Report: Winnipeg Kids Crashing Stolen Cars Into Cops …”Like the Best Video Game”

Police officials in Winnipeg say that renegade teens have taken to crashing stolen cars into officers.

According to a report by the Canadian Press, three officers have been injured recently while attempting to pull over stolen cars, including one incident in which a pickup truck rammed a police vehicle. No information was provided on any additional incidents, although there are said to be a total of nine.

Sgt. Doug Safioles, who heads the auto theft squad, said:

They’ll tell you: ‘It’s like [the] best video game, but better, in the whole world.’ They get behind a $60,000 high-end vehicle and drive as fast as they want.

No specific video game was mentioned. But Liz Wolff, a therapist, related the car thefts to Manitoba’s high poverty rate, not video games:

These kids don’t have a shot in hell. Their lives have no hope. They don’t have a lot of expectations about their life.

 

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41 comments

  1. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Im 15 and live in ‘Peg im not rich but i definitly am not stupid enough to go steel someones car and crash cop.These kids have no common sense

  2. 0
    Anonymous says:

    This has nothing to do with Video Games. It has everything to do with race, socioeconomic circumstance, and the fact that Manitoba, and Winnipeg in particular, is a shithole.

     

    There is a massive problem with Natives(Aboriginals) in Winnipeg. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. They have a ridiculously high unemployment rate, a ridiculously high crime rate, a ridiculously high homelessness rate.

     

    The biggest reason is racism. Natives would rather die from huffing gasoline and clutter Portage and Main as drunks and drug addicts, they’d rather join gangs like ‘Indian Posse’, they’d rather live in squalor and poverty, they’d rather wander the streets at night selling stolen merchandise, than possibly participate in the world of the ‘white man’.

     

    This would be illegal to say in my country if it weren’t true. I live in a town in the middle of nowhere. There should be no gangs. Yet we’re constantly living in fear of the Indian Posse. Video games has absolutely, positively nothing whatsoever to do with this.

  3. 0
    Gameclucks says:

    I’ve only been to that town once, but there’s one thing I remember about it:

    All night long, people raced their cars up and down the main street.  Constantly.

    I remember thinking, "It must really suck to live here, when the most exciting thing you can do on the weekend is drag race downtown."

  4. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    "Sgt. Doug Safioles, who heads the auto theft squad, said:

    They’ll tell you: ‘It’s like [the] best video game, but better, in the whole world.’ They get behind a $60,000 high-end vehicle and drive as fast as they want."

    Really?  I’d like to see copies of the statements you took where the teens ACTUALLY said that.  Not that I’m doubting you… well, yes, I AM doubting you.  Makes for great sensationalist press, doesn’t it?

    Nightwng2000

    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  5. 0
    Lance20000 says:

    This is no shock actualy. Winnipeg has the highest car break in rate in all of north america. Its sad to say but alot of the breakins are from poor and homeless. There is major alcohal abuse from these people and they have aboslutly no respect for anything. One of my family members lives there and he has had his car broken into twice since he has moved there and its been four years. This should even be related to videogames.

  6. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Texas Sharpshooter fallacy. Classic.

     

    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  7. 0
    Baggie says:

    Oh dear god, it doesn’t even have any connections to video games and they still bring them in!

    Although I hope Jack uses this as an example of kids being corrupted by games they haven’t played.

  8. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Safe fun such as playing video games.

    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  9. 0

    Ignorant on the officers part to assume all kids who steal cars will claim it’s like a video game. The theropist seems to nail down the problem pretty good. We really need to teach are kids how to have safe fun in their towns/cities and provide them with things to do so they will not be bored and start turning to drugs, alchohol, and hijaking for thrills. Doing that should lower crime quite a bit.

  10. 0
    Jabrwock says:

    I live in Manitoba, there is NOT a high poverty rate. I’d rather believe we were all addicted to video games than settle for that!

    Just Winnipeg. Consequence of being a large economic centre. Brandon & Portage don’t have this problem. Any large population centre is going to have it’s areas of "low income" residents. Winnipeg is no different. My folks live in the far west end, and they talk about how north of the Assinaboine (St. James) used to be the bad neighborhood, because it was low-income, but now Charleswood has started to go downhill, because the "booming" neighborhoods are elsewhere. There’s been a large influx of "low-income" housing built in the last 15 years.

    On the other hand, Winnipeg is known for it’s having the highest rate of car theft, especially for joyriding. That’s why the Prime Minister was in Wpg to announce that "all new cars sold in Canada must have the new immobilizers in them". The new model that hasn’t been defeated yet. Then again, a good old Club works fine. Anyone in my folk’s neighboorhood who uses one may have had had their cars broken into, but never actually stolen.

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  11. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I live in Manitoba, there is NOT a high poverty rate. I’d rather believe we were all addicted to video games than settle for that!

  12. 0
    Weighted Companion Cube says:

    Sigh.  Well, we can always hope that they fly through the windshield.  I’m just hoping Darwin kicks in here somewhere…

  13. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ GP

    Urm… is anyone else not getting articles past the "BREAKING: EA Extends Deadline" story on the front page? I had to go to the archive for today’s articles to go beyond that. (Copy-pasting the URL of an article and deleting down up to the date) It’s like the front page is frozen or something.

    Just thought i’d mention that. Not a major problem and it might just be me, but… yeah.

  14. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Figured I should make an easy to read version. :)

    I won’t argue that it’s important for kids to be punished when they fuck up because they need to learn that there are consequences for their actions. However, I still think that you are missing the bigger picture here. This isn’t an issue of how kids are being raised. Teaching kids that there are consequences for their actions really only works if they have something to loose- if they care about how others see them or if they fear loosing something. Kids who do well in school, have friends, play sports, participate in extracurricular community activities, ect. have something to loose when they violate norms and laws. Thus the threat of negative consequences is able to prevent delinquency because it simply isn’t worth it for them.

    Now, the kids stealing these cars, as the therapist noted, have nothing to loose. They most likely have few connections to local institutions and thus really have nothing to loose by breaking the law. They don’t fear being looked down upon by others or by loosing their connections to the community, because the community doesn’t provide such connections in the first place. The only other possible negative consequence this leaves us with is the threat of violent reprisal or punishment by the state.

    And this brings me back to my first point, if these kids aren’t afraid of stealing cars and attacking cops, the threat of physical discipline from their parents sure as hell isn’t going to make them reconsider their delinquent behavior. You ask, where are the parents while they’re out doing this? Well based on the time of night the kids were doing this I’m guessing the parents were doing what most people do in the middle of the night- sleeping.

    Obviously parents play an essential role, probably the most important role, in a child’s development. But parents can only do so much, they can’t watch their kids 24 / 7. Impoverished neighborhoods such as the ones these kids came from do nothing but make a parent’s job more difficult.

    Anyways, I’m not saying these kids shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions. While I see structural factors such as poverty as the reasons for this behavior, these kids still made a choice to do this and they deserve to be held accountable for doing that. It isn’t about absolving the kids of blame for what they did, it’s about trying to understand why they thought this would be a good idea so that we can prevent it from happening in the future.

  15. 0
    Velvet_Llama says:

    I won’t argue that it’s important for kids to be punished when they fuck up because they need to learn that there are consequences for their actions. However, I still think that you are missing the bigger picture here. This isn’t an issue of how kids are being raised.

    Teaching kids that there are consequences for their actions really only works if they have something to loose- if they care about how others see them or if they fear loosing something. Kids who do well in school, have friends, play sports, participate in extracurricular community activities, ect. have something to loose when they violate norms and laws. Thus the threat of negative consequences is able to prevent delinquency because it simply isn’t worth it for them.

    Now, the kids stealing these cars, as the therapist noted, have nothing to loose. They most likely have few connections to local institutions and thus really have nothing to loose by breaking the law. They don’t fear being looked down upon by others or by loosing their connections to the community, because the community doesn’t provide such connections in the first place. The only other possible negative consequence this leaves us with is the threat of violent reprisal or punishment by the state. And this brings me back to my first point, if these kids aren’t afraid of stealing cars and attacking cops, the threat of physical discipline from their parents sure as hell isn’t going to make them reconsider their delinquent behavior.

    You ask, where are the parents while they’re out doing this? Well based on the time of night the kids were doing this I’m guessing the parents were doing what most people do in the middle of the night- sleeping. Obviously parents play an essential role, probably the most important role, in a child’s development. But parents can only do so much, they can’t watch their kids 24 / 7. Impoverished neighborhoods such as the ones these kids came from do nothing but make a parent’s job more difficult.

    Anyways, I’m not saying these kids shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions. While I see structural factors such as poverty as the reasons for this behavior, these kids still made a choice to do this and they deserve to be held accountable for doing that. It isn’t about absolving the kids of blame for what they did, it’s about trying to understand why they thought this would be a good idea so that we can prevent it from happening in the future.

  16. 0
    Anonymous says:

    How hard is this to figure out: if you give someone negative consequences for doing violent, stupid things, they’ll be less likely to do said violent, stupid things in the future. I didn’t say that it would make them good people, I said they should be made afraid to screw up again.

  17. 0
    phrawzty says:

    Winnipeg is one of Canada’s dirty little secrets.  Having done a fair amount of travelling and living overseas, i’ve found that people have this impression of Canada as being a wonderful near-socialist fairy-land where everybody is wealthy and polite to each other.

    24 hours in downtown Winnipeg would solve that little misnomer up quick.  The poverty, the solvent abuse, the gripping depression… it’s really quite a terrible place to be a kid. :/

  18. 0
    Belgarion89 says:

    A theory, perhaps one of our Canadian readers can confirm:  is there anything ELSE to do in Winnipeg?

    ——————————— So speak I, some random guy.

  19. 0
    Orange Soda says:

    This isn’t even "video games made me do it." This instance is just the kids trying to give an estimation of how much fun they had. It’s no different than saying something is "better than sex" or other such comparitive phrases.

  20. 0
    Waffles says:

    This isn’t even "video games made me do it." This instance is just the kids trying to give an estimation of how much fun they had.

    Yeah, coupled with what that therapist was saying, thats whats really sad about this whole thing. Though at least our neighbors to the north can see that theres more to juvinile delinquency than video games. Like, you know, REAL problems, like poverty.

  21. 0
    Shay Guy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My thoughts exactly. I don’t think anybody really cares about anything relating to video games in relationship to this story. It was just an offhand comment. Ironically, GP is probably drawing more attention to that bit than most other reporters, because of the context of this blog.

    "It’s like FLCL, but in live-action!"

  22. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Jack:SAY IT!! SAY IT AND YOU CAN GO!!(Spoken in a spectral, demonic voice)

    KID:V-v-v-v-v-videogames made me do it?

    Jack:Gooooood…..

    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  23. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    Jack Thompson´s press release in 3… 2… 1…

    I can´t blame the officers. Stupid kids will use any excuse to get rid of problems they caused. Movies, TV, music, games, aliens or zombies. Anything is good, but videogames are more actual than aliens…

    This is in spanish :lol http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/

  24. 0
    Anonymous says:

    At least two peopel, one a therapist one an office,r cited reasons other than video games.

    The kids who said it’s liek the "best game ever’ are likely lik that kid who beat a homeless man to death, then cited video games made him do, then his mother wrotei n and said the kid was more likely to beat gamers up than touch them himself.

  25. 0
    Chalts says:

    Huh, that is a good point. I guess there’s no cure for stupid. But the point that this is their parents fault stands. Crime caused by poverty typically involves stealing things for one’s own survival, not engaging in dangerous ‘fun’.

  26. 0
    Jabrwock says:

    As a former resident of Winterpeg (heh), I can confirm this. There really *is* nothing to do when you’re a kid. The only thing that kept me out of trouble, was being in a youth group. In my case, army cadets.

    Winnipeg is full of lot of bored kids. Although I wouldn’t solely blame economic status. I’ve known reasonably well-off kids who would be just as stupid. Because they knew damn well how little the police could do under the YJA.

    But also knowing that there were a lot of kids who really had no entertainment at all, because they were poor, well, this is what passes for entertainment. Think about it. With today’s tech, you’re very likely to survive any crash, and probably even walk away from it (ie if the cops weren’t chasing you, you’ll likely get away with it). It doesn’t take a genius to hotwire a car, heck even survival guides teach you how. And there’s so few programs for setting kids straight, that they’re back on the street anyway, even if they are caught.

    Easy to boost, cheap and plentiful source of cars, easy to walk away from any crash, unlikelyhood of getting caught, and if you do, little to no consequences…

    Then again… maybe life really *is* like GTA…

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  27. 0
    Jack Wessels says:

    So the solution to kids acting reckless and violent is with…. violence? And through this violence they will become good, God-fearing children? I guess I could find faults with that logic, but then I’d have to refute the Bible, and that’s cold, hard fact… Right?

    Side note: You know the worst thing about the internet? If the above paragraph were spoken some of you may have died from a sarcasm overdose. And while those few are spared, no one can ever know the true extent of my implied sarcasm… It’s a sad, sad thing.

  28. 0
    Velvet_Llama says:

    Your post makes no sense. If the kids aren’t afraid to attack police officers, who carry nightsticks, mace, tazers, and guns, how is instilling the “fear o’God” in them going to stop them from doing this. Next time think before you open your mouth.

  29. 0
    Anonymous says:

    You can’t blame this crap on poverty either. It’s not games and it’s not poverty that causes kids to behave this way; it’s the kids needing to have someone isntill the fear’o’God in them, someone to beat the crap out of them for their reckless and potentially lethal behaviour. Where the hell are their parents while they’re out doing this?

  30. 0
    SimonBob says:

    Why did you tag this "GTA IV?"  As near as I can tell, nobody’s specified that particular game as the influence in question — they could just as easily be referring to the old arcade standby "All Points Bulletin" (and by the description the therapist gives, an old quarter-per-play arcade game is far more likely than any recent console release.)  Seems like you’re perpetuating the misconception by doing that.

    Edit: Ah, it’s gone now.  Dunno if that was me, but either way, I’m glad it’s out of there.

    The Mammon Industry

  31. 0
    Iliad says:

    "I wanted to go get my little billy and set him straight for stealing little johnnys’ mothers’ car, but little johnny stole my car!"

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