back to article The girl with the dragnet tattoo: How a TV news clip, Insta snaps, a glimpse of a tat and a T-shirt sold on Etsy led FBI to alleged cop car arsonist

A woman accused of setting fire to two Philadelphia police cars during a May 30 protest was tracked down by her online buying-habits and reviews, a social media sweep, and a poor username choice, the FBI has claimed. In an affidavit spotted by Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington …

  1. redpawn Silver badge

    Police cars rest easier

    Good to know the lengths the police will go to to protect the endangered police car. Wouldn't want to waste those resources on scammers or corporate criminals.

    1. jason_derp Bronze badge

      Re: Police cars rest easier

      "We will go to any lengths to protect what is truly important: our own property."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @redpawn - Re: Police cars rest easier

      You have to pick your battles wisely. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

      Police has the right to do just that. That sweet lady should have restricted herself to burning candles not cars. Especially not police cars that are paid for with public money.

      Besides it's not the police, it's the FBI that nabbed her.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: @redpawn - Police cars rest easier

        So it was the Federal PoPo, The Federalies. or those under direct involvement under Prsident Trump.... Ahh I think I see the problem now.... Well to bad for the wannabe commies then...

    3. TomG

      Re: Police cars rest easier

      Do you know that they don't use this on scammers or corporate criminals? Perhaps this was a practice exercise to determine how well it works in order to use it later on scammers and corporate criminals.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Police cars rest easier

        I doubt it. There are groups on Reddit that would have found her the same day...they would have also deliberately made it harder for themselves by analysing something more obscure...for the shots and giggles.

        I highly recommend everyone here checks out "Don't F**k with cats" on Netflix. Fascinating.

    4. RealityisntReal

      Re: Police cars rest easier

      I'm pretty sure the exact same methods are used in any case requiring them. It's just that the scammers and corporate criminals are a lot smarter than the average (majority) liberal rioters/arsonists. Of course that isn't saying much - the average dog is smarter than a liberal.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Police cars rest easier

        "a lot smarter than the average (majority) liberal rioters/arsonists."

        Have to laugh at these kind of posters, it's almost like they don't understand the meaning of the word liberal.

        As you dislike a liberal so much, here is what you must be:

        https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/the-opposite-of/liberal.html

    5. JCitizen Bronze badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Police cars rest easier

      What I'm wondering is why the three letter agencies can't use investigation techniques like this to find terrorists, and quit trying to put back doors in everyone's device, when it isn't even necessary. Good ol' gumshoe work like this could find potential terrorists before they even strike - it is just using common sense deductive reasoning. Doh!

      1. My other car is also a Trabant.

        Re: Police cars rest easier

        Perhaps successful terrorists aren't stupid enough to have visible identification like tattoos.

        If, as is possible from her surname, she's Jewish, she really should have read Leviticus 19:28, which says,”You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.” Clearly the Lord was on top of people being identified during protests.

      2. jason_derp Bronze badge

        Re: Police cars rest easier

        "What I'm wondering is why the three letter agencies can't use investigation techniques like this to find terrorists"

        This is not meant to be some political screed or left-winged rant, but more as a utilitarian approach to the "problem" you're trying to solve. It is NOT in any government's best interests to remove foreign terrorists. Terrorists are expensive and difficult to remove because of their decentralized nature. They are often idealogically motivated, and so are generally more convinced in their mission than any paid member of a standing army would be, and you will therefore not see very great rates of desertion regardless of how succesful your campaigns against them are. Their leaders are ones of convenience, and so removing the head just means more will crop up in their place. On the other hand, they provide distractions from current domestic problems, they provide an external threat with which to unite the citizenry around, they provide a smoke screen for passing legislation that would otherwise be seen as contrary to the views of the majority while creating tools to control the lessers and entrench the greaters, they create numerous publicity opportunities to keep officials in the minds of the public and seem sympathetic to their fears. What you're asking is akin to: "Why don't we remove the prostates and cervixes of all babies at birth given the rate at which those cancers develop?" It is of less use to remove something that is so otherwise useful.

      3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: Police cars rest easier

        "What I'm wondering is why the three letter agencies can't use investigation techniques like this to find terrorists"

        I'm afraid that our law enforcement agencies just aren't equipped to do those sorts of analysis on an ongoing basis.

    6. not.known@this.address Silver badge

      Re: Police cars rest easier

      Who pays for those police cars?

      You, sir, are an idiot.

      1. jason_derp Bronze badge

        Re: Police cars rest easier

        "Who pays for those police cars?"

        The people did. Erego, they belong to the people, I guess? Doesn't even seem like a crime was committed in that case. Cops don't bust down my door when I break a glass in my own house.

  2. Ian 69

    Oh my god!

    Are we to believe the police and investigatory services can function without unfettered access to everyone's chat, email, web browsing habits and most recent prostate exam?

    Surely this cannot be!

    1. non gelatinous user
      Angel

      Re: Oh my god!

      I am no Gynecologist, but i am pretty sure the FBI did not check her last prostate exam...

      1. Ian 69

        Re: Oh my god!

        Not for lack of trying I'm sure!

        Goggles.. Check!

        Oven gloves.. Check!

        Cork.. Dammit!!

  3. IGotOut Silver badge

    Tut....kids today....

    Any fule knows that you cover tattoos up...for example, if you have arm tats, just buy a cheap pair of fake sleeve ones, or put on some kids transfers.

    Rioters today eh?

    1. Blazde
      Facepalm

      Re: Tut....kids today....

      Yup. Just don't buy the cheap pair of fake sleeve tats from a small-run etsy seller who's only ever shipped one pair in your size to your metropolitan area.

    2. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Tut....kids today....

      Or get some appropriate makeup and cover up the tattoo, then tell the cops that it couldn't possibly have been you, because you have tats.

      That being said, I heard that a New York woman was arrested in one of the early BLM riots for throwing a molotov cocktail in the open back door of an NYPD police van, when it had 4 officers inside. From what I heard, she got booked on four counts of attempted murder, plus from what I understand the van got burned out, so probably arson/vandalism/destruction of public property too.

      (I don't recall Sherlock ever having to match suspect's tats. Did Moriarty ever get inked up?)

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Tut....kids today....

        Not as far as I remember, but it was a common thing for English Royalty at the time!

        1. spold Silver badge

          Re: Tut....kids today....

          We identified him by his rather unique Prince Albert

      2. SotarrTheWizard

        Incidentally, at least in .us. . .

        . . . . the FBI has added tattoos, scars, and marks to it's "IAFIS" Fingerprint/ID system. How do I know ?? 15 years ago, I was on the Requirements team, and helped to write the Requirements Traceability and Validation Matrix document.

        So, cops using tats for identification has been standard technique in .us for at least 10 years. . .

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Tut....kids today....

      Expecting Lefty nutters to use their brans LOL! XD

      1. My other car is also a Trabant.

        Re: Tut....kids today....

        Lefties always do put bran on their muesli. We want to outlive people like you.

    4. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Tut....kids today....

      Rioters today eh?

      Being stupid enough to be one of the rioters was the first warning.

      Being stupid enough to not cover individually identifying marks was the second warning.

      The third came by visibly going prepared with goggles and oven mitts such that no claim of being caught up in the moment is possible.

      The final warning was being stupid enough to think that burning public (or private) property is a proportional and reasonable action.

      That she did all of those things in full glare of video cameras only confirms that in every respect her incoming jail sentence is played for and got - she's literally too dumb to be free.

      Does make you wonder though..... if all of this could be done with some google searches, just what would be possible with unfettered access to state and commercial information? The ability to snoop on someone would be near total, and in real time too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @LucreLout - Re: Tut....kids today....

        I'm OK with the first two and I personally don't necessarily consider it stupidity.

        As for the rest I'm totally on your site and I'd like to add the word criminal on top of that.

      2. JCitizen Bronze badge
        IT Angle

        @LucreLout - Re: Tut....kids today....

        Why would they need unfettered access? Look how easy it is without such snooping. In today's world, where people leave their tracks publicly all over the web, it is a piece of cake to fine out everything you want to know about any potential suspect you can think of! You can even access hacker dumps online from corporate breaches that give a total picture of anything you want to know about anyone. The criminals know me better than I do - I found out when I had to fight them over my bank account and credit cards. It is all public knowledge - especially since the Equifax breach!

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: @LucreLout - Tut....kids today....

          Why would they need unfettered access?

          I'm not suggesting they *should* have it.... Just that with it they would be able to track in ways they can't now.

          The criminals know me better than I do

          Criminals think in a different way to law abiding people, and that includes most police and government officers of whatever nation state.

          An example. I secured my garden by putting two bolts on the gate and a lockable clasp. I had 2 locks on there and another one on the shed. The burglar crow barred some planks off the fence to make a large hole, then crow barred the window frame out of the shed to remove the window, all in near silence (next doors dogs didn't woof once). The locks were all just fine, but my lawnmower was gone.

          Honest people think locks keep dishonest people out - in reality they keep out other honest people and lousy locksmiths. The burglars never bother picking locks when they can boot a hole in something instead.

          How does that relate here? The hackers may be able to quickly assemble a data proxy for you using shady means, but it doesn't follow that John Q Law can do the same. Again, I'm making no statement on whether the state should create such obstacle free access to private data for itself, only that the consequences of it doing so escalate - you decide whether that's good or bad for yourselves according to your own world views.

      3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Tut....kids today....

        What most do not realize is much of this information was readily available in the old days. You just had spend more time doing the manual search through business directories, phone books, receipts (if the store lets you), various government records, etc. Because of time constraints and the difficulty in tracking down the correct vendor, etc. you might not find the information you need to solve a case. Today, the difference is you can google something and probably find what the information in may be a few hours or at most a couple of days versus days or weeks digging through paper.

        What she did in having an easily identifiable shirt and tats is old hat and predates the Internet. Something unique is likely to be sold by only a few vendors and visible tats are always a good way to id someone.

    5. SotarrTheWizard

      Re: Tut....kids today....

      Considering the stunning naivety of most people, relative to security, much less deception and maskirovka, is this surprising ?

  4. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    FAIL

    Yet another reason

    To not do something as stupid as to permanently and uniquely mark your body in normally exposed places, and then go out an commit acts of violence. Especially in this day & age where you can't go out the door without being caught on camera every which way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yet another reason

      Nature's tattoos are scars. Which is how the suspect descriptions used to read. Now-a-days to be 'unique' you have to be prolix ink-wise.

      Me, I only want a couple tattoos in small type, with arrows, saying "Hey, med student, why did my knee hurt here?" "Why did I get a twinge in my back here when bending left?" Prod them on to get extra credit in dissection!

      1. Glen 1 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Yet another reason

        How about a tiny tattoo on the skin between my little toe and adjacent with the text;

        "The Game"

  5. AustinTX
    Holmes

    Parallel Construction

    Anyone who knows anything about USA investigations knows that they located their suspect by less-than-legal means and then assembled a parallel construction out of all the trivia they collected about their target.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AustinTX - Re: Parallel Construction

      I have the honor of giving you the first down-vote. Wholeheartedly!

      I know nothing about USA investigations so would you care pointing me to some information specific to this case ? Something like, you know some definite proof of using less-than-legal means ?

      1. ciaran
        Black Helicopters

        Re: @AustinTX - Parallel Construction

        Some years ago, an internal FBI memo was released saying that if evidence came from illegal telephone monitoring it would be a good idea to downplay that aspect of the investigation by documenting alternative sources for the information. Anonymous tip-offs increased mightily.

        However I can't find an article about it. It was before Snowden.

        Regularly there are articles, including on The Register, about miraculous new investigation tools that on the face of it couldn't possibly work, I always assume they're being pushed as an alternative source of information to hide the use of classified (and therefore illegal) information.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AustinTX - Parallel Construction

        The whole point of parallel construction is to hide the original source of information and present a plausible alternative path back to the suspect. This prevents the accused from challenging its legality, and makes it hard to prove in any specific case without inside information as to the true source. Its use in relation to Stingray use and data 'incidentally captured' about US citizens by the NSA has been widely reported, as a quick search for "parallel construction" will show. Applying the same approach to evidence from the drone flights over protests, or other novel methods, would be consistent with this behaviour. The flip side is that anyone caught by sheer luck or good detective work now gets to claim parallel construction as a plausible reason why all evidence against them should be thrown out.

        https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140203/11143926078/parallel-construction-revealed-how-dea-is-trained-to-launder-classified-surveillance-info.shtml

        https://www.wired.com/story/stingray-secret-surveillance-programs/

        https://theintercept.com/2019/10/10/fbi-nsa-mass-surveillance-abuse/

        https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160507/10052134369/stingray-memo-fbi-to-oklahoma-law-enforcement-tells-pd-to-engage-parallel-construction.shtml

        https://www.scmagazine.com/home/security-news/fbi-stingray-nda-instructs-police-to-use-parallel-construction/

        1. RealityisntReal

          Re: @AustinTX - Parallel Construction

          So you're stating that besides the previously documented stupid things she did she also was dumb enough to use her cell phone at the same time? Just provides more proof that she needs to be in jail - if for no other reason then for her own safety. Someone that stupid needs round the clock care.

    2. revenant Silver badge

      Re: Parallel Construction

      It doesn't need to be 'less-than-legal' means. It could just as well have been an anonymous tip-off which wouldn't in itself be sufficient. Hence the accumulation of a mass of circumstancial evidence.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Parallel Construction

        It's such a tissue of maybes that a reasonable jury should be able to say "too much doubt" and acquit.

        1. RealityisntReal

          Re: Parallel Construction

          I don't see a whole hell of a lot of 'maybes' and a lot of intelligent data gathering/following.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Parallel Construction

        Makes your wonder if the altists on 4chans /pol/ board were the ones doing the heavy lifting to combat this commie menace?

    3. juice Silver badge

      Re: Parallel Construction

      > Anyone who knows anything about USA investigations knows that they located their suspect by less-than-legal means and then assembled a parallel construction out of all the trivia they collected about their target.

      So what you're saying is that they received a tip-off, and then did the legwork necessary to gather evidence which would satisfy a court of law?

      Or to put it another way: it sounds like you're angling for a catch-22 setup where the police can't gather evidence to convict someone unless they've already been convicted!

      Ah well. At the very least, your approach would lead to significantly fewer American police-procedural dramas being produced. Though it'd be a moot point, since I suspect there'd be a rise in the crime rate and my TV would probably end up being stolen ;)

  6. rkmlarsen
    Thumb Up

    Thoroughly deserved

    Fully enjoyed the writeup of this nice bit of sleuthing! Let's hope the authorities are able to follow up with a significant level of punishment, which is the only language these Antifa anarchists understand.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thoroughly deserved

      Someone else who doesn't know what antifa is.. Go back to Fox, boomer. And watch out for commies!

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Thoroughly deserved

        So by your argument Anti-Fa do NOT go 'round liberating Shops of their goods before setting the heater to makesure no on freezes to death on them chilly spring nights eh? And, what are Ant-Fa if not a bunch of radical lefty nutters (i.e. Commmies?!)

        Please enlighten us.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Michael Hable - Re: Thoroughly deserved

          If I recall correctly USoA fought a whole war against fascism so according to your reasoning they were a bunch of communists ? How interesting!

          Something tells me you certainly don't want to be enlightened.

        2. Joe Gurman

          Re: Thoroughly deserved

          Since you ask, there probably are vestigial commies among them, but mostly anarchists and some violently inclined social democrats. On the other hand, me dad was in the US Army in WW II, and I can assure you he and millions of other veterans would have described themselves as antifas as well.

        3. DJO Silver badge

          Re: Thoroughly deserved

          Please enlighten us.

          Can you keep a secret about the Antifa organisation?

          Here goes, keep it to yourself:

          Antifa does not exist.

          Many groups are labelled as Antifa or Anti-Fascist, including I suppose the US & UK military but there is no controlling body. Totally invented by the right as a handy bogey to scare the masses.

      2. RealityisntReal

        Re: Thoroughly deserved

        Antifa is literally attempting to be the 'brown shirts' of the liberal movement. They are literally the very thing they call people that disagree with them.

        1. JCitizen Bronze badge
          Thumb Up

          @RealityisntReal

          Exactly what I was thinking!

        2. My other car is also a Trabant.

          Re: Thoroughly deserved

          You need to read up on the SA, the Brown Shirts. I never cease to be amazed by the ignorance of right wingers about the history of their own political movements.

          The SA were pretty thuggish, no denying that. But unfortunately for Hitler, they actually believed the "Socialist" bit in NSDAP.

          When Hitler came to power, having agreed with the Prussians in charge of the Army to drop the socialist nonsense, he promptly organised the murder of all the SA leaders by the SS. From that point on his régime was full on Fascist but with German characteristics - i.e. organised murderous suppression of dissent and independent thinking.

          Your nick is extremely appropriate, the reality in your head is contradicted by actual historians and reporters on both sides of the Atlantic.

    2. Champ

      Re: Thoroughly deserved

      So you're anti-antifa? Which make you pro-fa, yes?

      You do know what the 'fa' stands for, don't you?

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Thoroughly deserved

        Yes anything just a gnats wing away from Marx. You know like Kitler? Who was just a statist commie, that wanted control over everything, in name of the state. as opposed to the "good" commmies that did the same thing, but for the people....

        So yeah I guess by your metric I must be guilty.... As if I care about your metrics though. I can only wish for you to actully feel such times on your own neck. So that your generation would actually know what it was like. OH NO HE SAID A MEAN THING ABOUT MY PREFERD PRO-NOUN!

        ....For chis sake Its time to slowly lift the damn stay at home orders. Some people clearly have nothing better to do.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Michael Habel - Re: Thoroughly deserved

          You could have spend the stay at home time reading some history and philosophy. I don't think it could have change you but at least you could come up with better arguments to defend you position.

          Anyway, please carry on, you're entertaining us. Hitler a communist, hah!

          1. Scroticus Canis

            Re: Hitler a communist, hah!

            Well he was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers' Party a.k.a. Nazi Party. Communism is a form of socialism, so.....

            Just saying.

            1. John H Woods Silver badge

              Re: Hitler a communist, hah!

              Well he killed all the communists - just saying.

              Sorry: Nazis=Extreme Left isn't a valid point of view any more than World=Flat. Someone has already made the incorrect assertion that Hitler wanted state control of everything.

              1) that isn't the definition of left wing - there are right authoritarian states too. (Saudi Arabia?)

              2) let's have one piece of *actual* evidence that Hitler was a Leftie.

              PS: there are no end of bad Leftie leaders - Stalin was a pretty good example.

            2. My other car is also a Trabant.

              Re: Hitler a communist, hah!

              Um...

              Socialism is a system in which the government owns the means of production, distribution and exchange and treats all citizens equally. The state has a monopoly on violence but does not use it.

              Authoritarian statism is a system in which the government owns the means of production, distribution and exchange and an élite minority tell everybody else what to do. The State has a monopoly on violence and uses it to keep the masses under control.

              Communism is a system in which there is no government and everybody survives by freely exchanging goods and services. As everybody is good, there is no violence (in your dreams, Karl).

              Hitler took over the NSDAP from within just as Farage took over the slightly left UKIP from within and turned it into an authoritarian statist party which appeared to suit the interests of the authoritarian statist army - as documented in many, many books.

              You are a political ignoramus. Just saying....

            3. aks Bronze badge

              Re: Hitler a communist, hah!

              Mussolini was a Fascist which was corporatist socialism. The state ruled.

              Hitler was a National Socialist not a Fascist. The state ruled.

              Stalin was an International Socialist. The state ruled.

              When war was declared by the UK it was because Hitler and Stalin agreed to invade Poland together.

              The normal term at the time to describe these three was Totalitarians.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hitler a communist, hah!

              And Kim Jon Un is head of a "workers" party with "democratic" in the title. I guess that means they are democratic?

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Front_for_the_Reunification_of_the_Fatherland

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thoroughly deserved

          Does anyone smell gas in here...?

      2. RealityisntReal

        Re: Thoroughly deserved

        The 'fa' stands for the actual actions Antifa takes. Attempting to silence opposing views using violence and intimidation, shouting down anyone that speaks an opposing view, etc. The only difference I can see between them and Hitler's Brown shirts is that they didn't live in their parents basement and didn't need to hide their faces.

      3. Aquatyger

        Re: Thoroughly deserved

        Yes, fa stands for fascist. A left-wing socialist organisation that used jackboot thugs. Very similar to antifa today. Also, I can never understand why NAZIs were described as right-wing. NAZI stand for the National Socialist Party of Germany. I suppose they are right wing if you are a communist.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thoroughly deserved

          Maybe you better tell those alt-right American Nazis they worship a leftie? Sigh..

          Read history. Seriously, as has already been stated, saying that the Nazis were left wing is like saying the earth is flat.

          Again read the history about the name. There is a ton of information out there. Just search for it.

          Kim Jon Un's party has "democratic" in the name, so by your logic, North Korea is a democratic country?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Front_for_the_Reunification_of_the_Fatherland

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thoroughly deserved

      which is the only language these Antifa anarchists understand

      Antifa aren't anarchists, they're fascists. It's an irony too right for their tiny minds to parse.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Thoroughly deserved

        Antifa aren't anarchists, they're fascists. It's an irony too right for their tiny minds to parse.

        This has got to be, the wokest sentance of 2020

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Michael Hable - Re: Thoroughly deserved

          Cool down, Michael, the man is right! You know it's good to fight for a cause but it's bad to not know what is the cause you're fighting for.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: @Michael Hable - Thoroughly deserved

            That's what was so clever about the "anti-nazi league", if you were against them what did that make you?

    4. Dog11

      Re: Thoroughly deserved

      A "significant level of punishment" is clearly the only language police understand, as well. And they're appalled when one of theirs is occasionally charged for their crime, even though convictions are rare.

      But it would be poetic justice if the arsonist and the former cop end up as cellmates.

  7. Barry Rueger

    Missing info

    I'd appreciate knowing how the cops* got all this information. Subpoena? Did the company just hand it over? Veiled threats to amateur photographers?

    And when have we ever heard of cops doing this much, this fast? Somehow other investigations take weeks, months, or years compared to this relatively small property crime.

    Still, if you're attacking cops or their toys and allow any kind of identifying attributes to show then you're not too bright.

    * yes, FBI=cops.

    1. seven of five Silver badge

      Re: Missing info

      Profund interest, most probably. One of them was annoyed someone burned the car (s)he still had sunglasses in.

    2. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

      Re: Missing info

      Maybe in the first instance, they just asked politely

      1. Joe Gurman

        Re: Missing info

        In the immortal words of Alphonse Capone, “You get a lot more with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.” Imagine how much more you can get with a badge as well as a gun.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Missing info

        The thing is that, while the police, etc, might have just politely asked for anyone to send copies of any relevant photos/videos to them, it's a worrying thought that that might suddenly extend to "Actually, we'll just have a look at all of your photos and all of the files on your computer". Even when "you have nothing to hide", I'd rather not have my private life being rummaged through regardless, especially if you were just trying to be a "good citizen".

    3. RealityisntReal

      Re: Missing info

      First of all - other investigations take longer because the culprits are a lot more intelligent than the typical liberal rioter/arsonist. Second - if you check most of it is public info. And, unlike the lib anti-police/pro-rioting crowd most citizens will willingly work with the police when asked.

    4. JCitizen Bronze badge
      FAIL

      Re: Missing info

      How they got this information? Easy! Everybody quit practicing good privacy protection years ago! We put our thoughts, pictures, and video out there in public for all to view - the authorities don't even have to get a warrant anymore to gather PLENTY of information about all of us.

  8. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    See

    No hacking needed, no cell phone needed, and no browser history needed. Just police work. So... you want my phone? Get a warrant.

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: See

      So... you want my phone? Get a warrant.

      Honestly I'm fine having a LEO take a warrant free squiz at my phone provided they allow me to have a warrant free look through theirs. I know I don't have anything to hide and it'd be all kinds of interesting to see if they did.

      They will want to use anything incriminating for a prosecution. I'll just send anything incriminating to their spouse.

    2. JCitizen Bronze badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: See

      Right on brother!!

  9. Pete 2

    Who's watching whom?

    > The FBI also obtained 500 images from an amateur photographer who had documented the protest.

    With citizens happy-snapping everything that moves, the case for state surveillance seems pretty thin.

    Either that, or it wouldn't add greatly to the volume of evidence collected: publicly or privately

    1. Symon Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Who's watching whom?

      As Stewart Lee will tell you, social media is like a state surveillance agency staffed by gullible volunteers.

      https://youtu.be/7XpvH-j9BHg

      1. JCitizen Bronze badge
        Thumb Up

        @Symon

        Yep!!

    2. tekHedd

      Re: Who's watching whom?

      I wonder who else is in those 500 pictures, and how many are actually relevant to the case? We know how the FBI feels about data "accidentally acquired along with our search."

      I mean, if you're not on a few watch lists, you're not living. But still.

  10. revenant Silver badge

    The lesson for today

    If you're going to break the law, try not to do it in front of cameras and do cover up any distinctive features. Oh and remember that your on-line activities can be linked to provide good circumstancial evidence of your identity/guilt.

    People might wonder why they would go to all this trouble for just a police car, but it should be obvious that this is just one example of what they could have been doing all along - and that anyone who has committed more grievous crimes should, perhaps, be a bit concerned.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: The lesson for today

      Or you know be a decent human being that doent go around looting, and buring everything in sight because you lost a political argument four years ago.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: The lesson for today

        Exactly, with all this protesting we will end up with women being allowed to vote!

        1. LucreLout Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: The lesson for today

          Exactly, with all this protesting we will end up with women being allowed to vote!

          I'm not having a fucking polling station in my kitchen! ----->

      2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

        Re: The lesson for today

        "...because you lost a political argument four years ago."

        Are you kidding...? We've got millions of yahoos in this country who can't let go of a fight that they lost 155 years ago!

        Four years.... Pfft!

  11. msknight

    Now if only....

    ...the FBI put the same kind of effort into nabbing a certain orange haired individual resident at an address which is well known to everyone, whose crimes are a damn sight more serious than barbecuing a few cop cars.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Throw the book at her

    Preferably one with a nice artsy cover on it supplied by Etsy....

  13. notyetanotherid

    Gloves and goggles; whoda thought it?

    "Carpenter notes that the videos and images depict the woman wearing what he and his colleagues believe are flame-retardant gloves, which in conjunction with her goggles, he argues, represent "evidence of intent and planning to engage in activities that could potentially hurt her hands and/or eyes, including arson.""

    ... or perhaps she thought that there was a good chnce the cops would be lobbing tear gas at the protesters?

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Gloves and goggles; whoda thought it?

      I support the (tear) gassing of commies. Hell I support Commies tear gassing protesters as well. People need to start respecting the law where ever they are.

      1. Brangdon Bronze badge

        Re: Gloves and goggles; whoda thought it?

        Tear-gassing peaceful protesters is not a good thing during the pandemic. It messes up their respirator system.

        1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

          Re: Gloves and goggles; whoda thought it?

          But it's OK if there is no pandemic?

          I've been under tear gas twice. It's not that bad if you don't have any panic about it. But in an uncontrolled situation, it is likely to induce panic--and people die from being trampled.

          I was also pepper sprayed (by a crazy lady) that's a whole new level of pain.

          Of course, we might have different ideas of "peaceful". I don't count angry chants of "oink oink bang bang" by people carrying rifles peaceful. But I'm no cop & I've not had riot control training.

          1. RM Myers Bronze badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Gloves and goggles; whoda thought it?

            I've been tear gassed once, in a controlled environment (army training - I'm old enough to have been drafted in the USA), and it was very bad! We were forced to stay in the tear gas until we basically panicked.

            1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

              Re: Gloves and goggles; whoda thought it?

              Yeah, they treated you Army guys like..dogs. Mine was in the ANG. Very unpleasant, but really, REALLY weak compared to being OCed.

    2. JCitizen Bronze badge
      Terminator

      Re: Gloves and goggles; whoda thought it?

      Or rubber bullets - they can put your eye out!

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Gloves and goggles; whoda thought it?

      >... or perhaps she thought that there was a good chnce the cops would be lobbing tear gas at the protesters?

      Well given this was the US and the reputation of the US Police, I'm a little surprised she wasn't also being accused of wearing a bulletproof vest - perhaps they haven't found that receipt yet...

    4. tekHedd

      Re: Gloves and goggles; whoda thought it?

      You'd be stupid to be throwing a burning object with intent to commit arson without wearing at least gloves. Second, you'd be crazy to be at a protest in the US without goggles.

      So, really all we're saying is that they have proof that the person committing arson was sane and basically intelligent. Although these days that's practically a crime in itself.

  14. Joe Drunk

    Glad one less psycopath is off the streets

    Random acts of violence and arson? Hopefully she gets the help and meds she needs. She may not serve the full sentence but I hope there will be court ordered anger management and regular psychological evaluations. Torching police cars accomplishes nothing - they are fully insured and will be replaced at taxpayer's expense.

    With citizens happy-snapping everything that moves, the case for state surveillance seems pretty thin.

    That's exactly what I was thinking. A cursory search on on Google and social media by a teenager would've yielded the same results. Maybe the FBI had their kids do some of the research.

  15. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Good... I arpove of this. If they want to be Commies so badly, let the all migrate to Hongkong. The only problem I can forsee though is if those commie-hippies hate the Cops now?.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Michael Hable - Slow down, Michael!

      We know you're trying to tell us something here but we can't figure out what.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has no-one...

    Seen or read V for vengeance? The trick is making everyone look the same. Same hair, same clothes, same face, same gloves.

    If you want the safety of the crowd, make the crowd become one.

    On the flipside, never go torching police vehicles, they get really pissed off when you do that... They are the biggest gang going after all.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Has no-one...

      Is it just me that finds a certain irony that while you post as an AC, using the Guy Fawkes mask from V for Vendetta & you incorrectly name the book\film that you reference.

      PS I did google to see if there was by remote chance a "V for Vengeance".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Has no-one...

        Har :)

    2. tekHedd

      "never go torching police vehicles"

      Plus let's be real, they're just going to replace it by raising /your/ taxes.

  17. codejunky Silver badge

    Good on em

    Nice to hear the FBI doing the police work to catch someone probably best removed from the streets. Protest does not include criminal damage and these riots are not acceptable. Lets just hope in the UK we do the same

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just one big pile of Collectivists

    Fascists are Socialists. Communists are Socialists. One lets ostensibly private property exist, the other not so much, unless the proles are starving in which case an exception is made for farming. Pretending that the Fa and Comm are radically different (see what I did there), is simply wishful thinking. Any group that views the population as sheep to be herded is every bit as vicious in the end as the late, not lamented, National Socialist Party, or alternatively Big Brother in Chief Joe Stalin.

    1. Joe Gurman

      Re: Just one big pile of Collectivists

      You really need to study history, as well as a smidgen of political philosophy, instead of accepting (and spreading, virus-like) the falsehoods of the alt-right.

      Fascism is all about a single, all-powerful individual with good relations with the CEOs of a few massive conglomerates, and a proclivity toward belligerent expansionism.

      Socialism is about common ownership and control of all resources and means of production, and in its purist form, no military except for defense.

      Then you get communism, which is the supposedly ideal form of socialism, but which in fact has almost nothing to do with it (except as propaganda, e.g. in the form of names for states — “Democratic” shows up pretty frequently as well, equally inaccurately, because the only communist states that have ever existed have concentrated power in the hands of an individual or a ruling clique.

      Fascism and communism are single-party affairs, but socialism has only been found in places that hold boba fide elections (as opposed to the single-party kind). Sometimes they even get thrown out of office in elections.

    2. fraunthall

      Re: Just one big pile of Collectivists

      How did you become so smart or at least informed about this aspect of the left-wingers? You must have, like I have, been part of that gang of loonies in your youth.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another reason not to get a tattoo... or have words on a t-shirt. Or leave a review on a shopping site. Or post a picture on social media.

    (Not that i want to burn a police car. Just that any combination of those things can be combined to find you, in pretty much the same number of google searches as it took me to find a supplier of a specific type of plastic plumbing fixing on a Dutch website, that i didn't even know the name of in English, (or, what it might be used for except the specific use i had,) just some specifications, that lead me to a find what i wanted on a koi-pond site in the the US, then to koi pond suppliers in the Netherlands, which gave me the word for the type of part in Dutch, which gave me a supplier that could ship the correct sized thing overnight...)

  20. earl grey Silver badge
    Angel

    i think super milkchan summed it up best

    you dumbass!

  21. IGotOut Silver badge

    To all the "conservatives"

    Let's take a famous leftie commute I know of.

    He was born to an unmarried couple who lived together. However, she became pregnant by another man. He was born a bastard child.

    Not much is known of his early childhood, but he grew up tall and proud.

    He fought for people's rights, even rioting and smashing up peoples shops, causing criminal damage, something that put him on the wrong side of the law.

    He once went off to be alone, to find himself, before returning and spending the rest of his life in close company with a group of unmarried men and a prostitute.

    Sadly, for all the crimes he committed against the state, a reward was offered and he was sold out by one of his friends to the state police.

    He was executed, still standing up for the social rights and freedoms he believed in.

    Just can't remember his name.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: To all the "conservatives"

      I forgot to add, he also appeared not to actually work for a living, just spent his time travelling with his mates, lecturing others on how they should live their lives.

    2. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: To all the "conservatives"

      True Communism is Christianity for atheists.

  22. martinusher Silver badge

    Bit slow on the uptake?

    While I was visiting the UK some years ago -- 2011, I believe -- some riots broke out that (over a police shooting) which went on for several days. If I recall correctly the police collected a large amount of video from these riots and used this to systematically identify and prosecute people involved -- thousands of them. This, and other instances of video information being used like the prompt identifcation of the 7/7 attackers suggest that surveillance and identification of suspects is rountine in England and is probably used extensively a decade later.

    The US tends to be a bit behind the UK and there are certain problems (the "Bill of Rights", for example) with introducing the sort of automated policing that you get with your traffic cameras but where there's a will there's eventually a workaround. I have no doubt that larger police departments are routinely using facial recognition technology, for example, but I also recognize that using it mechanically UK style will invite a backlash. So, yes, this is probably the tip of the iceberg; it should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks that they'er anonymous that there definitely is not safety in numbers.

  23. fraunthall

    Great Police Work - The femail terrorist deserves the Max

    I wasn't going to comment on this story, but when I saw the # of comments, I knew the Anarchists and Left-Wing supporters of terrorism and fascist thinking would be wiggling out of the wood-work. When I got to The Register site, I wasn't disappointed. The reactions from these (rhymes with Nerds but begins with a T) reveal the same crazed thinking that produced the Red Brigades and other privileged European terrorists of decades ago.

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