It can't happen here: cyber crowd finds, identifies, and videos car thief in Canada
I noticed the headline in the NYTimes, but I forgot to read it until slashdot reminded me. The NYTIMES story includes the txts that were put online. But the criminal in this case got his photo taken and uploaded to the Net, got the location of the purloined card, geotagged, and then was videoed getting arrested, though I couldn't find the video online.
This is similar to the story of the man who forced his child into a Green Bay Packers outfit and was photo'd by his wife, leading to his arrest. Also, vaguely reminiscent of the Korean "dog poo girl" web vigilante event. When the crime seems serious, I suppose we applaud these crowd sourcing events. When the crime isn't so serious, the crowd sourcing can seem like bullying.
Online auto forums have helped unravel crimes before. Two years ago, a detective in Los Angeles used the forum on FreshAlloy.com, a Nissan enthusiast site, to track down victims of an elaborate fraud scheme. (That case, too, involved Nissan Skylines.)
The Beyond.ca site had also played a role in earlier cases of what might be called open-source crime solving. A year ago one of its members saw a hit-and-run accident a block in front of him, said Shelton Kwan, who co-founded the site with his cousin Ken Chan in 2002. “He took pictures. And the guy who got hit was another member of ours.”