YouTube vigilante couple arrested for entrapping and attacking bike thieves for YouTube content

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Police in California have detained a couple for luring bike thieves and assaulting them, to then post videos of these incidents on YouTube.

This went on for months.

Instead, the authorities finally took action to detain Corey Cornutt and Savannah Grillot, both in their 20s, described as “vigilantes.”

A police report states that the assaults that started in July and carried on until November 2019 had been recorded and then posted by the suspects on YouTube.

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“In the videos, it appears as if the suspects planted a bicycle in the front yard of their residence, unsecured, and waited for someone to try and steal the bicycle,” the police said.

When a thief took the bait, the couple would run out of the house and attack them with baseball bats. The police identified four persons as sustaining non-life threatening injuries during these attacks – but neighbors are now saying this number could be higher.

Meanwhile, Cornutt and Grillot have both been detained and charged with assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy – while anyone with any further information is urged to contact the police in Visalia, California.

According to the New York Post, the couple’s thirst for vengeance was caused by being “robbed the first night they spent in their Visalia home after a burglar broke into their car” – and this was allegedly followed by another burglar breaking into their car later.

But it turns out that Cornutt and Grillot never reported these alleged incidents to the local police – raising the question of whether their “crusade” might have had motives other than simply getting even with thieves – such as, for example, online notoriety.

It also remains unexplained why YouTube would allow an account to post a series of violent, vigilante videos, and let this go on for months.

Media reports regarding the case never bring up this point – it’s almost as if it’s taken for granted that social networks will these days be used to promote bad, and even illegal behavior.

The police only make note of the fact the videos were posted on YouTube, and it would appear that these are taken as evidence. But the police don’t reveal whether they had been tipped off by YouTube itself, or a member of the public.

Didi Rankovic

Didi Rankovic is an experienced online journalist, editor, and translator, with a career spanning over ten years writing for major a English-language website in Serbia, and previously working as translator for international organizations and peacekeepers in the Balkans. Rankovic is passionate about free and open source tech and is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net, focusing on lead stories. [email protected]