Shoestring Theory

Currently documenting the house that is eating our lives, we will return to regularly scheduled programming in a couple of more months

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KCTV5: “”If you’ve ever bought anything on…eBay, you might be in possession of stolen property.”

February 7, 2008 at 12:28 pm by thetheorist

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KCTV5: If it ain’t sensational, it ain’t news.

Kansas City police and the FBI raided multiple Kansas City locations to bust up a multi-million dollar stolen property ring Monday, according to KCTV5 in Kansas City.

The story was surprisingly solid for a KC television story, right up until the reporter, Shaun Broyls, felt the need to throw in some sensational editorializing:

Here’s the interesting thing about that, if you’ve ever bought anything on an online service like eBay, you might be in possession of stolen property. Because police say that after the thieves stole the property, they turned right around and pitched it on eBay.

So, you don’t know what you’ve got if you’ve bought something on eBay. – [Transcribed from KCTV5 video – ed]

Thank you Shaun. Never mind the millions of law-abiding eBay members on eBay. No, screw those people. Every purchase could put stolen goods in your hands! Danger, Will Robinson, danger! What’s wrong with simply stating the facts? “Police say eBay was used to sell the alleged stolen property.” Simple, direct, and lets the viewers draw their own conclusions. KMBC-TV managed to cover it without the dire warning.

Feel free to contact KCTV5 at or the reporter, Shaun Broyls at…hmmm, he’s not listed as a staff reporter on the site. Just make sure to mention him in the email to the station.

Thanks to a reader for the tip on this one.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kate W. Feb 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    I heart angry Theorist!

  • 2 AtTheBat Feb 9, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Love the Lost In Space reference. Man, I wasted some hours in the summer of ’85 watching reruns of that show on channel 62. Hmm, maybe Shaun is a big fan of the crackpot sensationalist McCullough.

  • 3 Shaun B. Mar 18, 2008 at 1:17 am

    Hey…sorry about that one, man…I threw that comment in because a policeman actually mentioned that it could be the case. But you’re right…a bit sensationalistic…I’ll admit…