Google Is Not Your Partner in Auto-Crimes


You know, ubiquitous, cheap computing has made being a gearhaed much easier than what it used to be. We can plan routes, look up part numbers for that under-dash support for that 66 Mustang we\’re rebuilding, check where speed traps are… there\’s a whole host of things the gearhead can make use of in the cyber-world.

That doesn’t mean it\’s all buttered toast and fine-&-dandy, oh no.

Just ask Lee Harbert of San Francisco.

Who\’s Lee Harbert? You\’ll see.

Lee Harbert used to be a San Francisco-based investment banker. He was also an investment banker with a history of DUIs. Sadly, on Jan. 11, 2005, he hit and killed 55-year-old Gurdeep Kaur in a hit-and-run accident with his Jaguar. How do we know this? Because Google got him a trip to the Big House, that\’s how.

Harbert side of the story, in case you\’re interested, is that he thought he’d hit a deer. Since he thought he nailed Bambi instead of Mr. Kaur, he thought there would be no need to stop and help anyone. On top of that, police had originally said they were looking for a burgundy Jag, while his was black, so he had no idea what he’d done. Honestly your Honor!

But then the police got a search warrant that included taking a look at his computer as well.

That\’s where they found, according to the prosecutor, Google searches from a couple days after the accident. Searches for stuff like “auto parts, auto dealers out-of-state; auto glass, Las Vegas; auto glass reporting requirements to law enforcement, auto theft,”

Uh-oh, that doesn’t sound good, now does it? Actually, it sounds pretty bad.

But wait, it gets worse.

It seems that Mr. Harbert also searched for “hit-and-run,” which he followed to a page about the hit-and-run he committed.

No. Seriously. Right out of a movie: The criminal returning to the scene of the crime.

Now, a lot can be said about being a drunk driver. On its face that\’s inexcusable, as any true gearhead will tell you. And the same thing goes for committing a hit-and-run. What sort of spineless weasel would do a thing like that? Not a true gearhead, that\’s for sure.

But Googling ways to cover up your own crime as well as the crime itself?


Source: Gizmodo