A gang of six teens decided to take Grand Theft Auto IV from the television screens to the streets of Long Island, with a two-hour crime spree meant to copy the game's violent hero, cops said.
The game-crazed youth's real-life robbery romp featured such staples of the mega-popular game as a mugging, several break-ins and an attempted car-jacking at an intersection in tony Garden City, police said. "They decided they were going to go out to commit robberies and emulate the [lead] character Nico Belic in the particularly violent video game Grand Theft Auto,' said Nassau County Police Detective Lt. Raymond Cote. "These teens have difficulty separating fact from fiction, fantasy from reality . . . It was quite alarming.'
According to cops, the boys first mugged a man at a bus stop near the park, beat him and knocked out some teeth. They then broke into some sheds and garages, stole some bats and crowbars and met up with a few more teens to continue the spree.
The six then attempted to stage some carjackings in Garden City. But it was game over when one of their would-be victims - a 23-year-old woman in a 2008 BMW - called the cops, who quickly arrested them.
But how did the cops know this rampage was GTA inspired?
Police would not say specifically how they knew that the teens crimes were motivated by Grand Theft Auto, and not by some other motive. They said they discovered it during their investigation.
Maybe the Dolan-owned Newsday can shed some light on this issue:
The teens told detectives they were imitating the Grand Theft Auto video game series where players steal cars, beat up other characters and score points for committing crimes, authorities said.
Yep, Joe Lieberman is gonna looove this.