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Google Street View Catches Tree Assassin Red Handed

Back in the day, all you needed to break open a court case was some modicum of logical argumentation, and Gregory Peck's voice. Fast forward to 2010. Exit Atticus Finch, and enter Google's Street View.

As Wired reports, Margaret Burnyeat, of Vancouver, Canada, was charged last year with the illegal removal of trees, after allegedly hiring a company to chop down some 23 cedar, cypress and evergreen trees from her property. Police had found evidence of a few stumps in her front yard, but Burnyeat's goose wasn't cooked until someone happened to take a gander at Google. As it turns out, one of Google's fleet of Street View camera cars happened to pass by Burnyeat's property, and photographed the arboreal assassins in action. Google's images show very clearly defined tree stumps, as well as the workmen and their truck parked in the front yard.

As of now, authorities aren't sure whether or not they'll use the Street View images in their case against Burnyeat, who had only been granted a permit for the removal of 2 trees, not 23. Either way, we don't think her chances of getting off are looking exactly great. Holding your own unlicensed arbicide may not be as societally abhorrent as, say, robbery, or even a half-naked Wayne Coyne. But the next time we get the urge to go all Mr. Miyagi on our front yard forest, we'll probably think about the ever watchful eye of Google Maps, and remember just how badly it burned Burnyeat. [From: Wired]


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Tags: google, googlemaps, googlemapsstreetview, lawsuit, street view, StreetView, top, tree, trees

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