Arrest Him? He Should Be Named The Obama Stimulus Czar

Via Phil Miller

Tennessee police said a mechanic was drumming up business by tampering with parked cars, then charging to help start them. Police arrested 41-year-old Christopher Walls of Johnson City on Thursday night.

Investigators said Walls disabled cars parked at restaurants, waited for the owners to try to start them and then offered his services as a mechanic. Police said Walls charged between $40 and $200 to get the vehicles running again.

He's charged with two counts of theft under $500, but police suspect there are other victims. They're urging anyone else who thinks they were scammed to call them.


  1. Craig:

    Yeah, he should have broken windows instead.

  2. Dr. T:

    He can't be named Obama's stimulus czar because he didn't destroy the cars to save the economy.

  3. Me:

    Comments are disabled on the older threads.. but here's some interesting data about healthcare and procedure costs worldwide:

    Interesting data, especially page 8 on appendectomies fits my personal experience.

  4. morganovich:

    this is commonly called a hobbesian dilemma.

  5. TDK:

    This is a very common phenomena in Africa. It happened to me the first time in Nigeria. I was in a car with a local colleague in a stop start traffic jam. Suddenly he exited the car and started shouting. Next thing he climbed underneath where I learnt later he reconnected the fuel pipe.

    On French cars of that vintage it was a plastic tube which could be easily disconnected. The unwary driver would drive on using up the little petrol that remained in the pipe and then break down, whereupon a good Samaritan would offer to get a local mechanic. The mechanic would spend then spend some time under the bonnet before climbing under the car and reconnecting the fuel pipe. Then would come the bill.

    In my case the person climbing under the car had been caught in the act. Being disturbed they had also failed to put a cap in the tube which meant that a lot of petrol had spilled onto the road and thence onto my colleague clothes. Needless to say he didn't smoke during the rest of the journey. My colleague explained the scam, which I saw again in several other African countries.

    To be generous this is quite a daring scam. Climb under a car that is only stationary temporarily - that's quite high risk.

  6. Elliot:

    Sounds like the liberal way of life. Create a crisis, go into business promoting it, then take credit for solving it. But here it is all being done by the same operator. If only he was an administrator of the Parking Dept. then disabling [adjective] cars would be part of his job description. Then he would hire another to make repairs. Job creation at it's finest.

    Hey, TDK. It seems to me that the one who is poor, and in Africa, has already made some shakey choices to start with, so I'm not really concerned with any further risk they take on of their own free will.