New York, June 28 : It was not so thrilling to play Grand Theft Auto IV for four teenagers, who brought to life this top-selling video game by re-enacting the scenes of robbing, shooting and car-jacking vehicles in the streets of Long Island.
Police have blamed Grand Theft Auto IV for a two-hour crime rampage by a gang of six crazed youths in New York.
Having already sold more than 8.5 million copies worldwide, the game sees players shoot police, sell drugs and car-jack vehicles. And in its real-life enactment these six youngsters' rampage involved mugging, several break-ins and an attempted car-jacking in Garden City.
"They decided they were going to go out to commit robberies and emulate the character Nico Belic in the particularly violent video game Grand Theft Auto. These teens have difficulty separating fact from fiction, fantasy from reality. It was quite alarming," The New York Post quoted Nassau County Police detective-lieutenant Raymond Cote, as saying.
According to the police, it was at 11.30pm on June 24 that the rampage began and teenagers Brandon Cruz, 15, Gurnoor Singh, 14, Samuel Philip, 16, and Jaspreet Singh, 17, opted to go execute their wild plan when they were looking for something to do while sitting in Memorial Park in New Hyde Park.
They then decided to act out the game, in which players live out the life of Belic, an Eastern European criminal who uses murder and robbery to rise to the top of the underworld in "Liberty City", which has a close similarity to New York City.
"They were bored and decided this was a good idea," said Lt Cote.
The police revealed that firstly the boys mugged a man at a bus stop near the park, beat him and knocked out some teeth. Then they barged into some sheds and garages, stole bats and crowbars and were then joined by some more teens to continue the rampage.
Later, these six trouble makers even attempted to stage some car-jackings in Garden City. But their game was over when a 23-year-old woman in a 2008 BMW, whom they planned to target, called the police and got them arrested.
The police has arrested all the four original teen plotters were arrested, and also the two youths who joined them later-Stephen Attard, 18, and Dylan Laird, 17. all these teens have been charged with first-degree robbery, except for Jaspreet Singh, who was charged with possession of stolen property. Other charges were pending.
However, the Police has not revealed what made them believe that the teens' crimes were motivated by Grand Theft Auto and not by some other motive. They said they discovered it during their investigation.