British Professor Convicted of Politely Vandalizing Luxury Cars

At some point over the course of your academic career, you've probably had a darkly charming teacher or professor who you secretly believed was jetting off to Egypt to bullwhip Nazis and recover stolen artifacts. Without such wishful thinking, school is boring. Far better to believe that your criminology professor is a judo master who spends her Friday nights fighting crime, or that your world religions professor is holding back the gates of Hell all by himself. Or that your urban studies professor is out getting wasted and vandalizing luxury cars by tagging them with polite little admonishments to their owners about the perils of material excess.

That would be the modus operandi of a mild-mannered British professor named Stephen Graham, who was found guilty on Friday of using a screwdriver to carve messages such as "very silly," "really wrong," and "arbitrary" into the paintwork of luxury vehicles. Graham, who specializes in cities and urban living at Newcastle University in northeast England, had previously attributed the vandalism of his social vigilante alter ego to a delightful mix of alcohol and prescription drugs.

Prosecutors say that the vandalism caused about $29,000 of damage. A judge will determine Graham's sentence next month, and, in the meantime, the wealthy pigs of Newcastle can sleep easy knowing that the real-life Professor Chaos has been captured...for now.

Polite British vandal guilty of damaging cars [AP via U.S. News]