A furious West Yorkshire homeowner who has slammed Google Street View for picturing his open garage which has now been the subject of a break-in has said the service is like on-line shopping for thieves.
Gordon Rayner, 54, from Bradford, suffered three raids at his
semi-detached house last month and although two were unsuccessful a perpetrator still made off with a 350-pound bike.
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Gordon, who lives in a quiet area with partner Sue Atkinson, said:"I remember the Google van coming round to take pictures because I was standing outside and pressure washing my drive at the time.
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"I stood and looked at it but didn't think much of it at the time so I put it to the back of my mind. I never thought it would be that intrusive and I assumed they would block everything out - especially in the garage.
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"I've lived at this address for eight years and never had any trouble prior to that.
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"It was only when I went and checked my computer that I saw you could see absolutely everything in the garage. There was the bike, a freezer, a dryer, some tools - all crystal clear for anybody who wants to steal something."
Outraged Gordon said the theft of his mountain bike was particularly hard to take because it had been given to him as a present from his dad and he had completed a charity bike ride on it in aid of a soldier's charity just before it was taken in honour of his great-nephew who was killed in Afghanistan.
He added: "I think what Google have done is totally out of order. Some crooks could be sitting at home on the internet saying 'oh look there's a dryer in there'.
"Then they could be down the pub asking their mates 'what do you want? I can get you this and this'. It is like shopping on-line for thieves."
Disgusted Gordon said he has spoken to the police and now intends to get advice from Citizens Advice Bureau about a civil action.
He said: "I would like some compensation without a doubt. I just don't think the theft would have happened if it wasn't for that picture on the internet."