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Burglar Googled Your Expensive Crib

OK, this is a bit of a rant. I couldn’t let this one go. As many of you know, I live in Chicago. We typically have really good local news, however tonight, they failed at the good part. My favorite local news is NBC 5, and tonight they reported on the Google Map Burglar. This guy would use Google Maps to find local houses that were near a highway as well as expensive. According to the police that interviewed the burglar, the burglar told them that he would Google “expensive homes that run along highway” and then use Google Maps to view these homes.


When I got to get an early listen to Jono Bacon’s first Severed Fifth album, I told him something like, “this music makes me want to break into people’s house and rob them.” Well, I put on some Severed Fifth, fired up some Google, and got my search on. I typed the following into Google search:

  • expensive homes that run along highway
  • “expensive homes that run along highway” – had to try it with quotes as well

expensive homes that run along highway
Here is what showed up with that search string:

Google Web search results with un-quoted string

Google Maps search results with un-quoted string

"expensive homes that run along highway"
Here is what showed up with that search string:

Google Web search results with quoted string

Google Maps search results with quoted string

Why did I call bullshit initially? Easy:

  • As you can see, those search terms don’t come up with a single thing that would make my career as a burglar a good one.
  • Said he used Google Maps in satellite view and then used the 360° view to get a better look, however you can’t do this with Google Maps. They then go on to say he used Google Earth, so I am downloading and installing now to see if I can get a better view.
  • OK, Google Earth might help locating exterior windows and doors when panning around, but still isn’t all that clear.
  • Oh, remember he Googled expensive homes, well where the crimes happened, the homes there are far from expensive.
  • If you are going to case houses from Internet maps, use Bing, it is better when panning populated areas and gives a much clearer image.

Sure, they used Google Maps to find houses near a highway, but they didn’t Google expensive homes and got the results for the houses they robbed. I don’t know what is worse, the idiots actually using those search terms, or the cops who actually believe that is how they found the houses they hit.

OK, another bullshit thing, and you don’t get to read it in that article, is they way they made Google Maps so scary on the news and made it sound as if there were no Google Maps, robberies like this wouldn’t happen.

OK, rant is over, sorry to have disturbed you.

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