The phenomenon of online boasting is now common enough that some police departments actively trawl social media sites looking for anyone dumb enough to crow about their crimes.
It’s hardly new for criminals to brag about their illegal activities and social media has given them new and dumber ways to show off.
A social-media obsessed murder suspect may have essentially convicted himself in a shocking Pennsylvania murder case, but it’s just the latest in a long line of suspects who should’ve stayed offline.
Last week, police arrested 16-year-old Maxwell Morton who allegedly shot classmate Ryan Mangan, also 16, then took a selfie with the corpse and sent it to a friend.
Morton reportedly sent the image via SnapChat, which deletes sent images after a few seconds. However, fast-fingered recipients can take a screen shot of those images. The recipient showed the image to his mother, who called the police.
Morton is now charged with first-degree murder.
Canadian crooks aren’t any smarter. Just last week, Calgary police made a big gun and drug bust after they spotted a wanted man in an online rap video
Also recently was Solomon Toutsaint, a Saskatchewan man who escaped RMCP custody and took to Facebook to taunt the cops, saying “Catch me if you can lol.” They caught him.
In December, cops in Barrie, Ont., caught up with two teenage liquor thieves after they posted selfies with their stolen booze.
Canada’s best-known Facebook braggart is probably Vancouverite Brock Anton whose infamous post about participating in the 2010 Stanley Cup riots brought him international ridicule and police scrutiny.
The young riot poseur posted a detailed status update saying he: “punched a pig in the head,” flipped cars, burnt cop cars, and “I’m on the news… one word…. History :).”
Hilariously, one helpful friend responded saying: “take this down!!! It’s evidence!”
Despite his riot resume, Anton was never charged. Why? According to Vancouver Police, he made it all up. Clever.
In 2012, Nova Scotia RCMP took notice when a 19-year-old boasted on Facebook that he was the ringleader in a bullying campaign that led to three teenage girls committing suicide.
Also in 2012, another ill-advised rap video got its three stars arrested. Billy Bowden, Pardeep Kapoor and Ramsey Yaggey’s Live and Die was full of rhymes about them selling drugs and, ironically, evading police. Their evasion ended quickly and all three were charged with drug trafficking.
So thanks for those status updates, aspiring crooks everywhere; they’re sure making things easy for police and it’s a good laugh for the rest of us.