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.”

The customer service blues: Going viral with complaints

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Filed under: Justice
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    A new thread on a stolen skateboard, but no new threads on the convictions of two men in two major trials.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      @banasy, that's because the " news" is more interested in entertainment than actual news. Sad but true.

      June 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • ectogestator

      Ever since Obama took office, there have been a vanishingly small number of new threads on people being convicted at trial, and a glut of threads about skateboards. C'MON, PEOPLE – WAKE UP AND TAKE AMERICA BACK!!

      June 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • dscon

      and here we go......the media actually creating a "good" outcome,

      June 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • phunk

      Hey Ectoplasmeater: give it a rest for crying out loud. Geez.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      We don't always have to be bombarded with the absolute worst of humanity. Sometimes we just want a regular news story.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mickey1313

    interesting approach.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. art

    Thanks Tony, for bringing compassion back in vogue. Now, i hope the thieves do the right thing too.

    June 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dana

    He needs to check the law and see if it was legal to tape the thieves in his state as some would call it illegal, Really it's true.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Turdlock

      Not illegal to have a security camera video tape one's premises in his State. I'd be interested in the specific codified section of the law in any State which prohibits a security camera of video taping one's property. I am aware of the law restricting taping of phone conversations in several States. It's one thing to believe (because you are told by someone) this action is illegal and quite another to actually find the law prohibiting it (and any caveats to such a statute).

      June 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • lolwhat

      Dana, it's not illegal to have surveillance on your own property.

      June 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • bannedagain5446

      really it isn't true at all, not even slightly

      June 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. t3chsupport

    No no, go ahead, take it to the police. Then blog about the aftermath, when you find out that the police a.) don't care and b.) wouldn't do anything about it even if they did care. Or maybe they will since it's a celebrity and they don't want that light shone on them. Anyone else with some sort of burglary though, you'd be lucky if they even bothered to fingerprint.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Billy

    I once had a laptop which I forgot in the Taxi. of course I knew the Driver's phone number. At first the dude won't return it (No Laptop, Don't have it !). Then I told him, the laptop has a Transmitter Chip and Other high-tech stuff from NASA. The next day I found the laptop at my front door !!!

    June 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TTommy

    Bottom line ... he shouldn't have left it in your car overnight. Life's tough.

    June 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rascal Rabble

    too bad police couldn't file13 this article

    June 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Walter

    Hopefully his girlfriend doesn't marry him. He goes through wives like he goes through skateboards.

    June 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bannedagain5446

    For a millionaire like Hawk, that's an icredibly cheap Radio Shack type system.

    June 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sheepleherder

    Won't turn them into police to teach them a lesson? The only lesson they will take from this, is make sure there are no camera's next time they steal something. This isn't "compassionate", this is letting the next guy have to pay for your lack of interest.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ben

    C'mon people, take America back. How can we have more than one story in the news. How can we have anything in our news that isn't of crushing immediate relevance. How dare these reporters report anything but the very most eye popping sensational guts and gore, molestation, rape, death, Armageddon, all is lost, we must fight to our last breath, riveting stories. Someone might just find the news interesting and not terrifying, that would be unacceptable.

    June 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mighty7

    Define "ironic stupidity": The very people who -as usual- complain about why is this even in the front page as a news item missed the fact it is listed under "Most Popular", an automated ranking system based on views and........comments.

    By commenting on the story they ensured the story would be listed under "Most Popular".


    June 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • And Yet.... you are. Priceless.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ouy

    Now everyone who knows the area knows just exactly where his cameras are they can go around them now.. Bright move...

    June 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    My skateboard was several layers of wood I laminated together, took some roller skate trucks and wheels, and presto: 1966 Colorado Skateboard.
    We used to build ramps and see who could jump the furthest...most scabs win.
    But yeah. That was in Colorado Country where life is still worth more than a pair of Nike or imported Nigerian/Mexican. [now]

    June 23, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
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