Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
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They say life imitates art, but “The Fast and the Furious” would not be the first piece of fiction I would expect people to draw inspiration from.

Considering the latest installments in the Fast and Furious movies have dealt with a computer program that can be used to track any person anywhere on the planet and an augmented super soldier, it’s easy to forget the franchise was originally about street races and a gang stealing DVD players and other electronics from semitrailers at high speeds.

What does that have to do with video games? Well, apparently the hard-to-find PlayStation 5 console is in such high demand that criminals have been inspired by that almost 20-year-old movie and have been pulling high-speed robberies on semis in Europe.

According to an article posted by The Times of London over the weekend, gangs have been breaking into fast-moving trucks in a crime wave aimed at cashing in on pre-Christmas deliveries PlayStations, TVs, cosmetics, mobile phones and even cigarettes.

According to a story about the thefts on Eurogamer, gangs are using multiple cars to box in semis going at speeds of up to 50 mph. One gang member climbs out the sunroof or through a modified hatch while tethered by a safety rope to prevent falling. They then use cutting tools or a crowbar to break into the trailer, climb aboard and throw out the goods to another member in the sunroof.

There’s even a video on the Eurogamer story that appears to be taken from a police helicopter of a 2012 theft in Romania. In the video, one person climbs out of the sunroof of a car that is right behind a semi as another person stands in the sunroof holding on to the guy on the hood. That person is able to open up the back of the truck to access the contents.

According to the story on The Times’ website, this type of robbery is called a rollover and through September of this year had been used in thefts 27 times, but that the number of rollover robberies had increased since the release of the PlayStation 5 and the start of the holiday shopping season.

I’m still trying to get my hands on a PlayStation 5, but I don’t think I’ll be climbing on the hood of my car at 50-plus mph so I can check out what the semis are hauling in the back of their trailers.

But that would make for a fun level in a video game.
Dusty Ricketts is the editor of The Destin Log and The Walton Sun newspapers and can be reached ata dricketts@thedestinlog.com.