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

Imagine this: you're playingStarCraft IIor 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 sessionand 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 Tribune,Deseret News]

Oct 1, 2010

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