Dumb Criminal Proves Again That Open WiFi Doesn't Mean Everyone Gets Away With Everything

from the open-and-shut dept

For as long as people have been discussing the strategy of offering open wireless connections as an incentive to customers, there has been a rather silly debate about whether this would allow all the criminals to get away with all the crimes. It won't, of course. There's nothing negligent about offering open wifi and we've already seen cases in the past in which criminals using open wifi still, shockingly, manage to get themselves caught. The reason for this should be obvious: criminals are generally fairly stupid.

Here to drive that point home is this convicted child-porn-loving asshole who thought he could go to a Starbucks to download more child porn and get away with it. Turns out he couldn't.

Detectives on Saturday arrested a registered sex offender while he was allegedly downloading child pornography at a Hillsboro Starbucks, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said. The lead detective in the case arrested Robert Dietz, 59, for similar crimes in 2009, according to Sgt. Vance Stimler.

Detectives arrested Dietz at the Starbucks located at 1st Avenue and Main Street while he allegedly tried to download child porn using free Wi-Fi, Stimler said.
Dietz has since taken up residence in prison because he's an idiot for thinking this would work out well for him. It turns out that open wifi connections can (gasp!) be monitored by the companies that offer them. Couple that apparently not-obvious fact with the notion that traditional police work, such as gathering leads and information from the public, still totally exists, and it's hard to imagine how Dietz could think he wouldn't get caught.

But we should stop a moment and thank Robert Dietz, two-time child porn offender, for providing us advocates of open wifi with another example of how offering it doesn't suddenly render all police work useless. Thanks, Bob! Now back to jail with thee!

Filed Under: criminals, detective work, police, wifi


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  • identicon
    Andyroo, 30 Dec 2014 @ 12:10am

    great police work but!!!

    How would they have found him if they did not have him already registered as a sex offender, i mean surely anyone could get the access code for the wifi and sit around the corner, possibly in a van in the car park or in a people carrier with tinted windows.

    not to be stupid but he must have been really silly to be caught as it is almost impossible to catch anyone downloading anything unless they register their real details for the access code which is most often just given away freely.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 30 Dec 2014 @ 2:27am

      Re: great police work but!!!

      They caught people that were presumably inaccessible via TOR (Silk Road, anyone?) with pure patient, investigative work. It may take longer but it can be traced yes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2014 @ 3:39am

    Works for Starbucks, not for me at home

    In this case, the police didn't confiscate all of Starbucks' computers.

    What if I run an open wifi and report to the police that a visitor is downloading child porn?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 30 Dec 2014 @ 3:57am

      Re: Works for Starbucks, not for me at home

      The answer to your question is the reason people avoid report wrongdoing. I've seen at least two acquaintances getting entangled in lengthy legal battles or into law enforcement troubles by being good citizens and reporting criminal activity.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2014 @ 6:06am

        Re: Re: Works for Starbucks, not for me at home

        Yep, because law enforcement gets whiny when a tough investigation shows up and they just need to nail someone... anyone and the peeps that called in are so ripe for the legal raping, they just cannot resist it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), 30 Dec 2014 @ 10:15am

    Didn't he admit to it when approached in his car?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 30 Dec 2014 @ 10:42am

    The reason for this should be obvious: criminals are generally fairly stupid.

    That's sort of a matter of definition. The clever ones end up setting up corporations, and then it's all legal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2014 @ 12:54pm

      Re:

      Wow, where's the "sad but true" button?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 30 Dec 2014 @ 3:26pm

      Re:

      This is why criminals tend to be either complete idiots or mentally ill. When a smart, sane person wants to rip people off, there are plentiful ways to do it for a lot more money and a with a lot less risk. And most of those ways involve incorporating and technically remaining within the letter of the law.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 30 Dec 2014 @ 3:45pm

        Re: Re:

        Here's a fun one: My sister lives in Provo, Utah. Did you know that in Provo, it's completely legal to steal a car, and the cops won't do a thing about it if you report it... as long as the thief runs a tow truck company?

        Yes, there are legitimate reasons to tow an illegally parked car. But the stuff the towers do there goes far beyond any such bounds, and it's all still presumed to be legal by default.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 31 Dec 2014 @ 8:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's amazing. I just assumed that tow companies followed pretty much the same rules everywhere, but I guess not. I know that in my state if a towing company tows a car without having the proper permissions, then the towing company can be charged with grand theft. It's happened a number of times.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Keith Burnside, 11 Jan 2015 @ 6:41pm

    Yes.....I'l second the where's the "sad but true" button? comment

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2015 @ 10:42am

    Every device that goes online has its own id code. you track this code to addresses using the internet. all it takes is a decant IT guy and in 10 mins you'll find out who did what when and where the device is usually used. AKA where you live.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2015 @ 10:54am

    in Michigan a homeless person can live in your house and you can't kick them out. you cant deny them access to the home once they have their belongings there either. you cant stop them from eating your food and you cant stop them from using utilities. if you decide to move into an apartment bc you don't feel safe you must continue paying for utilities or you get charged with who knows what crimes. Its a messed up world we live in. what has America come to. Back in the day you found someone in your house you could legally take their life to protect your household.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 19 Jan 2015 @ 11:16am

      Re:

      in Michigan a homeless person can live in your house and you can't kick them out. you cant deny them access to the home once they have their belongings there either. you cant stop them from eating your food and you cant stop them from using utilities. if you decide to move into an apartment bc you don't feel safe you must continue paying for utilities or you get charged with who knows what crimes.

      Some of that has never been true. Trespassing, home invasion and breaking and entering have been and still are against the law in Michigan. Complete strangers have never been able to enter your occupied property and take it over.

      Last year some new laws concerning squatters rights went on the books and now it's much easier to have squatters removed since it made squatting a crime.

      http://detroit.curbed.com/archives/2014/08/there-are-some-new-squatters-laws-on-the-books-in-m ichigan.php

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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