Police in Nassau County, New York, are blaming Grand Theft Auto for inspiring a late-night crime spree on Wednesday.
Six teenagers have been charged in the incident, which began when three of them mugged a man outside the Stop & Shop Grocery in New Hyde Park, according to a Newsday.com report. Later, the trio was joined by three other teenagers, who proceeded to march down the middle of a street in Garden City, blocking the road. Armed with baseball bats and a crowbar, the group robbed a female motorist of her cigarettes and struck a passing van with a bat before being apprehended by police.
"It was determined that they were emulating the character in that Grand Theft Auto game, going on a crime spree," said Detective Sergeant Anthony Repalone, who said the group's weapons and tactics were inspired by the game. "We got certain admissions" from the group, he added, although he refused to elaborate on which title in the GTA franchise was specifically responsible for the crimes.
While it no doubt took every ounce of the police department's law enforcement expertise, honed to a razor-sharp edge by years of experience, to reach this astonishing conclusion about "that Grand Theft Auto game," there are concerns about the validity of the theory. Grand theft auto was apparently not even attempted, much less committed, during the course of the evening's events, leading some analysts to suggest that responsibility may not like with GTA at all, but rather with the fact that these boys are just huge frickin' dumbasses.
The group, ranging in age from 14 to 18, faces charges including first-degree robbery and possession of stolen property, and all are being charged as adults.