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Man robbed while playing online game, friends overhear through his headset and help police identify culprits

Imagine this: you're playing StarCraft II or World of Wacraft with your friends online and suddenly through your headset you hear a loud bang, shouting, and sounds of a violent struggle. That's exactly what happened when an unlucky Salt Lake City resident became the victim of an aggravated robbery assault, and his computer microphone picked up the entire ordeal.


Above: Burglars beware! Don't mess with us late-night gamers or you'll be caught. The burglar above, however, may be more welcome...

Police say it was just after 1:00 AM yesterday when a group of men kicked in the door of the victim's house. They assaulted him with a blunt weapon - probably a stick or baseball bat - and then took as much stuff from his house as possible.

But the robbers hadn't counted on one thing: the victim was playing "computer games online," reports the Salt Lake City Tribune, when they entered. He was in the middle of a gameplay session and his microphone was on, transmitting everything over live game servers.


Above: Choose wisely when picking your next headset - it might save your life

It was not reported what game he was playing, but he was in a chat with multiple other gamers. One of them was a local friend who dashed outside and drove over to the victim's house, in time to see numerous masked men exit. The friend told police he watched as one of them took off his mask, and recognized him.

That, combined with a separate account from the victim who identified the same man from his voice, has provided investigators with a very strong lead in the case. Police did say, however, that neither the victim nor his friend knew the assailant's real name. They did not expand on what that meant.

The burglars probably didn't expect the man to be awake at 1 AM, and had it not been for the friend who heard everything online they might have gotten away with it. But now, police have been able to recover the getaway car and will probably make an arrest soon. Score one for online gaming chat.

[Sources: Salt Lake TribuneDeseret News]

Oct 1, 2010



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34 comments

  • AGENTJORRRG - October 4, 2010 5:31 a.m.

    Well he definitely wasn't on Xbox live then, because If he had been the 9 year old brigade would've just laughed, called him a n00b, killed him over and over while he was busy being robbed, and tea bagged the shit out of him.
  • SwampRock - October 4, 2010 3:05 a.m.

    lol, I live in utah, salt lake isn't the greatest place to live around here, it's probably the worst actually, meth heads everywhere in utah.
  • g4m3rk1dd - October 4, 2010 1:32 a.m.

    i want that headset on the far right...
  • Smeggs - October 4, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    Online Gaming Pros and Cons. Cons: Screaming children, Screaming teens, screaming adults. Insults on your character, well-being or family. Pros: May save you from being robbed...
  • ScrEAMaPiLLar - October 4, 2010 12:30 a.m.

    Sweet I wonder if my eye sight would be that good to identify robbers.
  • Peloun - October 3, 2010 10:12 p.m.

    I love this article
  • ColZechs - October 3, 2010 8:48 p.m.

    @Genericpeisjoketista An "assailant" is a person who assaults another person, whether or not the victim was slain is irrelevant.
  • Zeb364 - October 3, 2010 8:22 p.m.

    And people say it's unhealthy to sit around playing video games.
  • Genericpenisjoketista - October 3, 2010 6:42 p.m.

    Can you really use the word "assailant" if nobody was slain?
  • CAPST3R - October 3, 2010 1:17 p.m.

    @all above advertisers; Look, nobody reads those things, never mind following them, so why post them? Fuck off, and get a real job, you whores. GR, can't you do something against them? For example, don't allow posts with links (I know it'll be an inconvenience, but what is lost is less than what is gained. Get on it, please!
  • Dondada - October 3, 2010 8:42 a.m.

    Very surprised this happened in Utah.
  • NightCrawler_358 - October 2, 2010 10:50 p.m.

    You mean his seige tanks didn't protect him?
  • SenorHurt - October 2, 2010 9:06 p.m.

    Wow. I'm glad the crooks got caught. I'm interested to know how the victim knew the thief he identified. You gotta love on-line social gaming!
  • Robx - October 2, 2010 7:47 p.m.

    Nah, I am not trolling. I was raised in Venezuela, which has now earned a lot of infamy because of the messed up president, and the fact that it exceeds the violent deaths on Iraq... I'm not trying to look heroic but yes, around here I have seen terrible shit, I could talk about how I have been robbed at gun point (multiple times, damn those) or tried to even by childs, but that's not the idea, I pretty much mean that things could be a lot worse, and if people doesn't defend themselves they might be allowing the crooks to take over. Then again, that's the point of view from someone who can't rely on cops since they work with the robbers... :/ @santaclouse37 You do have a point, guess I kind of...raged out? @phoenix_wings Hahaha I didn't mean to go Kamikaze on any robber that pops. You don't need to be a smartass to know if you can go against certain people, as not everyone's willing to kill. @Clovin64 Well, you are right as everyone is different, some people can't handle certain stuff and it's not their fault, but for those who are able to but don't give a bit of themselves, well, you know, damn. @Embolado LOL.
  • Spybreak8 - October 2, 2010 7:45 p.m.

    That is awesome, most of the time I shy away from people over talking to others in games but that's awesome.
  • mubobi7593 - October 2, 2010 7:08 p.m.

    Now if only Trade chat in WoW could be this helpful /sigh
  • Embolado - October 2, 2010 4:13 p.m.

    See what happens when you say troll, the little basterds come out, looks @euiwieie and wonders why gamesradar dosnt do a mac ban on this troll
  • Clovin64 - October 2, 2010 10:18 a.m.

    @Robx The "most insignificant robber" would have scared the shit out of me. I'm quite a shy quiet person, and aggresive people really freak me out. Maybe I should start playing online for my own personal safety...
  • phoenix_wings - October 2, 2010 4:56 a.m.

    @ Robx-- there's nothing worth losing your life over. Sounds kind of like troll-talk to me.
  • santaclouse37 - October 2, 2010 2:57 a.m.

    My first thought toward this was we know he wasn't playing Halo or Gears, because then his friend would've probably just said "Haha loool sux u (insert racist slur)" @Robx - I think-and seriously hope- you're trolling or trying to make yourself look good. If not, then good for you for stopping a burglar, but note that it says he was attacked by multiple men, and when you're not expecting a burglary and have a weapon at hand, you can be easily surprised and overwhelmed by one dude with a baseball bat, never mind several, in which case unless you're a trained fighter it's incredibly difficult to defend yourself against multiple assailants attacking you at once, despite what countless video games may lead you to believe.

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