Illustration for article titled Redbox Robber Looted Kiosks for Two Years Before Being Caught

Crime is a constant feature of video games writing. Somewhere, someone is doing something illicit with them—sometimes comically stupid, sometimes tragic. Kotaku's Police Blotter is here to round up the latest in games crime. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


He's in the Empire Business

PHOENIX—It took a combined operation of Phoenix police and Redbox corporate security to finally take down a man who plundered Redbox kiosks of more than 650 movies without being caught over the past two years. Vincent Bandin, 35, is in jail facing 49 charges of theft and trafficking stolen property, reports KSAZ-TV.


Cops say Bandin—gleefully called the "Redbox Robber" by local media—made tens of thousands of dollars from the serial thefts. Bandin would take the discs and sell them to places like GameStop for store credit, use the store credit to buy gift cards, sell the gift cards and use the proceeds to buy meth. Which is kind of smart, when you think about it, because you get more store credit and attract less attention when you go that route instead of straight cash. Cops said Bandin used "untraceable [credit] cards" to get discs out of the kiosks. He was arrested Wednesday. [KSAZ-TV]

Where There's Smoke There's ... More Than a Robbery

WOODSTOCK, Ga.—At least three men burst into a Play N Trade here last weekend in what has been described as an armed robbery, but the key detail seems to be that they set fire to the place—with employees still inside. Police say the men struck right as the store was opening at 11 a.m., carrying gasoline, which they used to start the blaze. One of the employees was described as burned over his arms, legs and torso. The owner of a nearby pizza parlor in the same strip mall suspects more than a simple robbery. "Why do you rob someone when they are opening at 11 o' clock in the morning and then light the place on fire?" he said. WGCL-TV's report contains this excellent line: "Woodstock Police said they are not releasing the details of how the fire started or how specifically the owner caught fire." I'm guessing it was not spontaneous combustion. [WGCL-TV]

999, What Isn't Your Emergency?

NORTH WALES, U.K.—Cops here released a report on the use of their 999 emergency service (it'd be 911 here in the States) and found 11,390 unnecessary calls were made in 2012. The most notorious timewaster was a couple who phoned 999 because they couldn't get him to stop playing video games. My favorite is the "woman who got her sofa stuck in a doorway while she was shifting furniture around." [The Daily Star]


Lots of strange things happen in the pages of your local newspaper or on the 6 o'clock news. If you see something, say something. To me, that is. I'd like to write it up. Remember: You need not reveal your identity.

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @owengood.

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