“Grand Theft Auto V” -- aka “GTA 5” -- is a video game that centers in large part on commiting crimes such as assault, carjacking and murder. It now appears that crime related to “GTA 5” is not limited to the virtual world, as some people are turning to theft and other crimes to get their hands on copies of the coveted game.
Although it was released only days ago, “Grand Theft Auto V” has become the fastest-selling games in history -- at one point making $800 million in 24 hours -- and gamers are clamoring for copies of the hit title.
On Tuesday, a Florida man with mental disabilities purchased a copy of “GTA 5” at a GameStop store in Delray Beach after reportedly saving for months for the $150 price of the store’s collector’s edition of the game, according to a police report obtained by the Smoking Gun. The man, Rohan Dawkins, left the store with the game he had so looked forward to buying, but Tommy Davis, 27, allegedly approached him and took a bag with the game inside away from Dawkins after asking him what time it was, the police report said.
Adele Jones, 25, then allegedly beat Dawkins, 21, and left him in the street before allegedly driving with Davis to a different GameStop location to get a refund for the game’s purchase price, but they were unable to do so, according to the police report.
The pair, who have four children, were caught by authorities who used surveillance footage from the video-game stores to help nab the suspects, the police report stated.
Meanwhile, the New York Police Department said three men allegedly posed as police officers to get to the front of a line of hundreds of people at the Staten Island Mall on Tuesday, according to the Staten Island Advance.
One of the suspects in the incident is actually an auxiliary police officer, while another is the son of a retired cop, but those facts didn’t cause them think twice about their purported plan, which included driving a car bought at an auction that court papers described as “an exact replica of an unmarked police vehicle” outfitted with lights and a siren, according to the Advance. Initially, they got away with the ruse as a security guard asked whether they wanted coffee.
The men were allegedly able to cut the line and get into the mall where they bought “Grand Theft Auto V” by virtue of their false identities as NYPD officers, police said. After they purchased the game, police said the trio left in their vehicle, but an undercover police officer saw them pull a U-turn and then followed the trio to one of their homes, where he pulled them over and discovered that they were not real cops.
The suspects -- all Staten Island residents identified as Matthew Kirsheh, 20, Frank Santanastaso, 19, and Kirolos Abdel Sayed, 19, in court documents -- were charged with one misdemeanor count of second-degree criminal impersonation each, which could result in a sentence of as long as a year behind bars, Richmond Country District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr.’s office told the Advance.
It appears the line between real and virtual life has been blurred for one Web user who claimed he committed a crime to get ahold of a copy of “GTA 5.”
The man, who goes by the online handle MrChalmondleyWarner, admitted his supposed crime in a post on the Experience Project website. “Just broken into someone’s car to steal their copy of GTA 5. I hope they appreciate the irony,” he wrote.
The post has generated a few user comments, as the unverified admission is a little odd.
“Hahaha, thats funny. It’s criminal, but still funny,” one user commented.
“[I]’m telling on you.lol no not really i am just ******* with you,” another wrote.
And a third commenter summed up his thoughts on the matter more succinctly: “Lol, you silly goose ... ”