19 Aug Stupid Criminals: 7 Social Media Fails
Everyone has that one social media friend who over shares. But most folks who treat Facebook like a diary are at least smart enough not to post anything that can get them arrested. The others clearly missed the memo. For the sake of a good laugh, here are a few stories of stupid criminals whose social media fails landed them in jail.
In Pinecrest, Florida, suspects in a burglary were arrested after posting a live feed on Facebook bragging about their haul. In the video, Raderius Collins and Marcus Parker showed viewers a bag full of $100 bills declaring, “We got a safe.” Police arrested the two on charges of criminal mischief, burglary, grand theft, and dealing in stolen property. The third suspect wasn’t dumb enough to advertise his part in the robbery and is still unidentified as of this writing.
Nathaniel Maye and Tiwanna Thomason were the Bonnie and Clyde of identity theft. So what tripped them up? Partially, an Instagram photo of their food. While unknowingly meeting with a police informant in Fort Lauderdale, Maye posted a picture of the steak he had for lunch that day at the restaurant. Police later found that photo, and it ultimately linked Maye to the lunch meeting as well as his heavy involvement in identity theft. The informant further identified Maye with a photo from his own Instagram.
It would be obvious to anyone with common sense how dumb it is to post a YouTube video bragging about stealing a car and robbing a bank at gunpoint. Hannah Sabata of Stromberg, Nebraska, didn’t have that common sense. After posting the video, she shared the link with her ex-boyfriend. Instead of taking up her offer of spending the cash, he called the police – who were already being contacted about the video. Sabata was arrested within hours of the robbery.
Two men from Utah, Benjamin Rutkowski and Kai Christensen, set up crude – but potentially deadly – medieval-style trip wire booby traps along a popular hiking trail. Thankfully, the traps were discovered and removed before anyone got hurt. Police didn’t have much trouble finding the perpetrators, either, considering they bragged about it on Facebook. A witness who saw the post alerted police, and the pair were arrested for reckless endangerment.
Another Facebook post landed Michael Baker of Jenkins, Kentucky, in hot water. He thought it would be funny to take a picture of himself siphoning gas from a police cruiser while flipping the bird to the camera. He then very (un)wisely shared it on social media. But news spreads quickly in a small town, and police soon arrested him. He might have gotten away with it if he’d kept it quiet, since police weren’t even aware of the theft until they saw the photo.
It seems an entire book could be written just on Facebook posts that have busted stupid criminals. Among the many stories, a particularly amusing one comes out of Washington D.C. Rodney Knight Jr. broke into the home of Washington Post journalist Marc Fisher and stole several items, including a laptop that belonged to Fisher’s teenage son. Knight decided to gloat about his victory by posting a photo of himself on the teenager’s own Facebook page. Knight was quickly identified and arrested.
While the US has plenty of dumb criminal stories, other countries have their fair share. In Suffolk, England, Craig Lynch escaped his prison cell – near the end of his sentence, to boot – and spent several months taunting Scotland Yard with Facebook posts leaving clues to his whereabouts. Police eventually caught up to him and ended his holiday on the lam, though not before Lynch amassed a large following on his Facebook page.
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