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Bob smashes the taillights of a stranger's car. But the cops arrest the car's owner, not Bob.

Why didn't they arrest Bob?

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closed as too broad by Beastly Gerbil, Jonathan Allan, Deusovi Oct 30 '16 at 18:58

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I know the intended solution for this, but I can't stand this type of lateral thinking questions, as they are simply too broad IMHO. Why wouldn't for example bribery be a valid answer? Or maybe the driver was a known criminal who killed 42 people and Bob just tried to smash his car so he can't drive away. $\endgroup$ – user14478 Oct 30 '16 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Lukas Rotter: Fair enough. I didn't know the intended solution, but it struck me as similar to the kind of "lateral thinking" puzzles that used to fascinate me back in the 60s. Not that I knew the word back then, but it always seemed to me the "right" answer would be the most "parsimonious" one (i.e. - the one depending on the smallest number of "non-default" assumptions). Bribery would entail both Bob and the cops being corrupt, foiling a getaway is unconvincing because broken taillights just wouldn't work, etc. Should I just delete the question, then? $\endgroup$ – FumbleFingers Oct 30 '16 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure if you should delete it, I personally wouldn't do it, even though it might be closed as "too broad". I can see your point with the most parsimonious answer, but until that one is found (which is a bit subjective) many other valid answers might be posted. That's the primary problem I see with these types of questions on this site. $\endgroup$ – user14478 Oct 30 '16 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ Might be in the minority here, but I very much enjoy the creative nourishment from a variety of solutions to "too broad" puzzles. (It also adds to the interest in finding out which one was intended.) $\endgroup$ – humn Oct 30 '16 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ @FumbleFingers after posting, I pasted this into google and the answer that came up was the same as mine. Generally you should check online for puzzles like these, they can usually be found there... $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Oct 30 '16 at 19:05
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Because

He was being kidnapped

So

He smashes the lights while he is inside the boot to either alert someone or to try and make the cops pull the car over. They find Bob and the cops arrest the kidnapper.

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Because

Bob just got a fine which he duly paid. The car's owner was arrested for totally unrelated reasons.

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    $\begingroup$ Another reasonable answer that could be added to the long list of other possible answers... $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Oct 30 '16 at 18:12
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Bob is

a police officer himself

and he smashed the taillights because

he was doing a PIT maneuver on the car in question to stop it fleeing an earlier hit-and-run.

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