NYTimes: It Takes a Cyber Village to Catch an Auto Thief
I like this idea of "open-source crime solving", as it reminds me a lot of PhishTank and CastleCops. It is, however, an idea that is fraught with issues of trust, reliability, and vigilantism.
Online auto forums have helped unravel crimes before. Two years ago, a detective in Los Angeles used the forum on FreshAlloy.com, a Nissan enthusiast site, to track down victims of an elaborate fraud scheme. (That case, too, involved Nissan Skylines.)
The Beyond.ca site had also played a role in earlier cases of what might be called open-source crime solving. A year ago one of its members saw a hit-and-run accident a block in front of him, said Shelton Kwan, who co-founded the site with his cousin Ken Chan in 2002. “He took pictures. And the guy who got hit was another member of ours.”