Crime is a constant feature of video games writing. Somewhere, someone is doing something illicit with them—sometimes comically stupid, sometimes tragic. Games and consoles are currency, objects of dispute, sometimes even weapons themselves. Kotaku's Police Blotter is here to round up the latest in games crime.
SPRING HILL, Fla.—An 18-year-old earned himself a visit to the slammer on Wednesday after his parents asked him to turn down the volume on his "loud Xbox" and he allegedly flipped out. Authorities say the teen became angry after his mother told him to turn off the console, and then he started "jumping toward his mother in an aggressive manner, putting his fists together, threatening to harm her." He also "advanced on his father, punching his fist into his other hand," reported Hernando Today, a zoned edition of The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times. Mom and dad called the cops, who took son to jail on two misdemeanor charges, where he waited on a $1,000 bond. No word who paid it. [Hernando (Fla.) Today]
HAMMOND, La. — A former GameStop employee already serving a 40-year sentence for the armed robbery of a GameStop store in April 2009 was convicted last week of doing the same thing to five more franchises. Gregory Reaux, 32, who had been dismissed in March 2009 for "improperly using store discounts and deals," reports The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, armed himself with a box cutter and entered the stores shortly before their closing times. He forced employees to empty the cash registers and in some cases also stole games and consoles. Reaux was convicted in July 2010 of robbing a store in St. Tammany Parish on April 20, 2009; his convictions this past week were for five other robberies preceding that one, in Jefferson Parish. In Reaux's first trial he argued that his confession was coerced and in the latest one said the robber wasn't him. The jury didn't buy either defense; he'll be sentenced on Sept. 3. The Times-Picayune notes that Reaux was in graduate school, "just shy of earning a master's degree" to go into sports management when he was arrested for the first robbery. [The Times-Picayune]
EASTLAKE, Ohio—Thirty-two year-old twins Edward and Steven Zajackowski were arrested for stealing more than $1,000 in video gaming equipment from a local Walmart, police here say. The two stole a PlayStation 3, an Xbox 360 and Wii game controllers from the store, cops said, then fled on foot before they were captured. Ed was booked into jail on a $20,000 bond; Steven, listed as homeless, was released for a medical examination of an infection. Ed's looking at up to six years in prison, Steven one. [The News-Herald, Eastlake, Ohio.]
KENILWORTH, N.J.—A bomb squad and a swarm of cops descended on a house rented by a 19-year-old and his fraternity brothers here last weekend, told a person inside had pipe bombs and were holding hostages. It turned out to be another example of "Swatting," in which an online griefer—typically playing on Xbox Live—calls police to an adversary's home with a false report of an emergency. The victim, Travis Graves, was playing Halo (version unspecified) when Kenilworth's police force rolled up and took him into custody. He was quickly released once it became apparent he was the victim of a prank, not its perpetrator. Neighboring homeowners are furious, the police chief said the prank cost his department thousands in manpower and overtime, and they've opened an investigation into who may have made the call, which came via Skype. [WNBC-TV, New York]
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.