back to article Cops deploy StingRay anti-terror tech against $50 chicken-wing thief

Police in Maryland, US, used controversial cellphone-tracking technology intended only for the most serious crimes to track down a man who stole $50 of chicken wings. Police in Annapolis – an hour's drive from the heart of government in Washington DC – used a StingRay cell tower simulator in an effort to find the location of a …

  1. Dadmin
    Linux

    Be safe, use a chicken-scented burner phone

    When I do a big chicken, or other poultry crime, I toss out the burner phone, I was using to confuse the chicken restaurant owner with some fancy Tetris moves, into a trash truck and let the FBI follow it to the dump. Then it's winner, winner, chicken dinner time. Am I right, folks!?

    1. moiety

      Re: Be safe, use a chicken-scented burner phone

      Dunno. Are you breast or thigh orientated?

      1. RedneckMother

        Re: Be safe, use a chicken-scented burner phone

        If I must choose between breast or thigh, I'll always choose thigh.

        That said, I'm partial to the "Wishbone".

      2. Montreal Sean

        Re: Be safe, use a chicken-scented burner phone

        Clearly a thigh guy.

        He was seen legging it from the scene...

      3. paulc

        Re: Be safe, use a chicken-scented burner phone

        any bit but the 'Parson's Nose'...

        1. Peter Simpson 1
          Happy

          Re: Be safe, use a chicken-scented burner phone

          'Parson's Nose'

          Mum always used to call it the 'Pope's Nose'

          (and then immediately told us kids we should never say that)

          // she was an escaped Catholic...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Holmes

            Re: Be safe, use a chicken-scented burner phone

            // she was an escaped Catholic...

            Like we'd never have guessed!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Be safe, use a chicken-scented burner phone

      This is a public confession, and your IP and all other credentials have been duly recorded. Please do not turn off your computer and await further instructions. Should you avoid face insury, please stand well away from the front door when you hear our UPS delivery man knock on your door.

  2. John Geek
    Facepalm

    there is no try, there is only do or do not...

    wait, if they didn't catch the guy, then they didn't use it to 'track down the thief', they only used it to TRY to catch the perp.

    1. leaway2

      Re: there is no try, there is only do or do not...

      Yep, winged it and flew the coop.

    2. leaway2

      Re: there is no try, there is only do or do not...

      It wasn't planned he just winged it and flew the coop.

    3. Steve Evans

      Re: there is no try, there is only do or do not...

      If they can't find a 2 bit thief who stole come fast food, how much success do you think they'll have trying to catch a tech savvy terrorist who uses disposable phones?

      So who exactly are they going to be able to track and trace?

  3. Mephistro Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Think of the chickens!

    Nuff said.

  4. Rick Brasche

    actually, it's used almost all the time

    you only hear admissions of its use when the evidence from the wide area surveillance is needed for a case. the rest of the time it's slurping quietly away hoping to get something useful. If the trolling net doesn't bring in any fish, you won't hear about it at all.

  5. Peter Prof Fox

    One -- two -- and three

    One: There are some laws that technology makes it 'convenient and accurate' to pursue .

    Two: Stealing is stealing. Lock-em-up.

    Three: Take millions that should go into the BHS pension fund and you have Cameron appoint you a minister for efficiency.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: One -- two -- and three

      >One: There are some laws that technology makes it 'convenient and accurate' to pursue

      Yep the Stasi showed that decades ago.

      >Two: Stealing is stealing. Lock-em-up.

      Fair enough but we (the US) have a constitution for a reason. The King's men can claim you did any crime no trial necessary otherwise. The only only reason I could ever see doing this is if it was serial armed robber who perhaps had shot someone before and sure as shit should require a warrant.

      >Three: Ok probably the other two were some sarcasm but as Yank thank you lucky stars as bad as Cameron is you are not looking at Trump even possibly being your leader.

      1. R Callan
        WTF?

        Re: One -- two -- and three

        Yes, I vaguely remember seeing the king and his side-kick watching and marveling at the killing of a man who had merely been accused, not charged or convicted, in violation of both U.S. and international law. Even the actual killer (assassin) tacitly admitted to breaking the law in that he was worried about the possibility of local law enforcement personnel arriving during his illegal activity.

        What was that comment by tricky Dicky, something like "I'm the president and anything I do is legal". I thought your much vaunted constitution prohibited punishment without fair trial and conviction.

    2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: One -- two -- and three

      "

      One: There are some laws that technology makes it 'convenient and accurate' to pursue .

      Two: Stealing is stealing. Lock-em-up.

      "

      No matter what the cost to thousands of completely innocent people?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One -- two -- and three

        >No matter what the cost to thousands of completely innocent people?

        You are joking right? After the pee our pants fear to 9/11, the Iraqi wacky fun and now with Trump the GOP nominee the civil rights (and lives) of the innocent are only something commie lefties worry about at this point.

  6. Oengus
    Joke

    It was a very serious crime.

    The "allegedly* stolen" chicken wings and sandwiches were probably destined to be lunch for a VIP (Vocal Influential Politician).

    *innocent unless proven delicious

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It was a very serious crime.

      .. or even a Vulture Influential Politician. Do they exist? Curious minds want to know!

    2. banalyzer

      Re: It was a very serious crime.

      Up voted but for the last line, too many use the word until instead of unless.

  7. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Joke

    The criminal . . .

    . . . wasn't named Leroy Jenkins, by any chance?

  8. dan1980

    What this ridiculous case shows so clearly is that the police just can't help themselves - as a group, they are seemingly incapable of making a distinction between national security and theft of deep-fried poultry.

    In the real world, where most of us live, if you abuse your privileges then they get taken away. If your boss if lenient and doesn't require a doctor's certificate when you take sick leave but then finds out that you called in sick to go to the beach or to recover from a hangover, then you are likely to see the requirements change.

    Surely the police should see that the more they abuse these powers on minor crimes, the more they risk having them restricted or more tightly controlled - as identified in the article - or even, in extreme cases, removed altogether. (Requiring, for example, a direct request to the FBI to carry out the surveillance.)

    That the police - again, as a group - appear not to care about such an eventuality, suggests that they believe they can to do whatever they what, whenever they want with little to no repercussion and that the government will support them however brazen they are.

    Unfortunately, with only a few exceptions, they appear to be right.

    1. Mark 65

      It is hardly surprising given these days the occupation tends to attract the power obsessed face stompers rather than those who actually do wish to "protect and serve". Look at the occasions where arrests could likely have been made more peaceably (if at all) if it weren't for Sgt Roider running in gun drawn, finger slightly off trigger weight, looking for just one potential word of non-subservience in order to go full auto until the clip needs changing.

      1. moiety

        Tamir Rice. That kid was executed; and there is no other way of putting it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Honestly I did notice in Europe cops were more helpful bureaucrats than enforcers with a major chip on their shoulder like much of the US. Probably less used to enforce class and race boundaries and generally just not near as mean. I dare say nowhere in the developed world has as mean law enforcement as southern Utah highway patrol (Oklahoma hp a very close second though).

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Surely the police should see that the more they abuse these powers on minor crimes, the more they risk having them restricted or more tightly controlled

      We would like to think that that is indeed what will happen. Unfortunately, mix a dose of reality with a helping of cynicism and what will more likely happen will be that the "abuse" of powers will quietly slip into the "regular use" category by virtue of wearing down resistance to the concept.

      The article clearly states that this abuse has already taken place thousands of times - it is therefor most certainly not a mistake. The police got the tool with the use cases, saw what it could do and immediately started applying it to everything regardless of how it should be used.

      And for all of you who say "I don't see what the problem is with the NSA slurping all the data" - THIS is exactly the problem. If regular police regularly abuse their powers even when they know they will be caught at it, how much more do the secret police abuse powers when they fully know that nobody will ever know about it ?

      We obviously cannot trust the police, the CIA/NSA/FBI, or the government to abide by the rules. They must be checked, there must be oversight.

      Or you can just admit right now that Democracy has nothing to do with your country anymore and publicly acknowledge that you live in a police state. That way you'll stop living a lie.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        I do more than that. I concede the police state as the inevitable end result of human government owing to basic human condition. EVERYTHING becomes a police state eventually. Take it down and another just rises in its place. The alternative is a total breakdown into anarchy...which eventually allows one to rise from the ashes and just create yet another police state.

    3. Naughtyhorse

      abuse these powers on minor crimes

      Well they did choke a bloke to death for selling single cigarettes a while back, so $50 bucks worth of fried chicken.... well thats quite a haul!

  9. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    When I voted to allow Stingray anti-terrorist tech into New York I thought we were going to get those cool buildings that sink into the ground when danger threatens, not some lame cell phone jiggery pokery.

    Just kidding. No one got to vote on it.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      Stingray anti-terrorist system? I didn't know Steve Irwin was a terrorist.

      What? Too soon?

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Terroist?

        The man spent his life terrorising wildlife.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Terroist? 4 Francis Boyle

          And yet the world is a distinctly smaller, duller place without him on it.

          Back into your cubby under the stairs, Francis! I don't want to have to use the cattle prod!

      2. Richocet

        Re: Bah!

        By Australian government standards he probably was. The current government has taken to calling various groups and individuals who didn't vote for them terrorists. Steve was probably a member of a conservation group, ergo the government classifies him as a terrorist.

  10. Michael Thibault
    Big Brother

    Curiouser and curiouser

    >a wall of secrecy

    Isn't that something you'd use to ensure privacy? Why, if it isn't good for the goose to have one, is it good for the gander(er)? Something tells me that some animals are more equal than others.. and that those that aren't will just have to get used to it, by George.

    1. RedneckMother

      Re: Curiouser and curiouser

      Four legs good, two legs better!

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Curiouser and curiouser

        "Four legs good, two legs better!"

        Stingrays have no legs- no legs best!

      2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Don't you mean

        two legs batter?

  11. John Tserkezis

    Well, I'm just glad that when I go through an airport and have to take off my shoes, it's all in the interest of stopping terrorists, and not the 2-dollar-an-hour no-speaky-engresh TIA agents stopping me from carrying one fucking toothpick.

    /FuckingEndRant

  12. Someone Else Silver badge
    WTF?

    HOW MUCH?!?

    [...] 15 chicken wings and three sandwiches. Total worth: $56.77.

    Geez! Either Pizza Boli had better make the best damn wings and sandwiches evah, or the poor sod was actually justified in stealing them. Not even our local Jimmy Johns has the audacity to charge that much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HOW MUCH?!?

      They included the tip and a donation to Gustavo Fring's memorial fund.

  13. moiety

    Is it just me or is there an element of scope creep to this story?

  14. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    If you bulid it they will come. If they have it, they will use it. To the point where use and mis-use becomes undistinguishable from each other. And then some.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      If they have it, they will use it.

      Yup. Unfortunately, that includes guns.

      1. Jimbo 6

        Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to include their brains.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to include their brains.

          I would say, unfortunately, yes it does.

  15. Maty

    Oddly enough, I was watching Person of Interest just before I read this article. That's fiction right? For now anyway ..

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Not any more. PoI is now considered a documentary. It was just filmed before the actual events.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        ...filmed before the actual events.

        Which is the point of the statistical analysis, yes?

  16. redpawn Silver badge

    Gateway Terrorism

    1. Terrorists are antisocial.

    2. Chicken thieves are antisocial.

    3. Ergo chicken thieves are terrorists.

    Just lucky the first act of terrorism was caught. Next he would have been shutting down the power grid or causing volcanic eruptions in population centres. Job well done Maryland Police.

    1. harmjschoonhoven
      Mushroom

      Re: Gateway Terrorism

      Or they would have converted the chicken fat into some nasty explosives.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Annapolis police never found the thief

    Twaddle, they found him "confiscated" his chicken wings and told him to keep quiet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Annapolis police never found the thief

      it's not impossible they didn't plant those wings on him. Might have been a combined FBI/NSA stint, you never know!

  18. senrik1
    FAIL

    I'm not sure which is worse

    1. the fact that this technology exists.

    2. that LEO's got a court order to use it for a petty crime.

    3. that even when they used it, they could not find the guy.

    The lord prophet Judge is prescient in his Ideocracy prophesy. Is this the Keystone Kop Police state?

    1. Gray
      Big Brother

      Re: I'm not sure which is worse

      Cops & Spooks & Gov't Agents are all human, and that said they'll never hesitate to use whatever 'better' tool may be at hand. Restraint is only an obstacle to achieving whatever end is sought. As for the "Stingray" restrictions and prohibitions, I'm reminded of a raunchy old joke:

      A young lady and her beau were engaged in heavy petting downstairs. Her mother was upstairs, supposedly asleep . The 'making out' (Brit-speak: snogging) got quite intense; she began resisting, he began pleading. "Just let me put the head in," he begged. From upstairs came the sharp, scolding voice of her mother: "Remember, Agnes! A _prick's_ got no shoulders!"

      That's the state of law enforcement oversight in the US. 'Mother' is upstairs, asleep. The pervasive intrusion of US police powers long ago lost any hint of having shoulders.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: I'm not sure which is worse

        Howard country is just down the road from Fort Meade - guess what's located in Fort Meade?

        NSA

  19. Christian Berger Silver badge

    That's not surprising

    IMSI-Catchers are essentially just "boxes" you turn on, and you get a list of all the IMSIs in your area. There's nothing inherently expensive in using those. The main costs are in buying those, so once you have it, it makes sense for you to use them as often as possible.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wrong subhead IMHO

    Maybe I get this wrong as I'm not a native English speaker (nor a good one, I guess), but it strikes me that this is not an abuse of privacy, it is an abuse of law or a breach, because I think there are restrictions in place so that "this could never happen" (yes, I laugh too - somewhat sarcastically - when I hear that). It is a violation of privacy.

    This is what I keep throwing back at law enforcement. Before they get any more abilities to invade citizen's rights to allegedly chase bad people, they will first have to show me that they are not abusing the existing structures. Unfortunately, due to a lack of transparency they can't, so I guess that's the first thing to fix then..

    Oh, by the way, kindly don't ask for laws to bypass what is basically an administrative mess (delays in reaction). Fix the mess instead.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Wrong subhead IMHO

      I don't think it was a breach of law as the cops sought, and obtained, a court order. Whether that should have been granted is the real focus of the article.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wrong subhead IMHO

        Ah yes, thank you. I guess the problem thus resides a higher level - they should have been whistled back rather sharpish by the judge for even trying.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would it be fair to assume that the suspect was black?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Trollface

      Are you trying to suggest that only black people eat fried chicken?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'm suggesting that the US police have stopped policing the consumption of fried chicken by white Americans.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          What colour...

          was the chicken?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What colour...

            By now it's probably brown, given it's presumably been eaten some time ago.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a proposal.

    Do a lottery and identify 1000 people* per city who will get the same rights as policemen, the same easy, no-questions-asked ability to obtain court orders and the same let off if they "forget" this, and let them loose on the city's legislators and senior members of the police force, or in Washington's case, on the members of Congress themselves.

    After all, as they are "serving the people", they should have nothing to hide, no?

    * blind selection, so it ought to include a fair percentage of minorities, racial or otherwise.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the same rights as policemen

      Fuck it, let them kill white people too!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the same rights as policemen

        Fuck it, let them kill white people too!!!

        Frankly I'm astonished we haven't heard from the NRA yet, arguing vehemently that black people ought to have guns too. Weird, that.

        /sarcasm

  23. DougS Silver badge

    Enforcement creep

    Any time a new law or police tactic comes along that seems to go too far, politicians sell a gullible public on it by assuring us it will only be used for the worst crimes. Like how RICO was needed because it was the only way to convict mafia kingpins, and that's all it would ever be used for. Until they started using it for other things, and these days all kinds of stuff.

    Sort of like the FBI's plaintive cry for "just one phone", a promise that didn't even last to the end of the month it was uttered!

    Like how the government tried to sell us on how this massive warrantless surveillance apparatus is needed - to catch terrorists. They promise it will never be used for ordinary crimes. Then they'll use it for catching pedos, because "please won't someone think of the children", and then ordinary murders and drug kingpins. Fast forward 20 years, and it'll be used to catch prostitutes, street dealers, people who take a $100 deduction on stuff they gave to Goodwill that was really worth only $40, and people who don't pick up their dog's poop, and we'll live in a far worse police state than the former Soviet Union or East Germany ever were.

    1. Jediben

      Re: Enforcement creep

      A totalitarian state that ensures that dog owners who do not clean up after their pets are summarily executed? SIGN ME UP!

  24. Big_Ted
    Facepalm

    WTF

    WTF are local coppers et al doing being given this equipment ?

    Surely if it is only meant to be used for anti terror and serious crimes such as kidnap etc then it should only be in the hands of the FBI and they should have strict policies on usage. They can then be empowered to aid local law to track the worst criminals and take away the temptation to use it for the wrong reasons.

    There you go, costs cut, limited use and easy to set up an oversight person or two for permission to use at all except in an emergency....

  25. Yugguy

    Leeeeeeeeeeeeroy!!!

    Jenkins!!!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow - is their recipe THAT secret?

    I know that the likes of KFC seem to make much noise about their secret recipes, but I never knew they were secret on a level that threatened national security.

    God help us if terrorists ever get hold of it!

    (yes, that's bad sarcasm. The addition of color and sound to movies should have been a hint to those irresponsible idiots that the era of Keystone Cops is well and truly over)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: that's bad sarcasm.

      Not at all, made me smile anyway!!!

  27. MAF
    Joke

    Sorry

    Was it a fowl deed or a poultry crime?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Sorry

      No idea, but I guess they were just winging it.

  28. Peter Simpson 1
    WTF?

    Police in Annapolis – an hour's drive from the heart of government in Washington DC – used a StingRay cell tower simulator in an effort to find the location of a man who had earlier robbed a Pizza Boli employee of 15 chicken wings and three sandwiches. Total worth: $56.77.

    Yet when someone steals yer bike, breaks into your car, swipes your iDevice or empties your bank account...they're "too busy", "don't work on anything less than $10k", etc.

    Donuts are a powerful drug.

  29. JayB
    Unhappy

    So how long before...

    ...all visitors are required to hand over their IMEI etc along with their API whenever they fly into the States. All visitors to be routinely tracked.

    I'm fairly sure Donald Duck, sorry, Trump would love to feed that one into the Psychosis Blender he feeds everyone every day.

    The question is not "am I cynical" but "am I cynical enough".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So how long before...

      So how long before all visitors are required to hand over their IMEI etc along with their API whenever they fly into the States. All visitors to be routinely tracked.

      And who says that isn't already happening? It's even relatively easy to automate as most people can't wait to enable their phone the moment wheels touch down and your ID and fingerprints are recorded on entry as if you're a criminal.

      It really takes quite a lot of marketing to keep people believing it's a democracy that fights for .. wait for it .. freedom. So much potential, just wasted.

  30. Adrian Jones

    So... A system designed to track down terrorists, is incapable of tracking down a fried chicken thief?

    That was money well spent.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe they chickened out at the last moment (sorry) - remember, they will do ANYTHING to keep information about Stingray out of the public eye, such as in public court records.

      To me, that in itself is an argument to try and force that by any possible means, because it suggests they have something to hide (snark).

  31. Florida1920
    Big Brother

    Annapolis police never found the thief

    Money well spent, then. The only "security" is for corporations that make expensive toys the cops can't live without.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Annapolis police never found the thief

      I'm not particularly surprised they didn't catch him: this isn't a crime that the thief would get on the phone to say "Hey, guess what I've just scored - wanna party?"

  32. AS1

    I've long thought the UK government slipped up in 2006 when trying to introduce identity cards. It would have been far more acceptable to have wrapped it as a Digitally Connected For All programme, to provide free smart phones with a facial recognition login system. People would have been queuing around the block to register.

    1. Naughtyhorse
      Big Brother

      The true genius of the information age.

      We used to think it was all about making amazing stuff happen with wires and chips and stuff.

      Turns out that actually it's all about spotting the value of stuff people will gladly give for free if they get a shiny thing in return.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've long thought the UK government slipped up in 2006 when trying to introduce identity cards

      It didn't. It knew full well this project would eventually die. It only ever was a vehicle to pay frankly outrageous sums to what you could call a "post government job" investment scheme.

  33. Crisp Silver badge

    $56.77 Is approximately £39.19

    For a few sandwiches and wings?

    Were they dipped in gold?

  34. hellwig Silver badge

    Isn't this Spectrum Intrusion?

    I made that term up (I think), but isn't hijacking of FCC-controlled airwaves illegal? If the police use this device without a court order, aren't they breaking the law? I thought no one was above the law!

  35. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Collateral damage

    I'd hoped that the article would include mention that a "side effect" of Stingray tech is to bump all the phones it connects to back to an earlier (easily crackable) encryption scheme. Then I was hoping that someone in the comments would mention it. I guess it's up to me:

    "We have a tiny problem. Let's try to solve it by running a device that makes every phone in its vicinity less secure. We'll do this in the vicinity of the central government and several TLAs. What could _possibly_ go wrong?"

  36. TimeMaster T
    Coat

    Super conspiracy mode : ON

    What if the chicken wing theft was just a false flag operation to get a stingray activated in an area that contained a "person of interest" (terrorist, civil rights lawyer, environmental activist, etc.).

    Sure, they could have just used a Stingray without a warrant, and risked getting anything they collected thrown out later as tainted. BUT by getting the warrant to use the device they can say the data collected against the "person of interest" was not illegally acquired since it was the result of a legal search using the Stingray device that just "happened" to pickup some other data. Sort of like a cop using a warrant to search a house for a stolen coffee maker and finding a few lines of cocaine that belong to a visiting friend on the kitchen table, sure its outside the scope of the original warrant but still admissible.

    After all, they didn't catch the wing thief did they?

    Super conspiracy mode : OFF

    mines the grey trench coat with the graphene/kevlar/tin foil composite lining and matching hat..

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Super conspiracy mode : ON

      Search warrants are usually very specific: you're after a specific bit of evidence, nothing more. To do what you say actually requires a SECOND warrant. However, discovering the cocaine in plain sight during a legal search DOES allow the police to detain all persons within (at the least, to prevent evidence tampering) while an officer rushes off (maybe with a quick camera shot as proof) to the judge or magistrate to get a new warrant.

  37. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Yes, the police are awfully fond of their new tool, and indifferent to considerations of privacy, etc. That needs fixing.

    However, there's stealing $50 of food by grabbing it and running, and then there's stealing $50 of food by pointing a firearm at the delivery guy. Before I commit further on this one, I'd like to know which it was. Would you describe the case at the head of the linked article as "stealing $200 worth of electronics", since the man was found with a cell phone stolen at gunpoint from a 77-year-old woman?

  38. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Stop

    WASTE of Taxpayer's Money, Time, Manpower, Technology...

    I get the idea that this is about the thrill using GEE WHIZ surveillance technology toys, no matter how trivial the pursuit.

    Grow up please.

  39. Nehmo

    In the US "rob" means stealing by force or threat of force, like pointing a gun at someone. In the UK, it often just means "take". I didn't see any details presented in the article.

    The police probably had an ulterior motive for using the sting ray. Someone had a financial deal in which it would be helpful, perhaps. The chicken thief was just the best excuse they could come up with at the time. Nothing will come of it.

  40. hayzoos

    If they spend that much on the units, then they need to use it as much as possible to justify the expense. Did nobody think of that angle?

  41. Winkypop Silver badge
    Coat

    I was going to add another witty comment

    But I chickened out.

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