Cops Using Facebook to Bust Dumb Criminals

Lack of privacy can be a good thing for investigators
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2010 1:58 PM CST
Cops Using Facebook to Bust Dumb Criminals
In this Oct. 13, 2009, file photo, Assistant US Attorney Michael Scoville displays part of the Facebook page, and an enlarged profile photo, of fugitive Maxi Sopo in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Oversharing on Facebook makes it easier for your boss to fire you, your insurer to hike up your rates, and, apparently, your local police officer to arrest you. It seems not-too-bright criminals have a habit of bragging about their misdeeds on social networking sites—sometimes even including photos—which has made investigations much easier for some cops. "It's almost become unfair," a law enforcement source tells the New York Post. "Facebook and MySpace are killing these guys."

One thief was busted after boasting, “I’ve got new bling!” on his MySpace page and posting pictures of a watch and ring he stole, says a police source. Another drug dealer had his MySpace profile—featuring pictures of him with stacks of cash and a claim that he made $250,000 a year—used against him in court. The Internet has also been instrumental in busting drug dealing rings and gangs, and finding perps, witnesses, and missing persons alike. Some gangs even have their own MySpace pages, says one officer: “They put a lot of stuff out there.” Click here for more tales of dumb criminals.
(More Facebook stories.)

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