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Victim Spots Possible Car Thief on Street View

We've all checked out our house on Google Street View. Most of us will notice whether or not the curtains are drawn or if our car is in the driveway. However, one UK Street View browser noticed something else going on in his driveway: the theft of his camper van.

In June 2009, a £7,000 camper was stolen from a driveway on Cauldwell Road, Linton, Derbys. However, though police knew it had been pilfered between 9am and 2pm on the day in question, they had little else to go on.

Fast-forward almost a year to March of 2010. The owner of the aforementioned caravan is perusing Google Street View when he spots what he believes may be a caravan theft in progress. Standing in the his driveway, next to a 4x4, is large, bespectacled, bald man. PC Adrian Mason, who is investigating the crime, told the Telegraph the victim did not recognize the man or the car in his driveway and is appealing for information about him.

"It is amazing that we have such a clear image of a man who we think will be able to give us information that would help the police inquiry," he said, adding, "It was an amazing coincidence that the Google car was passing at that time."

Unfortunately, because Google has blurred out the license plate on the car, PC Mason isn't having much luck tracking the car.

"I've made extensive enquiries since the image was discovered but because the registration plate of the 4x4 is blanked out we have been unable to trace the man through his car," he told the paper. The police are now releasing the photo and appealing to the public for help in identifying him.

Source: The Telegraph via Jalopnik

  • Bolbi
    SInce this is a criminal investigation, can't the police ask Google for the original image with the clear license plate and timestamp?
    Reply
  • Darkk
    I don't think Google keeps any of the originals after it's been modified to avoid lawsuits.

    Google been in the hot seat lately of street view and wi-fi data mining so they are better off keeping the censored images.

    Reply
  • ira176
    If Google can collect peoples wireless internet information when driving around with street view, they should have the original photo still on their servers and a proper lawful subpoena or search warrant should divulge the missing plate.
    Reply
  • hey. that's me. who post my photo up there without paying me?
    Reply
  • tayb
    BolbiSInce this is a criminal investigation, can't the police ask Google for the original image with the clear license plate and timestamp?

    They can ask but I certainly doubt Google will provide this information without a court ordered mandate to do so. A lot of the times it isn't worth the time or money going through all of the trouble.
    Reply
  • lonewarder
    Hey, It looks like Dennis Quaid! Guess house squatting just went mobile!
    Reply
  • cashews
    Standing in the his driveway,
    Is it just me or are there mistakes in nearly every news article on this site?
    Reply
  • super_tycoon
    Meh, the 'satellite' view has me moving in to my house five years ago. Thankfully, the whole thing is blurry and the boxes were arranged to look like a driveway pattern. And here I am thinking the coincidence was funny....
    Reply
  • calmstateofmind
    "Standing in the his driveway, next to a 4x4, is large, bespectacled, bald man."

    Come on Tom's, I know you're smarter than this...
    Reply
  • jabbrun
    Is this an invasion of privacy...for the thief that is...
    Reply