Gamedeals Archive

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14 April 07 - 17:47More media - CBC News

We were on the CBC evening news last night (right before the hockey game). Here is is:

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13 April 07 - 17:34More local media

Well... here's the clip from this mornings City TV news show "Breakfast Television".



The crew from CBC was just here, we'll be on tonight's news (5:00 I believe).

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11 April 07 - 16:25Local media - UPDATE (With Full Articles)

Today we made the front page of the local paper "The Record"... and rumor has it we will be mentioned in the Newsleader tomorrow. When they post it online, I'll copy the text here for archival purposes.


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City theft plays on YouTube

Store owner posts security tape - "It sucks, but I'm trying to make lemonade"

By Mia Thomas
Record Reporter

The two men obligingly stare through the store's glass front doors, one of them for more than half a minute, straight into the security camera that they apparently don't notice.
Walking off for a few seconds, the camera catches them passing in front of the door a couple more times and looking up and down the street.
The taller one takes a few more precautionary glances, side-to-side, before an overhand throw sends a brick crashing through the glass.
It hits the display case the security camera is on, wobbling the tape a bit, but the thief apparently still fails to notice it as he crashes through what's left of the glass in its metal frame.
The camera is still running when the man, with a full hockey-style bag, ducks through the door and is back on the street.
Still oblivious to the camera.
"They came by, they looked inside and saw things, including an empty Xbox 360 box, and apparently missed the cameras," said Brian Hughes, owner of Gamedeals Video Games on Columbia Street by Fourth, of the theft that happened around 3 a.m. on April 3.
"We got them pretty clear on the security camera."
Once they broke in, the thieves realized the Xbox container was empty, so they stole a computer along with a number of games, generally those more recently released.
Hughes is trying to see the positive side of the thieves hitting his store.
He posted the security tape on YouTube, an online video-sharing site, and has had responses from across the continent.
As of Tuesday afternoon, five days after it was posted, there had been more than 17,000 viewings of the video.
Callers and e-mailers have commiserated with him, and some then asked about particular products he sells.
"It sucks, but I'm trying to make lemonade," Hughes said, of the theft
His main purpose in posting the tape was to make life more difficult for the thieves, who might be recognized if they go into other game stores or pawnshops.
He didn't expect the degree of reaction he got.
"It's one of the hottest videos on YouTube," Hughes said earlier this week, noting it's been linked to other bookmarking sites on the Internet that people check to see what's popular in online videos.
Most people commenting on the YouTube posting have expressed sympathy, but some questioned whether it's real.
"I can definitely say I didn't make it up," Hughes said, commenting that several of the posters might not have an understanding of what it's like to be targeted by thieves.
"The Internet's full of anonymous children, people who can hide behind their computer identities," he said. "They've never had to be responsible for something and had a brick go through their windows."
Hughes opened the store 10 months ago, choosing New Westminster because of its central location in the Lower Mainland.
Most of his customers, he said, are adults "into the old-school games ... (like) Nintendo, Super Nintendo, retro stuff."
Hearing about the theft, "most of them are sympathetic," Hughes said.
In the meantime, he's hoping the online video will help track the thieves.
"They're not able to show their faces anywhere. They can't show their faces around town, which is much better."
Staff Sgt. Casey Dehaas, spokesperson for the New Westminster Police Service, said that posting the tape online might help with the investigation, along the lines of when police publicize security videos when they're looking for someone.
"I don't think it would hinder us," he said. "It's a different tool, I suppose."
In the meantime, Hughes is installing bars across his storefront.
The video can be watched by going to
www.youtube.com and search for Gamedeals
mthomas@burnabynow.com
published on 04/11/2007
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NEWSLEADER

By Michael McQuillan NewsLeader
Apr 12 2007

Brian Hughes is no vigilante but may have found a way for a couple of thieves to face justice.
Last week the New Westminster store owner had his shop broken into and the late night crime was all captured by his infrared surveillance cameras. The four-minute video clearly shows the faces of the two suspects as the peer into the store before breaking in.
Hughes forwarded a copy of the digital recording to the New Westminster Police Service, but he also did what lots of other people do these days with voyeuristic videos – he posted it on the YouTube website (www.youtube.com).
By Tuesday at lunch, more than 17,272 people had viewed the crystal-clear surveillance footage and another 5,807 through other linked websites that also provide video sharing.
Local police say the use of YouTube is fine with them. It’s like having another crime fighting tool at their disposal.
Hughes, who owns and operates GameDeals Video Games on Columbia Street, wasn’t prepared for the feedback the video generated on YouTube. He’s received e-mails from all over Canada and the United States and more than 45 people posted comments on YouTube or Digg.com, most writing things like: “hope you post the next video where they are caught and in jail.” or “I don’t know what’s worst. The fact that they were caught on video, or the fact that now the internet sees them on video.”
Hughes is a frequent visitor to YouTube and other video sharing sites so it seemed logical to upload the video clip. He also posted it on his store’s own site (www.gamedeals.ca)
“We had the footage and it was really good. So I thought, ‘What the hell. Post it, put some information there,’” he said.
He’s also received phone calls from people. “It’s just random people around the country. They’re mostly calling and saying, ‘Hey, I heard what happened to you. Have you caught the guys yet? Do you have this game in stock?’
“The response has been enormous.”
The video, shot around 3 a.m. on April 3 by his in-store cameras, shows two men walking past the store numerous times. At one point they both peer in. After a few minutes one of the suspects throws a brick through the door front and then enters the store carrying a large bag.
One camera shows him walking in the store but there is no footage of him filling the bag with Hughes’ video games.
“The cameras are pretty obvious in the store and that’s the whole point. When they walk in the store or look in the window they see this big camera looking right at them, so they know that if they shoplift or anything, I’ve got a clear profile shot of them as they walk in.”
Hughes isn’t the first one to post crime video footage online in order to catch a thief or criminal. The Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team posts video clips of convicted car thieves at work as they try to make off with bait cars. The Vancouver Police also posted video captures of suspects rioting at a cancelled Guns and Roses concert at GM Place.
“It’s good because you never know if someone is going to be sitting [in front of a computer] and say, ‘Oh my God. I know that guy,’” he said.
“I don’t endorse vigilante justice. But I’ve got the footage and I’m going to use it. I’m going to make an example of these guys. You can’t just break in and expect nothing is going to happen.
“Most stores have video cameras with really grainy footage. But these guys here, pretty nice clear profile shots of them.”
The themes made off with games, a computer and some trinket items. Hughes estimates about $2,500 worth of merchandise was taken and there was also damage to the door and inside the store.
The posting of the video surveillance to a worldwide audience does pose some legal questions. According to the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), he can legally film people in his store. However, Canada’s privacy commissioner has set out guidelines stating access to surveillance footage should be restricted to authorized individuals.
But Staff Sgt. Casey Dehaas with the New Westminster Police Service says the suspect captured in the video gave up all rights to privacy when he broke into the store, even if some of the footage is of him outside of the store looking in.
“It’s the first time we’ve run into this,” said Dehaas, who hadn’t seen the footage. “But we’ve done this in the past. There have been times when we’ve posted clips and asked the public if they can identify a suspect that was involved in a crime.
“The fact that the owner has done it on his own, hopefully someone will come forward with information and maybe we can solve the break and enter.”
Dehaas said he wouldn’t describe posting the footage as Internet vigilantism. “It’s no different than what we do when we post certain things. Anything that helps us solve a crime is a plus, a bonus.”

mmcquillan@burnabynewsleader.com
mario bartel/newsleader



Brian Hughes, the owner of Game Deals on Columbia St. in New Westminster, says he hopes posting on youtube the security camera footage of a break in earlier this month to his video game store will produce leads to the identity of the suspects who hurled a brick through his door and stole a computer as well as video games.
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04 April 07 - 21:54Gamedeals Robbery (UPDATE 1)

We were robbed on April 3rd '07 by 2 men. We captured it all on video and will be sharing it with the world. The YouTube video is now embedded below.







Overall we are only out a couple thousand, but with the insurance company having a $1000 deductible, it's going to hurt us. Please spread this video around and if you have any extra games you're not playing anymore, trade/sell them to us as we need to re-fill our stock (mostly of newer stuff) soon.

Also, on a side note... Comments are now turned "off" for the blog (it was overrun with spam), but you can always email us at info@gamedeals.ca

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