Technology can be an easy target for thieves, often in plain sight as victims ride the metro and read or walk around the mall aimlessly while posting to Instagram or texting with their BFF. But a victim whose Kindle was stolen received the surprise of her life when the alleged thieves began to take photos with the device and those photos showed up in the victim’s cloud. KTLA-TV 5 in Los Angeles has more on this bizarre crime.
“The Kindle and a smartphone were removed from an unlocked car in the parking lot of the Jack in the Box restaurant in the 16800 block of Vanowen Street about 3:45 p.m. Feb. 9, according to an LAPD news release.
“Investigators believed the photos were taken on Ash Wednesday.
“‘The Ash Wednesday part is important, because you can see the woman in the picture has ashes on her forehead which tells us the pictures were taken the day after the theft,’ Detective Mark Pearce of the LAPD’s West Valley Division stated in the news release.”
The Kindle selfies were discovered in the cloud after the couple who allegedly stole the device were in an area with WiFi, which led the Kindle to automatically backup the device’s photos and other files.
— KTLA (@KTLA) February 19, 2016
It did not take long before the alleged Kindle selfie bandits had their faces plastered all over the net, with KTLA reporting that the male suspect turned himself in just hours after his Kindle selfies broke the Internet.
Crimes against tech owners, like owners of Kindles, have been on the increase in recent years with more and more technology hitting the streets. In some cases, the robberies are becoming violent, as the New York Daily News reports:
“A mugger stabbed a man in the back on the Upper West Side Thursday as he robbed him of his Kindle book reader, cops said.
“The 33-year-old victim was walking along W. 88th St. near Amsterdam Ave. shortly after 5 p.m. when a man came up behind him and pressed a sharp object to his back, cops said.”
The incident, taking place just yesterday in New York, left the victim in stable condition as police reported it was the sixth knife attack in the city in the last three days. There is no word on whether the suspect in the case has taken any selfies with the device, but after the last bit of luck with the Kindle selfies in Los Angeles, one can hope, right?
Cases like those in Los Angeles with the Kindle selfies and the attack in New York are likely to become more common in markets where Kindles are in high demand, like India. The Times of India reports the nation is the number one market for Kindle sales across the world, with sales up nearly 200 percent last year. The figures do not only represent the tablet versions of the device, but also the electronic ink version of the eReader.
While users, and alleged thieves, use the Kindle for selfies, apps, and web browsing, the Times reports devices in India are largely tied to increased levels of reading. The trend, it notes, is different from that of the United States market.
“In the [U.S.], when Amazon customers take up digital readership, they tend to read four times more than they read physical books (based on the sales of physical books on Amazon),” the Times reported. “However in India, a Kindle user downloads ten times the number of books that he/she bought in physical form.”
What about you? Do you read more with your device or is the Kindle for selfies?
[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]