Back in March a wooden mascot called Mr Pickle was stolen from outside of his shop. In The Mission, Mr Pickle was a bit an icon. A happy pickle about to spray some mayo, in front of a really really awesome sandwich shop. Some people used to walk a few blocks out of their way, just to see him on their way to work.
Mr Pickle, before he was stolen
The Mission has a fair few blogs dedicated to reporting local news. The news of Mr Pickle being stolen was rapidly picked up by all of the blogs, with Mission Mission report: “BREAKING: Mr. Pickle Stolen!“.
For a few months, that was it. The shop posted a reward for the safe return of the much loved Mr Pickle, with no charges to be pressed.
Then in May Mission Mission broke the story that Mr Pickle was found…in an aggregate Flickr stream!
Mr Pickle found in a Flickr stream
Around this point someone from The Mission bumped into the police. They found out the Police had looked into the photo on Flickr, but had not gotten any leads.
Mr Pickle’s Kidnapper was reading Mission Mission. For a joke he decided to create a Flickr account and post a photo to flickr. (Account’s been deleted, but there’s a copy of the photo).
The Kidnapper posting a photo of Mr Pickle
Now this is where it gets REALLY Interesting. Mission Mission again broke the story, “Mr Pickle Hostage Situation“. At this point, “we” had “him”. He’d used his real IP to upload a photo to Flickr. I suggested someone contact Flickr. Less than an hour later, the kidnapper said “ill return it jeez”. Clearly scared about being arrested.
About this time, Mission Mission received a tip from Flickr and was also able to work out the workplace, phone number, and home address of the kidnapper.
2 hours or so later, the kidnapper called up the store Mr Pickle was stolen from, and told Mama Pickle, that “he felt bad” about what had happened. Before the shop closed that afternoon, Mr Pickle had been dropped around the corner and the kidnapper called in to confirm he made it back okay.
Mr Pickle, just after his return
I was in the shop yesterday, the day after Mr Pickle was returned. About 20 people ordered whilst I was there. Every person who entered expressed amazement, thanks, and relief that Mr Pickle was back.
Moral of the story, don’t fuck with the internet.