Viral vigilantism, Tony Hawk style
Tony Hawk posted images on Instagram of two thieves who stole a skateboard from his car.
June 23rd, 2012
02:42 PM ET

Viral vigilantism, Tony Hawk style

If you’re going to steal a skateboard, don’t steal it from Tony Hawk.

The pro skater called out a couple of criminals yesterday by posting images from his home’s security camera on Instagram after it captured them stealing a skateboard from his car.

“To the a**holes that broke into my car & stole Calvin's skateboard: return it or your video goes ‘viral’ as in ‘to the police,’” Hawk wrote on the photo sharing app.

According to Hawk, the stolen board, which belonged to his girlfriend’s son, was a rare design from his company, Birdhouse.

“If they know anything about skateboards they’d know that they have something of value,” Hawk said, adding that he didn’t believe he was specifically targeted.

“I don’t think the guys that stole it knew it was my house. I can tell by the way they approached the house that they were actually looking for anyone that might have left something in their driveway in their car,” Hawk said.

Hawk opted to post the photo on Instagram rather than going to police to give the thieves a chance to return the skateboard and also to teach them a lesson.

“To be honest, I did put that up as kind of a joke and kind of a warning, as well. My hope is that it does resonate and these guys realize what they’ve done and return it in guilt.”

Hawk said that he probably won’t turn the pair in to police if they return the board, though many people who commented on the photo on Instagram urge him to.

Hawk said he chose social media as his first line of defense because it was an interesting way to handle the problem – and because his 13-year-old son came up with the idea.

“So much of our life is recorded on video now, including the worst parts,” Hawk said. “You just feel so vulnerable, but at the same time I’m glad – not that I condone it – it was a skateboard and it’s something that I can replace.”

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