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The perfect crime? Man allegedly robbed store on hoverboard

Technically Incorrect: British police release CCTV footage of a man rolling into a store and allegedly stealing a crate of energy drinks.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


hovercrime.jpg

The hoverboarder makes his alleged escape.

Metropolitan Police/Facebook screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When it comes to technology, it often seems that one of the most forward-thinking businesses is crime.

It's little surprise, then, that one of this year's more exciting gadgets -- a hoverboard -- might feature in a crime.

London's Metropolitan Police released CCTV video on Thursday that they say shows a man rolling into a store on a hoverboard and rolling out with a case of Lucozade energy drinks.

In their Facebook posting, the police say that the action happened in the Mitcham suburb of London and that the hoverboard man definitely didn't pay.

Hoverboard theft

Watch: Hunt for hoverboard drinks thiefA man who glided into a Co-op supermarket in Mitcham on a hoverboard and took a crate of Lucozade before making off without paying is being sought by detectives.He is described as a black man and was seen wearing a grey tracksuit top and bottoms.Police are keen to hear from anyone who may recognise the man captured in the footage.Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting image 192069 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Posted by Metropolitan Police Service on Thursday, December 10, 2015

The action actually happened on September 6, which might make some wonder why police are releasing it now.

"Obviously there are other lines of inquiry police can pursue other than issuing CCTV to the media and public," a Metropolitan Police spokesman told me. "These will have been taking place prior to the release today."

How much, though, were the allegedly stolen goods worth? Less than the hoverboard, certainly. My own rough calculations suggest that the haul is valued at around $20 to 30. Is mobilizing the public worth it for a relatively small theft?

The spokesman said it was a crime and the footage is clear. He added: "We use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to publicize appeals. This is not a unique situation."

What some might find unique, however, is that an alleged robber might think that the hoverboard would be a faster form of transport than, say, running out.

Curiously, in the video there are two men walking behind him who appear to do nothing to stop him.

"Inquiries into the circumstances continue and that will include speaking to any witnesses, including staff at the location," the spokesman told me.

Hoverboards have begun to excite authorities in many ways. Certain airlines have banned them, claiming they are a fire risk. New York City has made them street-illegal. Why, they're even banned from CES 2016.

Could it be that this fascinating piece of gadgetry will now symbolize the outlaw, rather than the futuristic, excitable geeky type?