‘Revengineers’ Mark Rober Helps Cops Catch Car Burglar With Prank Rigged Vehicles

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Revengineers Mark Rober
Photo Credit: "Car window burglary" by Kafziel Complaint Department is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/?ref=openverse.

Revengineers‘ Mark Rober helped San Francisco police catch a serial robber with an intricate prank.

YouTuber, Mark Rober, a former NASA engineer, who has become wildly popular for thwarting porch pirates with rigged packages, decided to tackle the Bay Area’s car burglary epidemic.

By September of last year, there were more than 15,000 reported car burglaries in the crime-ridden city.

“We want people to be able to come to San Francisco and not have to worry about this but that ain’t going to happen overnight,” San Fransisco Supervisor Dean Preston told KGO .

“In my opinion, the path to reducing car break-ins cannot rely on any one strategy to the exclusion of others,” he remarked.

Revengineers‘ Mark Rober bungles burglars with baited backpacks

Enter Rober, who devised a plan to bait car burglars by setting up cameras in a car that contained a backpack rigged with smelly surprises.

When the thieves broke the car window and jacked the backpack, it would expel a vile odor and initiate a countdown to startle the perpetrators.

The videos were a hit on his YouTube Channel, so Rober went even further by installing bulletproof glass in one of the cars just to observe the burglars’ futile attempts to access their loot.

Taking the mission to another level, Rober enlisted the help of KGO-TV reporter Dan Noyes, who delved into identifying the alleged burglars by tracing the license plates of the vehicles they used during the crimes.

While most of the burglars used stolen license plates in an effort to cover their tracks, one hapless criminal used his actual car and license plates, leading to successful identification.

30-year-old Charvel Augustine was caught red-handed on camera breaking the window of one of Rober’s rigged vehicles and snatching the bait bag.

Footage from the camera inside the backpack shows him look inside, then abandon it after it emitted an awful odor and began counting down.

However, Augustine didn’t let the incident deter him from a life of crime. An hour later, he was reportedly caught again on camera snatching another backpack from one of Rober’s rigged cars.

Revengineers‘ Mark Rober catches criminals with reporter

From there, Noyes delved into Augustine’s background, and discovered that he had been released by a judge just days before trying to rob Rober, on charges related to car burglary.

Augustine had been charged with second-degree burglary of a vehicle and possession of burglary tools.

Cops found cash, watches, and jewelry in Augustine’s car, but the judge still let him go free.

Following his failure to appear in court, a $35,000 bench warrant had been issued by the judge in charge of his case.

After cops hauled him into court, Judge Loretta Giorgi threw out the bench warrant on October 9, and decided that the case against the suspect appeared to be easily resolvable.

On October 12, Augustine was filmed by Rober breaking into his prank-rigged vehicles.

Police also were able to video him breaking into two other cars the same day, and he was re-arrested. Augustine pleaded not guilty in his latest court appearance.

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