-2008 @ 7:53PM

refinedsugar said...

Nice quick 'n dirty news blurb done right. Glad it had a happy ending, but I suspect he knew the culprits on some level. What wasn't said is just as important, if not more, than what was.

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3-26-2008 @ 9:21PM

djrussell said...

I was pretty disguisted with this post to be completely honest. I completely agree with Neuromancer... Xav de Matos: you dont have a clue how law enforcement works, you dont have a clue what the cercumstances were - and instead of reporting the NEWS as you were supposed to, you added your own little 2-cent rant about the police not doing their jobs. You make me sick... while you're sitting at your computer typing away in your own little safe environment your forgetting who actually makes that possible day-in-day-out. Stick to the facts; dont add personal comments, because then what does that mean? Free media goes out the window - and you're no better than the journalists on Today Tonight or any of those other crappy, bias-television broadcasts reporting not the truth or facts, but they're own opinions. Thats not what news is all about.

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Xav de Matos40

3-26-2008 @ 9:41PM

Xav de Matos said...

@djrussell: I've already apologized if my comments were taken for more than the jokes they were meant to be. I appreciate your comments, even when you say I make you sick, but as I stated earlier I was merely echoing the frustration that Jesse had for the police in question. The fact is he solved this crime in a matter of days with no formal training and, if you read his posting, he felt ignored by the police. I understand that a burglary isn't as important as other crimes, but when the perpetrator escalated the situation to harassment the police should have stepped in but they unfortunately continued to ignore Jesse and his personal well being. Instead of blindly following designated leaders, Jesse took matters into his own hands and I respect him for that considering he received very little support from the law enforcement assigned to protect him.

Thanks for calling me out though! Have a good one.

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