Surprise! Google Earth used for robbery

A British man decides that he wants to steal some lead. Where is lead? On the roofs of buildings. And how can you find buildings with lead roofs? Why, on Google Earth.

Lead roof tiles are worth a lot of money. And you'll find them, in the United Kingdom, at least, on the top of schools, museums, churches, and the Houses of Parliament.

I may be wrong about the last one, but Tom Berge, a man who truly appreciates the free part of free enterprise, knew where he could pinpoint such buildings: Google Earth.

He sat at his computer, googled away, selected his targets (mercifully, the roofs were unblurred ), got into his car, and climbed less than socially toward his riches. He managed to collect about $140,000 worth of lead, which he sold to unsuspecting merchants.

This sign was, apparently, recently hung in front of the Honeywood Museum, one of Mr. Berge's targets. The museum does not appear to legislate for shoes on the roof. Cc Kevan

A friend of Berge revealed to the Telegraph: "He could tell the lead roofs apart on Google Earth, as they were slightly darker than normal."

Mr. Berge, aged a mere 27, pleaded guilty last week--no, not to an appreciation for official buildings, but rather to theft.

He received a less than leaden eight-month suspended jail sentence and 100 hours of community service. I wonder if he'll be asked to repair a few church roofs.

About the author

Chris Matyszczyk is an award-winning creative director who advises major corporations on content creation and marketing. He brings an irreverent, sarcastic, and sometimes ironic voice to the tech world.


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