Perhaps it’s because we’ve seen so many thefts here at Giz that are worthy of being turned into films, that everything else pales into insignificance. On second thought – nah, this mobile phone thief really is that dumb.
Picture the scene: it’s a Walmart in Nampa, Idaho, and a nameless victim – let’s call him Fred – has just bought a new smartphone. Busy downloading apps before he barely has time to take the plastic wrapping off the phone, he doesn’t see Brian Westerfield approaching. But he does notice when Westerfield steals his smartphone right from under his nose, Seesmic app probably still downloading.
Fred does what any normal app-denied person would do and calls the cops. What follows is a remarkably simple sting, where the police phoned the thief (handily, they knew his number thanks to Fred), and posed as a potential buyer. Now, what I’d like to know is what Westerfield thought when someone called him on his recently stolen phone, trying to buy it. Didn’t it occur to him that the only person who’d know that number – and that the phone was stolen – is most likely the owner?
According to Sergeant Mike Wagoner, they “dickered over the price for the phone and so when the suspect did show up the police obviously were there to meet him”.
Adding insult to Westerfield’s injury, when they moved forward to arrest him, he attempted to run off but tripped and faceplanted right there and then. He’s now facing five years of prison, if convicted. And our boy Fred is back, busy filling up his phone’s memory with apps like a true soldier. [Kboi2 – Thanks, Michael!]