Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Summit Avenue Hydrant Thieves: Learn Your Trade From MIT Hackers

The Boston Police Department caught a few guys on Summit Avenue in Brighton trying to steal a fire hydrant:
When officers arrived, officers observed the hydrant, as well as, three males who matched the description of the suspects. When officers questioned the suspects, the suspects admitted to taking the hydrant. According to the suspects, they found the hydrant lying in the middle of the sidewalk and they were simply moving it.
Yes, those guys were hosed.

Aside from the obvious difficulty of carrying something that heavy, the would-be thieves might try next time to follow the lead of some MIT students in Cambridge a couple of decades ago in an oft-repeated (and somewhat urban-legend-ish) story about their hack.

Those MIT students bought a barber shop pole (or, in some stories, paid a barber to borrow one for a day) and carried it all over town -- arising suspicion all day from the police. The cops chased them down again and again, but then the students would produce the receipt and the cops would let them go. When the cops got tired of these games, an APB on police radio was issued to ignore any kids carrying a barber shop pole around town. The students then proceeded to steal all the barber shop poles in town and dump them on the police chief's front lawn.

Lesson: buy one fire hydrant and carry it all over town first. Once the police tire from questioning you repeatedly, then you can steal all the hydrants you want. That is, if you're arms haven't fallen off first.

Image of red fire hydrant by quite peculiar provided through a Creative Commons license.

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