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Friday, February 22, 2013

Fake Kidnapping Video On #YouTube Gets Australian 20-Somethings In Big Trouble

Police in Western Australia have charged five young men with an unusual crime: staging a fake kidnapping for a YouTube video. 
Australian cops started investigating the case last year after they received a call about a teenager rolling out the back of a car wearing handcuffs but no shirt or shoes, Ars Technica reported - 
On September 18, 2012, the Western Australia police received a call from the Perth suburb of Leederville. The caller had just seen a young man "roll out the back of a vehicle and run into nearby bushland at the intersection of Leederville Parade and Vincent Street" in the early afternoon, according to a police press release issued the next day. The young man looked to be a skinny white 14-year-old boy with no shirt or shoes, but he was handcuffed, and his mouth was taped over. As he ran from the car, he was "pursued by a man wearing a blue chequered shirt and blue cap, who may have also come from the same vehicle."
The case was made stranger by the fact that, when police arrived to investigate, they could find nothing wrong, nor could they find other witnesses despite heavy traffic in the area. Not sure what to think, police conceded that "this incident may be a prank or a hoax, however police also hold concerns that it may be legitimate and if such, need to investigate further."
Fast forward to this week, when detectives announced charges against five young men between the ages of 21 and 25. The charges weren't about kidnapping, however, but about "creating a false belief" as the men tried to film an awesome viral video. "It will be alleged the incident was a planned hoax by five men," the police announced, "who recorded the incident and then edited the footage prior to uploading it to the Internet to one of the offenders' Youtube account."
According to local press accounts, the cops expended "significant resources" on the investigation.
Had the young men used another Google product to search the Web, they might have learned that police don't take kindly to such incidents. Not that this has stopped plenty of teenagers from making such videos in the past.

Police were baffled when they arrived and couldn't find any witnesses.
Authorities ultimately discovered the YouTube video of the supposed kidnapping, and this week they charged five men between the ages of 21 and 25 with "creating a false belief," because the Australian cops had wasted their time investigating a fake kidnapping.  
Sadly, these aren't the first young people to post such a video. Here are two other bogus kidnapping videos, courtesy of Ars Technica:
And here's another fake kidnapping video:

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