Facebook is incredibly useful for many things – keeping up with friends and family, following your favorite blogs, even bragging about the robbery you just committed.
Yes, people do that. Which is dumb. Because police aren’t stupid, they know about Facebook, and they’re watching. And it’s all admissible.
Kids, this should go without saying, but it is sadly necessary: Facebook is NOT PRIVATE! Even if you have your page set to “private”. So don’t post anything you don’t want people to know. Sure, you know that it’s important to separate friends and family into different groups and mark each and everyone of your status updates – grandma really doesn’t need to know the intimate details of what happened after you left the club with that guy last night, but your BFF is dying to know. You know all about keeping your settings so that only friends can see your page. This is basic, basic stuff.
But then, somebody goes and brags about committing a crime ON FACEBOOK! And gets arrested! Because of a Facebook post! Really folks, it’s bad enough that you’re too stupid/lazy/greedy to live honestly, but if you decide to venture over into the dark side, at least keep it off the Interwebz. The cops are watching – many, many jurisdictions monitor social media for signs of crimes in either the planning or bragging stages, and when subpoenaed, Facebook has to pony up. And you will be convicted, because the proof is in your very own words. And there might be a picture!
Don’t be like these people –
It went out over the airwaves on January 4, 2013, that 18-year-old Jacob Cox-Brown of Oregon was arrested for drunk driving. No, he wasn’t pulled over, and thankfully, nobody was hurt. There was just his status update…
“Drivin drunk…..classic. 😉 but to whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry”
So, dude makes a terrible, potentially fatal decision, luckily gets away with it, then talks about it on Facebook. Well, two things happened that night – one, a call came in about a hit and run with damage, and two, a couple of Jacob’s friends reported him to the local police department. Being detectives and all, the cops put two and two together pretty quickly. Jacob hasn’t been sentenced yet, but he faces up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine. Nice work.
Brower Boys’ Burglaries
A group of New York boys ranging in age from 13 to 19 called themselves the “Brower Boys” and decided to steal other people’s things. They climbed fire escapes to break into apartments, broke into homes, and stole as much electronic loot as they could carry. Things got serious during one burglary, when one of the gang members was shot during a struggle with the victim he had just shot. In other words, the Boys were starting to cause some serious trouble.
Like any burglar, they pawned their takings and split the proceeds. But being teenagers, this all had to be documented online. Of course. So they ended up with Facebook timelines full of pictures of hauls, pictures of cash from pawnshops, and even arguments over who gets how much. Many, many outright confessions, in their own words. Happy, smiling, criminals.
The problem is that seven of the gang members shared a common FB friend – Detective Michael Rodriguez. That is either incredibly cocky, or downright incredibly stupid. Det. Rodriguez busted 14 members of the gang and charged them with a 102-count indictment. See ya when you’re old, boys!
An unnamed woman in South Carolina allegedly broke into her ex-boyfriend’s house and wrecked it. Doors were broken and a pool table was demolished, and the damage is estimated at $5000. We say allegedly because she hasn’t yet been formally charged. But…
She bragged about it on Facebook! It wasn’t the cops who caught her, but her ex saw the posts and delivered them to the police himself. So here’s a new lesson – bragging about your crime on Facebook is bad enough because cops can see it. It’s even worse when your victim finds your special online confession. Because victims are usually pretty motivated to seek justice.
Eighteen-year-old Isaiah Cutler convinced his three best teenage friends to rob a convenience store with him. It wasn’t a bad haul, either – about $8,000 all told, with cigarettes, candy, cash and checks. So did they immediately go divide the loot and lay low? Have you been reading this article? Of course not! First they did a photo shoot! And posted it on Facebook! With the loot right next to their smiling faces!
You know what happens next. Charges, trials and punishment. Guys, just stay honest. If you know you are the over-sharing/bragging/stupid type, it might be the only way to keep your freedom. Facebook is for arguing, checking in and pining for your ex. Keep it that way.