5 Aussies arrested after using YouTube to stage fake kidnapping

Five men in West Australia were arrested this week after authorities learned they staged a fake kidnapping of a handcuffed man and posted footage of his "escape" onto YouTube.

 

Chase Hoffberger

Internet Culture

Published Feb 21, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 11:53 pm CDT

Five men in West Australia were arrested this week after authorities learned they staged a fake kidnapping of a handcuffed man and posted footage of his “escape” onto YouTube.

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The whole incident went down last September, when authorities first came upon a video of a 14-year-old rolling out the back of a white hatchback car onto a busy Perth street. 

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The boy was reportedly dressed in little besides his underwear and appeared to be handcuffed with tape over his mouth. 

Police launched an investigation into the kidnapping, one that apparently took a number of employees and the better part of six months. 

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Western Australia police department said that authorities believed that the incident was a planned hoax, one whose entire storyline had been carried out on YouTube. 

They responded by arresting five adult males—West Australians purported to running a prank-centric channel on the video sharing site—and charging them with “creating a false belief.”

The five men are scheduled to appear in Perth Magistrates Court March 5. 

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Photo via 7News/YouTube

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*First Published: Feb 21, 2013, 6:24 pm CST