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Google Street View driver arrested by Thai villagers

Residents of Sa-eab village in northern Thailand are suspicious of a Street View driver's intentions. So, they make a citizen's arrest.

The Street View drivers stop at nothing to bring you the best view of everything.
LifeInThailand/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk

You can never be too careful with spies these days.

They could be watching over your shoulder as you type or driving down your street pretending to be delivering parcels. Or, indeed, photographing your house, so that everyone can see it.

One can surely, therefore, sing at least a small hallelujah to the residents of Sa-eab village in northern Thailand who saw a Street View car and whispered: "'Allo, 'allo. What's going on here then?"

Instead of calling on authorities for reassurance, they took the matter into their own hands. They enacted a citizens' arrest and decided to perform the interrogation themselves.

As the Associated Press reports, these villagers had been feeling a tad suspicious in general.

They had long offered resistance against a dam project planned for their region. Quite understandably, they took one look at this strange vehicle with a large protruding camera and decided it couldn't possibly be up to any good.

Which, some might say, it wasn't.

Around 20 residents thought it best to ask searching questions of the driver, after which they still weren't satisfied.

"You're just taking photographs of all our houses, so that the whole world can see them? Oh, pull the other one."

So they took the driver to a temple and made him swear on a statue of Buddha that he was merely doing his job and had no intention of turning them into the Village of the Dammed.

On deciding that he was socially acceptable, the villagers offered him an apology.

Naturally, Google insisted that it wasn't on the side of the dam developers. A spokesman told the AP: "Embarking on new projects, we sometimes encounter unexpected challenges, and Street View has been no exception."

It's well known that Street View drivers mind their own business and only their own business.

Over the years, they have driven by people unconscious by the roadside, as well as horse-boys and naked men loitering in the trunks of their cars.

These people are professionals. And soon you'll be able to wave to them with a wink of an eye, when we're all wearing Google Glass.