back to article Idiot thieves walk free after stolen iPad uploads pics of them with loot

A pair of thieving dolts – caught after selfies taken on a stolen iPad were automatically uploaded to the owner's iCloud account – have been spared jail after pleading guilty to felony charges of theft. Dorian Walker-Gaines, 20, and Dillian Thompson, 22, each pleaded guilty to stealing cash and consumer electronics from the …

  1. Michael Thibault
    Pint

    The punishment

    >prohibits the consumption of alcohol

    That's a little hard-line, isn't it?

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: The punishment

      Harsh? Not by a LightYear. Caught red handed, admitted to the crime, & they get off with *Community Service*? Fuck that. Drop them in Public Stocks & let folks get to beat the shit out of them with Nerf Bats on a daily basis until the bastards have figured out why their actions were fucking stupid. You want harsh? Be glad it's not the Middle East where the punishment would be the loss of the offending hand, a hundred lashings, & a constant daily reminder to you & everyone around you that you were guilty of being a Thief. Merely keeping them away from alcohol? That's not harsh, that's touchy feely bullshit at work.

      I'd feel better if the victim gave the pricks a swift kick in the junk every time they showed up to make a repayment installment on the crime. Just a friendly reminder why what they did shouldn't be done again. You know, _Punishment_.

      1. Eponymous Cowherd

        Re: The punishment

        Its harsh compared to the punishment the little shitbags would have been handed in the UK. 30 hours of community service is about all they would get.

        And as for paying back the victim. We regularly see reports of X caused £1000's damage, but gets ordered to compensate the victim a couple of hundred at a fiver a week.

        1. 's water music

          Re: The punishment

          We regularly see reports of X caused £1000's damage, but gets ordered to compensate the victim a couple of hundred at a fiver a week.*

          *citation needed

          1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

            Re: The punishment

            citation?

            Why not take the trouble to head on down to your local magistrates court and see justice in action for yourself?

            you might be pleasantly surprised as what goes on.

            1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          2. JohnG

            Re: The punishment

            "We regularly see reports of X caused £1000's damage, but gets ordered to compensate the victim a couple of hundred at a fiver a week.*

            *citation needed"

            The bastard who organised a group of children (12 - 13 year olds) to empty my house of cash and electronics was 17 years old, had a long criminal record and was on probation. None of my property was returned. He was sentenced to 200 hours community service and ordered to pay me £100 in compensation - which took him a year to achieve in irregular payments of £5 or £10 (without interest). The insurance company deducted the £100 from their payout.

            1. MarkP

              Re: The punishment

              * Original research *

              Keep * Citation needed * tag

            2. thomas k.

              Re: The insurance company deducted the £100 from their payout.

              Now, *that's* harsh.

            3. Charles Manning

              Who really got punished here?

              It was JohnG that got punished, not the criminal.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The punishment

            I used to work for a local authority in the West Country, dealing with parking tickets. We took a woman to court for repeated parking offences, and she was eventually fined £250. She pleaded poverty, and the court agreed that she could pay us back at the rate of £1 (that's one pound!) a week. Is that really a deterrent?

      2. DropBear

        Re: The punishment

        "You know, _Punishment_."

        Which may or may not be effective, if only it weren't taken as being the price of getting caught (as opposed to stealing - since everyone knows stealing is the way to street-cred and fortune, how can it possibly be wrong...?). As it is, it will only be perceived as a lame lesson to hide your tracks better whenever you feast on your rightful prey - all those not-quite-human suckaz less awesome and cunning than you... (TL;DR: as long as successfully relieving other people of their possessions is a thing certain kinds of people look up to, nothing will change anything, full stop).

      3. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: You want harsh?

        Yeah! Bring back the birch!!!

        Though I condemn ISIS they do have some good ideas like stoning people to death in the street, lopping off limbs of petty criminals. You know, _Punishment_.

        1. cambsukguy

          Re: You want harsh?

          You forgot the beheadings - softy.

          When I were a lad...

      4. Graham Marsden

        Re: The punishment

        Whilst we're at it, why don't we just bring back hanging for Robbery, Burglary, Shoplifting, Pick Pocketing etc as prescribed in The Bloody Code

        After all, that worked so well in the past that it virtually completely eliminated crime when it was in operation, didn't it...?

        "Those who do not learn from History are doomed to repeat it." - George Satayana.

        1. Velv
          Coat

          Re: The punishment

          @Graham Marsden

          Well you don't tend to get repeat offenders...

          1. Graham Marsden

            @Velv - Re: The punishment

            > Well you don't tend to get repeat offenders...

            An argument which ultimately leads to Judge Death from the Judge Dredd stories...

        2. macjules Silver badge

          Re: The punishment

          We *could* start transporting them to another country, perhaps life on one of our penal colonies in Virginia would do. Oh wait, what do you mean we're not living in the 18th Century any more?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The punishment

          why don't we just bring back hanging for Robbery, Burglary, Shoplifting, Pick Pocketing etc

          But the reoffending rate was less than nowadays

      5. No, I will not fix your computer

        Re: The punishment

        >>Harsh? Not by a LightYear. Caught red handed, admitted to the crime, & they get off with *Community Service*? Fuck that.

        I think the "harsh" comment was what people generally refer to as "humour" (u intended).

        Although, to answer your rant, to ensure you have an appropriate response (broad range of punishments available) you need to be able to have warnings all the way up to the maximum punishment that your state/country etc. allows (e.g. life/capital), you seem to want to jump into physical punishment (apparently, you're describing torture) for a crime that didn't include violence, and was evidently committed by very stupid people - should stupidity be punished more than "intelligent" crime like insider dealing?

        I think some people confuse punishment and revenge, the real question is which would be most effective in getting the criminal to engage with society correctly?

        1. Fatman

          Re: The punishment

          the real question is which would be most effective in getting the criminal to engage with society correctly?

          A THOUSAND lashes with the whip, administered at a rate of 20 per day, each day, until the sentence is complete.

          Those bitches will then get the message.

          Sometimes I feel it would be better to administer 20 to 50 lashes in public than to lock them up for a year or so for some crimes.

        2. Charles Manning

          Got it all wrong

          "I think some people confuse punishment and revenge, the real question is which would be most effective in getting the criminal to engage with society correctly?"

          The way things work now, this has flipped over. No longer doees the criminal need to adjust to fit back into society, instead society must adjust to fit in with the criminal.

          Most criminals have a very poor understanding of the badness of their behaviour. They don't blame themselves, they think it was just bad luck they got caught.

          Good punishment helps to clear up the confiusion: society is highly pissed off with your actions. We'll make things very unpleasant for you so you maybe think twice before you do this again.

          Just loving on the crim and asking them about how his mother was an alcoholic is not enough. The crim comes away with the message that every time I do something bad, nice people love on me. So why not just keep offending?

    2. NinaM

      Re: The punishment

      So they spent all the money they stole in the time it took to track them down? I suppose it's better to have them out and working to pay it off than in jail without any means to pay it off.

      They're young enough that, should they take their sentence seriously and truly change their ways, this sentence could be a huge boon for them in the end. I don't really have high hopes regarding the level or duration of actual, meaningful supervision they'll receive. Suspect they will return to their bad behavior and get away with it after no one follows up.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Is it just me or is the "dumbing down of America" also having an effect on thieves and other miscreants? Seems we've had an awful of idiots being caught by Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. lately. And yes, that includes the politicians who have done dumb things too, lately.

    It is curious that given this happened in Texas that there was no jail time and only one has to pay the restitution.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      @Mark 85

      I think the street level criminals don't get the mechanisms of auto uploading content to the cloud etc... When they boosted a car stereo, it didn't phone home.

      I gast is flabbered that they didn't get some hard time for stealing as much as they did in the great state of Texas, regardless of the admission of guilt. Isn't anything over $1000 considered a felony any longer??

      And where is this crew going to get $175 per month for restitution? Oh, right they will boost some other guys stuff - Robbing Peter to pay Paul

      1. JohnMurray

        That would be robbing anon to pay Stewart?

    2. cambsukguy

      I suspect that the non-custodial sentences are to do with the desperate financial straits many states find themselves in.

      I seen to recall that Texas (and CA?) were releasing hordes of cons early to save large sums of money.

      Some (counties) were even using Scandinavian-style sensible rehabilitation mechanisms to reduce the prison population, amazing things like drug rehab, CBT, victim apologies, the whole nine-yards.

      The politicians used to have no chance with this namby-pamby community service crap but the financial savings have made people come to accept it - what a surprise, money talks louder than conviction (pun intended).

      1. Ian Moffatt 1

        CBT?

        Also known as a good kick in the balls - daily for the length of their 'sentence'.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > It is curious that given this happened in Texas that there was no jail time and only one has to pay the restitution.

      The judge must have been used to deal with bankers and CEOs.

  3. tojb
    WTF?

    Strike 1 of three?

    I'm not up to date with American law&order stuff, but I seem to remember that they had a policy of two slaps on the wrist followed by a long custodial sentence for the third offence. Possibly neither of these toolbags has been caught before, probably they will joining the legion of incarcerated morons next time or the time after that.

    1. CraPo

      Re: Strike 1 of three?

      http://lmgtfy.com/?q=three+strikes

    2. Graham Marsden
      Facepalm

      Re: Strike 1 of three?

      Ah, yes, the incredibly sensible Three Strikes law which ended up with one guy being sentenced to 25 years in jail for stealing a slice of pizza...

      1. chriswakey

        Re: Strike 1 of three?

        So?

        He showed he was incapable of behaving correctly in society, even when he knew the possible punishment, and continued to act like a criminal. The size of the item he stole is absolutely irrelevant, the fact is, he was a repeat offender.

        Fuck him.

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: Strike 1 of three?

          Jesus Chris, it's 25 fucking years. Yes, he was in the wrong, yes he's a repeat offender and in no way does this warrant him spending a quarter of your life inside - even discounting the personal tragedy (he was 27, not too old to turn his life around), the benefit to society from locking him up is vastly, vastly outweighed by the cost of his incarceration.

          The word you want is "proportionality" and it's kind of important in my opinion (ingrained in European Law, it became a key aspect of the UK Human Rights Act, which is why I don't get the Daily Mail hatred for the legislation). It's the same concept that means you don't just shoot trespassers, vagrants and... oh, wait, I forget my audience. You're probably American aren't you? Sorry, carry on as you were.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Strike 1 of three?

            I was thinking about robbing a house recently. But after seeing this guy get 25 years I just got a regular job instead. It really put me off being a criminal ever again. How is that fair?

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Strike 1 of three?

          >The size of the item he stole is absolutely irrelevant, the fact is, he was a repeat offender.

          The problem is that the state prosecutor gets to decide if the 3 strikes rule applies.

          Poor black person steals a 3rd slice of pizza = 25 years

          Rich white person runs 3rd insider trading scam and nets 3rd fortune = suspended sentence.

        3. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: Strike 1 of three? @chriswakey

          Jerry Dewayne Williams, the pizza thief, got his sentence reduced to five years — after the Supreme Court ruled that judges could apply discretion in application of the three-strikes law — and left prison over fifteen years ago. He moved to a different city, cut his ties to his old friends and has had only two minor incidents with the police since, making a criminal threat and being drunk in public, obtaining him just 17 further days in jail.

          I'd say that keeping somebody in prison for twenty additional years in order to save the community from one criminal threat and one incident of being drunk in public was not a proportionate response.

          1. Eddy Ito

            Re: Strike 1 of three? @chriswakey

            So the Pizza Boy, who was 27, apparently with a long rap sheet, when he was convicted of stealing pizza (which is oddly categorized as felony petty theft, yes really it's both a felony and petty) from children served five years to get out at about 32 years old and is now roughly 48. Oddly between the ages of 32 and 48 he has managed to get arrested twice.

            Sure, he hasn't stolen anything or killed anybody since he's been out but when the hell is this joker going to grow the fuck up? Most of us learned about the time we turned 18 that the world isn't out to get us but it sure isn't going to put up with any of our juvenile shit any more than we're going to put up with anyone else's juvenile shit. Who knows, maybe he isn't a bad guy and he just caught some bad breaks but there comes a time when he has to stop feeling sorry for himself and get on with it.

            Williams says the three-strikes law was never meant for someone like him, despite his record, and that he would be determined to stay straight even without the threat of a life sentence. But without a job, he fears he might one day slip up.

            Slip up? If he's talking about breaking laws then he can cry me a river. Do what lots of other people do when they can't find a job and make one.

            1. ThomH Silver badge

              Re: Strike 1 of three? @chriswakey

              "Slip up? If he's talking about breaking laws then he can cry me a river."

              One of the laws he has broken since being released is being drunk in public. I'd dare imagine there's a high amount of police discretion in enforcement of that. Have you ever had a drink or two too many in a pub and then gone home?

              1. Eddy Ito

                Re: Strike 1 of three? @chriswakey

                Perhaps you should look up what being arrested for being "drunk in public" means, it's hardly having a drink or two too many and wandering home. Here, let me save you the time.

                (f) Who is found in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance, or toluene, in a condition that he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or by reason of his or her being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.

                Basically it means being so drunk you're staggering about recklessly causing a hazard to yourself or the general public or passed out in the streets. No, can't say I've ever done that. Passed out in private when I was a kid just experimenting with alcohol once but I grew out of it after the ensuing hangover, porcelain prayers and my pop ensuring I got to 'enjoy' every minute of it.

                1. Graham Marsden

                  @Eddy Ito - Re: Strike 1 of three? @chriswakey

                  > Basically it means being so drunk you're staggering about recklessly causing a hazard to yourself or the general public or passed out in the streets. No, can't say I've ever done that

                  There's an awful lot of Brits who (regrettably) have done so.

                  If the Police spent all their time nicking and charging them all they'd never catch any other criminals (there's some other cynical comments I could add here...!)

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Strike 1 of three? @Eddy Ito

                  You've failed to account for the fact that he's black, which means an entirely different set of standards applied by the police - he's way more likely to get collared than you or I (I'm presuming we're both vaguely middle class whiteys).

                  Likewise, two arrests under those circumstances is probably par for the course in a country where (according to Wikipedia)

                  1. A black male born in 1991 has a 29% chance of spending time in prison at some point in his life.

                  2. One out of nine African American men will be incarcerated between the ages of 20 and 34.

                  My personal favourite story to underscore this is this one. Land of the free indeed.

                  1. Eddy Ito

                    @AC Re: Strike 1 of three? @Eddy Ito

                    Oh, don't misunderstand I'm not defending cops since I know personally that a whole bunch of them have that super-cop chip on the shoulder and 'everyone is a perp who just hasn't been caught' attitude. I'm all in favor of putting cameras on cops because it generally makes the cop less likely to escalate a situation when they feel they've been dissed. Heck, cameras on mobile phones are showing that some cops think they can get away with murder so it's pretty clear we need something to watch the watchers.

  4. stu 4

    flash

    get yee to fuck flash.

    El Reg - you should know better by now. HTML5 herself FFS.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: flash

      It worked correctly without Flash in Safari on OS X. Dodgy user-agent sniffing, perhaps?

  5. Cliff

    Prison is about 45% effective

    Here in the UK at least, but it's probably fairly similar worldwide (with different levels of prison harshness) seeing as everyone still needs prisons. It's also really expensive (£36k/year, but down from a peak of £45k). One of the more effective schemes seems to be getting petty criminals working and into the system, so if you can do that through supervision (much cheaper), it's worth trying. It'll also give a wage to repay the victim, money which is otherwise lost altogether if they get chokey.

    Who knows, maybe one or both of these scrotes will sort themselves out, grow up, and become a net benefit to society as opposed to net cost?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prison is about 45% effective

      "Who knows, maybe one or both of these scrotes will sort themselves out, grow up, and become a net benefit to society as opposed to net cost?"

      ROFL.....

      After you with the rose tinted goggles..

    2. cambsukguy

      Re: Prison is about 45% effective

      'Murica is a bit different, the new slave population (same colour pretty much) has to work for a living in prison, gets a pittance while he does so (it is almost all men) and has to pay room and board.

      Not the case everywhere of course but several cases of corruption where judges have sent people to detention to boost the numbers have occurred - elsewhere it is just normal practice.

      Some regular businesses have complained about this rather unfair competition but the state populace prefers it to taxes so it is maintained.

      Still costs money to keep folks incarcerated but it is much cheaper in the US:

      A report by the organization, "The Price of Prisons," states that the cost of incarcerating one inmate in Fiscal 2010 was $31,307 per year. It is higher in the 'progressive' states (and presumably lower elsewhere to compensate).

      The UK figure is much higher and many regard our prisons as awful in terms of rehab and overcrowding - not by US standards of course, ours are truly holiday camps by comparison.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prison is about 45% effective

        I can't see how we (the UK) could ever extradite suspects to the US, surely the risk of a Jail term is Cruel & Unusual punishment by our standards?

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Prison is about 45% effective

        It's worth remembering that the US has one of the world's highest per-capita prison populations (just under 1% of the US adult population is in prison), and its judicial system is also heavily race-biased (about 5% of the adult black male population of the US is in prison!)

        Now, these are quite startling numbers, so here are some figures to back this up*:

        (wikipedia article)

        Now, you have to ask yourself whether incarceration works as a deterrent to crime, when around 10,000 people are killed by hand-guns in the US each year.

        Sure, rehabilitation within society doesn't always work, but it is cheaper than incarceration, and when it does work, the offender can re-enter society, whereas prison institutionalises inmates, especially those with long sentences, making it more difficult to re-enter society when the sentence is complete.

        Personally, I'm all for evidence-led policy on crime and punishment, and you won't often find that those who have a criminology degree are the ones shouting to 'lock them up and throw away the key'. Tackling the root cause of crime (most often poverty) does a lot more than punishment to reduce the societal impact.

        *Yes, I know this is Wikipedia, but the figures here appear to be accurate

        1. Eddy Ito

          Re: Prison is about 45% effective

          @Loyal Commenter - Don't forget that a good portion of that population is for drug users who get busted with little more than a spliff as a result of one of the myriad Wars on Nouns and the easiest way to rack up numbers is to patrol the poorer neighborhoods and roust anyone with more than a tan to make sure they aren't picking up a politically connected person's kid making a buy.

    3. Graham Marsden

      Re: Prison is about 45% effective

      Restorative Justice has been demonstrated to reduce re-offending rates by up to 27%

      Much better than just locking them away with other criminals so they learn to be better at crime.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Prison is about 45% effective

        @Graham Marsden

        Restorative Justice is a very effective method of re-engaging offenders with society, allowing them to see their actions in a broader context.

        Sadly, it can only work if the offender admits guilt; if they plead 'not guilty', then even when convicted, they cannot engage in restorative justice unless they later admit their guilt. A core principle of restorative justice is the contract between the offender and the victim; there obviously has to be an agreement for them to meet and discuss the impact of the crime, or the concept cannot work. Compelling either party to engage against their will is only counterproductive.

        1. Graham Marsden

          @Loyal Commenter - Re: Prison is about 45% effective

          > Compelling either party to engage against their will is only counterproductive.

          Yes, I'm aware of that.

          But it's better to at least try to do something like this which has a chance of making a difference, rather than the "lock them up and throw away the key" mentality which has been shown to be an utter failure.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    I dont see what the fuss is about

    after all, it was only an iPad.

    Troll - obviously.

  7. thomas k.

    Good thing the lock screen wasn't enabled

    A lesson to us all, I guess.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My tuppence ha'penny worth...

    Allow the victim to set the punishment (within certain bounds - upto and including, giving the scrote a good kicking).

    Either that, or re-introduce hard labour. Get the scrote breaking rocks for a few months.

  9. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    The encouraging thing here is the fucktardia in exelcis evidenced by the criminals.

    The discouraging thing is that it appears to be highly contagious, infecting the judiciary at an alarming rate.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Give them the option to enlist in the active duty military and keep a clean record if they are capable.

    I'm not talking about pressing the unwilling into service but rather, pay back the damages and serve four years honorably, with all the benefits that service entails (G.I. Bill, etc.), and the charges remain dropped, else face the charges normally. If for some reason they can't serve due to age, disabilities, etc. maybe an alternative form of service could be used instead.

    This would provide for a proper second chance. I heard more than once during my enlistment persons telling me about the horrible situations they were in, how they were head for bad things, and ultimately how they got away from all the BS through an enlistment. One in particular, served a couple enlistments, raises a good family, graduated from college, etc. His brother instead was doing hard time.

    Some of these people committing crimes aren't bad people. They may feel things are hopeless, that their situation will not and can not change, etc. and take stupid measures to try to 'better' their situation. Give them the opportunity to preserve their clean record, shake things up, and see that their are other opportunities out there.

    Anyway, I have my problems with the way the military has been used in recent years, but as someone who served (without such a story to tell himself) I think that the military did a lot of good for me providing structure, direction, and benefits (I used the G.I. Bill to pay for my degree for example) and think that for all the BS one might encounter it can be a good thing.

  11. Colin Miller

    Each was ordered to pay court costs of $212, while Walker-Gaines is required to repay Schaefer $9,000 in $175-a-month instalments.

    That's over 51⅖ months, or about 4¼ years.

  12. Spaceman Spiff

    You gotta wonder

    You have to wonder what politician or cop these boneheads are related to in order to get such a lenient sentence. Most would spend the next 10 years in durance-vile!

  13. Developer Dude

    In other words, caught red handed, but not really punished, and they got a $9K loan they pay back in easy monthly installments.

    Crime pays apparently because there is no justice.

    1. newspuppy

      Loan? What a great deal... Interest free loan... no collateral no income verification.....

      Where can I get one?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't think you understand how loans work.

  14. Bitbeisser
    Thumb Down

    Repay $9k with only $175/month? That's more than 4 years?

    You just got to be kidding me!

  15. David Glasgow

    Harsh punishment

    seems like it ought to be a deterrent, but research on delayed punishment shows that it isn't, particularly when the odds of getting caught are relatively low. Long sentences only reduce recidivism by virtue of preventing crime during imprisonment, the costs are high, as is the post imprisonment recidivism.

    Physical punishment appeals to victims, and those with coercive and authoritarian personality traits, but that confuses retribution with deterrence. The fantasy that if you can just hurt someone enough he or she will stop offending is just that, a fantasy.

    I have no beef with imprisonment, although prisons are ill equipped for reducing recidivism - so let's be clear why we punish offenders, and not pretend it will reduce offending.

  16. GeneralDisaster

    51 months to get his money back

    That's what irks me the most. an honest worker who has been robbed has to wait 51 months to get his money back from this cretin. is he really going to be out earning that for the next 4 years? or be in prison for some other offence before he can repay the victim.

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