Criminals have never been the sharpest knives in the drawer. We’ve all heard stories of attempted crimes thwarted by the villain’s own stupidity. With the rise of social networking, stupid criminals are being uncovered in a new way. There’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is “Facebook.”
A recent story on the popular blog Huffington Post chronicled 19 stupid criminals who were arrested because they were more concerned with updating their Facebook status than avoiding the police. Here are five of our favorites:
• The Baby With Bong Photo: A 19-year-old Florida mother posted a Facebook photo of her infant appearing to smoke out of a bong, according to CBS News. The Florida Department of Children and Families launched an investigation and planned to drug test both the mother and child, despite the mother’s protests that the photo was taken as a joke. According to the Palm Beach Post, the mother is “facing one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a first-degree misdemeanor.”
Whether Cheech & Chong were among her Facebook friends was not revealed.
• Couple Arrested After Eating Rare Iguana: Metro.co.uk reported that Bahamian authorities apprehended an American couple whose Facebook photos showed them capturing, grilling and eating a rare iguana. Police arrested the couple for violating the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
We’re guessing the couple deleted both “Bahamian authorities” and “grilled iguana” from their “likes”.
• UK Fugitive Arrested For Taunting Cops: After escaping from a minimum security prison, convicted thief Craig Lynch posted defiant photos of himself mocking the police. Police contacted Facebook “looking for information on where he might be updating the site,” the Times Online reported. He was eventually caught and returned to jail.
Photos of Lynch sitting in his cell have yet to be posted.
• Fraud Fugitive Brags Online, Gets Nabbed: Fugitive Maxi Sopo, wanted for bank fraud, fled to Mexico to avoid arrest. According to the Associated Press, he began posting Facebook updates about “living in paradise,” and even “friended” a former U.S. Justice Department official. The official helped authorities locate and arrest Sopo, who could face up to 30 years behind bars.
There’s poking your friends, then there’s sending your friends to the pokey.
• Hitman Stopped Thanks To Facebook Chit-Chat: Mafia hitman Pasquale Manfredi was snagged by police who tracked his constant Facebook chatting. ABC News reported that Manfredi “logged into his account so often that police were able to trace the signal and find his hideout. ” He was charged with murder, among other crimes.
Wonder if updating your status can be a last wish?
We’ll always have criminals, and we’ll always have Facebook. But thanks to the stupidity of the former in the use of the latter, we may be able to cut down on future crimes. And that’s something we can all “like.”