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When consoles fight crime

This in mind we decided to see if crime-fighting is in the 360’s blood, and lo we discovered that this is far from an isolated incident. Here are our favourite stories of recent Xbox justice.

RRoD saves the day

Yes, this generation’s most-maligned hardware failure can be a good thing. At the start of the year, it actually managed to bring a console thief to justice. Light-fingered coveter of consoles Michael Dunbar pawned a stolen machine, but alas, the police couldn’t accurately identify it as the stolen box without the serial number. And who really keeps track of those, right?

Well Microsoft does when repairing red-ringed machines, and it turned out that the console’s owner hadsuffered that very same miserable fate previous to the theft. A quick call to MS’ console undertakers and the serial number was confirmed, as was the crime. As a result, Dunbar was arrested. Sometimes, two wrongs can make a right.

360 controller = thief detector

Above: The glowing eye is always watching...

If ever you need evidence that gamesimprove your problem-solving skills, this little tale of genius is it. When Missouri student Ryan Ketsenburg’s 360 was stolen from his room, he tracked the machine’s location using the controller’s wireless functionality.

Knowing that the padhas a 30 foot wifi range, he trawled the floors of his building attempting to connect to the machine. By process of elimination he found the floor the stolen machine resided on, and eventually the very room in which it was stashed. After a word with the floor’s Resident Assistant, owner and machine were reunited. Thief and clean criminal record however, were severed forever.

Xbox Live tracks thief like Skynet

If you’re going to steal a console, make sure you understand how it works. Don’t, for instance, follow the example of a thieving New Yorker Jeremiah Gilliam, who late last year nicked a 360 but then stupidly logged straight into Xbox Live. IP address pinpointed by Microsoft, the cops tracked him down at his grandma’s house and busted him right up. We like to imagine it happened in front of said grandparent, to add blubber-inducing insult to injury.

Internet pwns criminal noob

Above: Rule 1 of the internet - The internet always wins

Even stupider than Gilliam was the burglar who stole Jesse McPherson’s console, along with his laptop and TV. Not only did he log straight into Xbox Live, he also sent a cocky voice-message to McPherson’s Gamertag offering to sell the machine back to him. Receiving the message on a new 360 his generous work-mates had bought him, Jesse was unable to get hold of the police, so instead he called the modern day A-Team. Otherwise known as the internet.

After he posted the thief’s ‘tag online, the outrageous story was picked up on Digg, and so incensed were the collective tubes that within no time at all they had mounted a ‘net-wide offensive to track the scumbag down. Within hours, they had the perp’s name, address, e-mail address, school and phone number, and started spamming him with abuse from every direction the internet allows. Which as we all know, are many. Harrassed into a crumpled pile, the thief actually went around to Jesse’s house to return the laptop, and later the Xboxhis 360as well.

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.