AZ Police Arrest Suspect in Copycat Pickaxe Speed Scamera Attack

az police arrest suspect in copycat pickaxe speed scamera attack

On Wednesday, Arizona state police arrested a man suspected of whacking a speed camera with a pickaxe. The incident took place in the city of Glendale just before midnight near the 59th Street overpass on the Loop 101 freeway. Police estimate the camera was hit at least six times in an attack quite similar to one that took place in the Czech Republic last month. Arizona Department of Public Safety officials wasted no time in exploiting the incident to discourage anti-camera activism. “From criminal damage charges to charges related to interfering with judicial proceedings that can carry lengthy jail terms and hefty fines, the ramifications a person could face for tampering with a photo enforcement site are extremely serious,” DPS Director Roger Vanderpool said in a statement. “DPS Officers will continue to be vigilant at all hours of the day and night and stand ready to respond quickly to reports or first hand observances of persons tampering with or vandalizing photo enforcement sites in any manner.”, the primary group opposing cameras in the state, distanced itself from the attack. Camerafraud believes it can defeat photo enforcement at the ballot box, and that such incidents play into the hands of a publicity machine funded by those who profit from photo ticketing.

“It’s unfortunate that the person chose not to follow the example of Rosa Parks or Gandhi, both of whom protested against oppressive government by thoughtfully and peacefully breaking the laws they felt to be unjust,” the group said in a statement. “The person arrested was not member of’s public Meetup group.”

The 26-year-old accused of the crime faces felony criminal damage charges carrying up to three years in prison and a $150k fine. DPS stated its intention to add a charge for “interference with a traffic control device,” but this charge is likely to be dropped. The federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices recognizes only signs, traffic signals and markings as falling under the category of traffic control devices. That means a “Photo Enforced” sign, but not the camera itself, would be considered a traffic control device. The same distinction is found in Arizona Revised Statutes 28-601 where “photo enforcement system” is explicitly defined apart from “official traffic control device.”

Vanderpool had threatened to use the same traffic control device charge against the unknown individuals who placed non-destructive Post-It Notes on the lenses of speed cameras as a political statement.

Australian ticket camera provider Redflex replaced the damaged speed camera housing so that ticketing could resume by 11am Thursday.

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  • Johnster Johnster on Dec 06, 2008
    seabrjim : We must be more stealthy in our efforts to destroy the dark sides monitoring devices, grasshopper… Exactly. Still... while the group advocates peaceful law-breaking, and points to Rosa Parks as an example, let's not forget that the civil rights movement was a multi-pronged movement. If it weren't for more threatening and violent groups, such as the Black Panthers for example, as well as the much larger and non-violent NAACP, the civil rights movement might not have been as successful.

  • Andy D Andy D on Dec 06, 2008

    opening shot of the remake of Cool Hand Luke?

  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.