This story comes to you from Philadelphia where Jesse McPherson spends his days as a front-end web developer, but in reality he claims to be a Rock Star. On March 12th, Jesse’s house was burglarized and his xbox 360, an old powerbook (which they grabbed the wrong charger for) and TV that was ripped off the wall were all stolen.
Having little faith in the local authorities to locate and recover his stuff, he took it upon himself to do his own detective work. He used google maps to locate the nearest pawn shop and contacted them about his missing items. The pawn shop owner remembered someone trying to sell a G4 powerbook without the charger and a dead battery (same as Jesse’s), but the shop’s owner wouldn’t buy it from him.
Luckily, this pawn shop had cameras and he let Jesse view them and take pictures of the suspect. After getting the photos, he contacted the detectives for his case but he waited around for 3+ hours and no one ever showed up. (I guess there must have been a buy 12 get one free donut sale going on) He waited about a week and still no response.
On Friday the 21st, Jesse got a huge surprise from work, a brand new xbox 360. (It’s so great to see people help others out.) He took it home, hooked it up and after recovering his xbox live account, was shocked by this message.
First thing he checked was whether or not it was a new account and sure enough the account shows usage back to 2007 along with the suspects personal info. (Here’s a link to his xbox profile, but you have to have an account and be signed in) He contacted the local authorities again and was told to call back M-F during normal business hours, during which time the suspect left more messages. Jesse told the police he was being harassed to which the police hung up on Jesse. (Why do we have police again?… oh yea to keep giving me speeding tickets cause I’m going 2 mph over the limit.)
The next step Jesse took is nothing short of genius. He posted his ordeal on Digg.com which is a very proactive website on very popular articles, events, and anything that tickles your fanny. (that’s right, I said fanny) And the response was overwhelming. Not only did the Digg fans actually Digg his article by huge amounts, but they started to harass and contact the individual who was thought to have stolen it.
Although very appreciative, even Jesse started to ask Digg fans and others who visited his blog to stop harassing this guy. It was wrong to have stolen his stuff, but Jesse felt this guy got his just deserts many times over already.
“Dear Internet, thanks for having my back. I am amazed at the response I have had. Unfortunately I think this kid only bought the xbox from the actual robber for $200 and then tried to act tough by leaving me that message, apparently he didn’t know that I roll deep. The kid is scared and I will be in contact with his parents shortly so there’s probably no need to continue harassing him. He is already immortalized by the internet as a MORON.“
After many constant phone calls and harassing messages, including online through the guys AIM account, a reporter got through to the parents and the parents told him that they bought the xbox from someone who was selling it, but they never stole it. Since there was so many people harassing the supposed thief and their family, they dropped off the xbox back to Jesse in hopes to quell the rising storm.
Now that the xbox was returned, the cops had a lead on the actual thief (I guess the donut shop ended their deal) Jesse has asked that people stop harassing the suspected thief and even if he did steal it, he has more than paid for it through the harassment of him and his family.
The moral of the story is clear. The internet is a weapon of unfathomable strength when used to its full potential. Evil doers beware. (now if we could only get Bush to resign or better yet, impeached. What the hell are we waiting for?)
Information on the suspected moron here
Jesse’s site/blog here
Jesse with his returned xbox 360