Social media has done a lot for us since its creation. We use it to keep in touch with old friends and far-away relatives, to express ourselves and show others what we're thinking, and to take a million selfies of ourselves. The bottom line is that we use social media for a number of reasons.
Most of us have a phone and/or computer, so we have access to all the social networking sites. No one can deny the influence and the impact social media can have on our lives, either positively or negatively. People are constantly reminded not to post anything incriminating or inappropriate online because it could prevent them from getting jobs or it could get them into trouble. Unfortunately, not everyone gets the memo.
Some people don't understand that whatever they put on social media is out there for anyone to see...and for all the law enforcement forces to see. They may have thought it was funny when they made the post, but they were quick to regret their actions once the cuffs went on their wrists. You think common sense would have told people that what they were doing would be a very bad idea down the road; but unfortunately, they were short on good reasoning.
If you want to see some examples for yourself, then check out this list of 15 stupid people who posted dumb things and got what they deserve.
15 Siphoning Gas From A Police Car
It's one thing to siphon gas from someone else's car, but to siphon gas from a police car? Now you're just asking for it.
22-year-old Michael Baker of Jenkins, Kentucky thought it would be a good idea to steal gas from a police car from the Jenkins Police Department and post a photo of himself performing the act on Facebook. And as an added touch, he flipped the bird. It didn't take long for the photo to disperse among the roughly 2,000 citizens that make up Jenkins and for Baker to get caught by the police. He was charged with theft for unlawful tanking, and he spent the night in jail.
After Michael was released from the slammer, he took to Facebook to say, "yea lol i went too [sic] jail over facebook."
14 Posing With Money Gained From Drug Dealing
Drug dealers usually tend to keep their drug-related activities on the down-low; you know, so they won't get caught by the authorities, but not drug dealer Junior Francis.
The 33-year-old London cocaine and heroin dealer posted a photo on Instagram of himself posing with a wad of cash pressed to his face. He also posted another photo showing large wads of cash on a kitchen top with the caption, "everything I got I work hard for it," quoting Notorious B.I.G. and Method Man.
After Francis was caught, the police conducted a raid on his home, where they found £7,000 ($7,920.15) of cash and £75,000 ($84,858.75) worth of crack cocaine and heroin. They also found evidence of Junior's drug-dealing activities on his phone in addition to connections with other drug dealers in South London. He was sentenced to six years and eight months in jail.
13 Driving Drunk
I think we can all agree that it's dangerous to film yourself while driving, but it's even more dangerous to film yourself while driving when you're drunk.
Florida resident Whitney Beall went on a wild drunk-driving trip and broadcast the whole thing live on Periscope. During the live stream, Beall said that she was "drunk, [expletive] drunk" and that she had no idea where she was. She also admitted to running over something and that she had a flat tire. People watching Whitney's live stream called the police, who pulled her over and arrested her. Beall was still broadcasting even after being pulled over and said, "I really hope I don't get a DUI."
Whitney failed the field sobriety test, refused the breathalyzer, and was charged with a DUI and sent to the county jail.
12 Taking Photos Of Items Stolen From Store
Crime doesn't pay, especially when you publicize what you stole for the whole world to see.
18-year-old Pittsburg resident, Isaiah Cutler, an unnamed 17-year-old, and two unnamed 14-year-olds burglarized a local store, stealing over $8,000 worth of candy, cigarettes, cash, and checks from the business. They would have gotten away with it too, had Culter not posted pictures of himself and the teens posing with the stolen goods on Facebook just an hour later after the burglary. And then, the teens walked into the front door of their homes with shopping bags full of Michael Jordan shoes and clothes in full view of their questioning parents.
Relatives of one of the teens, who were friends with him on Facebook, saw the photos and called the police. The teens were charged in juvenile court and released to their parents. Cutler, on the other hand, had to face a hearing on charges of theft, burglary, and conspiracy.
11 Mocking Gymgoers
Going to the gym can be a discouraging experience for many who feel intimidated by some of the super-fit exercise enthusiasts who work out there. It probably wouldn't help if you knew that one of those people was talking junk about you behind your back.
An Australian man posted photos of patrons at the gym and mocked them with captions such as this one: "Here we see the amazing chicken man. His 2% body fat is admired by bodybuilders and bulimic teenage girls alike." Reddit and 4chan's "fit" board figured out about this, and they weren't having any of it. They obtained the guy's personal information, called his mother and told her all about her son's commentary, and called the gym manager to explain the same thing.
As a result, the guy's mom cut her son off financially, and the gym owner banned him from the entire chain of gyms.
10 Bragging About Drunk-Driving
Common sense should have told this guy that it wouldn't be the smartest move to brag about driving drunk on social media.
18-year-old Jacob Cox-Brown was out drinking and driving one night when he hit someone's car before driving off. Sometime later, he took to Facebook to make this post: "Drivin drunk… classic ;) but to whoever's vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P." Unfortunately for Jacob, the Astoria Police Department is active on social media, and it was only a matter of time before the message was reported to the authorities.
Cox-Brown was arrested and charged with two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver. While a police spokesperson said that the teen would probably only get a slap on the wrist since a Facebook post isn't enough evidence to charge him with a DUI, one can only hope that he learned his lesson.
9 Throwing Seats Off Moving Train
Some people do some really stupid things when they're bored. This is a good example.
Some bored high school students from Sydney, Australia thought it was funny for a boy to throw seats from the train they were on into the pathway of motorists traveling down one of the city's busiest motorways. It was beyond dangerous and beyond senseless, but the boy's friends didn't seem to think so. They filmed the boy's activity on video and uploaded it on Facebook. In the video, one of the teens can be heard saying, "You hit a f*cking car, bro, that's gonna be on the news!"
After the boy's mom saw the video, she promptly took him to the police, where he and his friends faced five years in prison.
8 Taunting Police Through Social Media
If you commit a crime and you're on the run, it probably wouldn't be in your best interest to mock the law enforcement forces trying to track you down.
24-year-old Floridian Cameron Cox was guilty of burglary, dealing in stolen property, and defrauding a public broker when he decided he wanted to play around with the police. He posted the movie poster for the 2002 drama film Catch Me If You Can along with the caption, "F*ck it. Might as well have some fun with this. LOL." Cox was pretty much asking for it at this point, and the Tampa Police Department weren't slow to catch him and arrest him.
After they arrested Cameron, the Tampa Police Department posted his mugshot on their Facebook page with this caption: "When he is done serving his time, maybe Cameron Cox should update his profile photo with his mugshot."
7 Regularly Updating Your Status While On The Run
Generally speaking, fugitives go to great lengths to keep a low profile and prevent themselves from being detected by the authorities, except for one former fugitive.
26-year-old Maxi Sopo defrauded $200,000 out of a number of Seattle banks and decided to hide out at the popular tourist destination, Cancun. But the Cameroon-born criminal wasn't about to live it up in the city and not tell his Facebook friends all about it. He wrote Facebook posts about him "living in paradise" and "loving it," telling the people on his friends' list all about his days on the beach and wild nights partying at nightclubs. Unfortunately for Sopo, he made the foolish error of adding a former justice department official to his friends' list.
Sopo was arrested and charged with four counts of bank fraud. He was sentenced to 33 months in jail.
6 Rudely Trolling People On The Internet
Internet trolls say a bunch of senseless and meaningless things on cyberspace for no reason at all, but some of it is too much to slide by unnoticed.
41-year-old Darren Burton, who went by the name of Nimrod Severn on Facebook, regularly trolled the Facebook pages of murdered children, leaving comments like "Rot in h***" for everyone to see. BBC tracked him down for a surprise, in-person interview in which Burton's wife and kids (yes, he has kids) heard the kind of stuff he was putting on Facebook firsthand. When BBC asked Darren if he knew the effects his comments had on the families of the murdered children, he responded with "Well yeah. F*** em."
When BBC aired its documentary on unmasking Internet trolls, they included Darren's real name and address. His Facebook page quickly became filled with public hatred for him, forcing him to delete his account and move away.
5 Updating Your Current Location While On The Loose
Another example of why you should maintain a low profile if you're on the run.
Chris Crego from Lockport, New York was arrested and charged with assault following a bar fight. Police issued a warrant out for his arrest after Crego failed to show up for sentencing. Crego had fled the state by this point but it didn't matter, as he would lead the police right to him, thanks to a series of incriminating mistakes. The city where Chris escaped to was Terre Haute, Indiana, where he updated his location on Facebook. He even posted about his place of employment, a tattoo parlor named Body Ink, and his work hours.
If that wasn't enough, he even published the wanted poster of him that was printed in the Lockport newspaper. The authorities traced Chris, thanks to his Facebook and Myspace accounts and apprehended him.
4 Posing With The Stolen Goods
19-year-old Rodney Knight probably could have gotten away with his crime had he not felt the need to show off.
Rodney Knight, Jr., hailing from Washington D.C., broke into the home of Washington Post reporter Mark Fisher and stole some items, including a coat, a laptop belonging to Fisher's son, and some cash from the son's desk. Before he left, he thought it would be a good idea to log into Fisher's son's Facebook account and post a photo of himself with the items he was about to make off with. Rodney's picture was what led the police right to him a few days later and bring about a subsequent arrest.
In D.C. Superior Court, he pleaded guilty to burglary and carrying a pistol without a license. One D.C. police officer called Knight the "most stupid criminal" he ever met.
3 Posting About Your Bank Heists
While physically robbing banks is mostly a thing of the past, the practice hasn't completely died out yet.
23-year-old Jesse Hippolite went on a bank robbing spree across Brooklyn, raiding three Chase branches over a three-month period. Before the first robbery, Hippolite posted on Facebook, "I Gotta Get That $$$$$ Man!!!!" and "Crime pays my bills!" A few weeks later, Hippolite changed his profile name to Willie Sutton Jr., a homage to the infamous bank robber Willie Sutton. He also made a post saying, "What If We All G0t Fed Up With This Recessi0n And Started Running Inside Every ****ing Bank T0 Give Us The M0ney That Bel0ng T0 Us???"
Jesse also posted photos of himself holding wads of $100 bills and wearing the exact same emblem-emblazoned hooded sweatshirt that he wore for the robberies. The FBI eventually caught up with him, where he was also charged with 16 similar bank heists from the previous year.
2 Trying To Sell Your Kids
There are plenty of examples of bad parents out there, and this is definitely one of them.
22-year-old Misty VanHorn from Oklahoma attempted to sell her two children through Facebook for $4,000 so she could pay her boyfriend's bail. One of the children was two years old while the other was just 10 months old. The two-year-old was priced at $1,000, or else the "customer" could have the option of having both of the children for $4,000.
Vanhorn reportedly got into contact with a woman in Fort Smith, Arkansas through Facebook. The woman promptly contacted the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, who then tipped off Sallisaw Police. Misty was arrested on suspicion of trafficking children, and her children went under the custody of the state.
1 Dangling Your Baby Out Of A Window
A lot of us would admit to having an obsession with social media. But for some, that obsession can lead to utterly reckless actions all for the sake of attention.
A man from Algeria held his 15-month-old baby by his t-shirt as he dangled him out of a window on the 15th floor of a building, suspending the child 150 feet in the air. With his other hand, he took a picture of himself in the act and posted it on Facebook with the caption, "1,000 likes or I will drop him."
Luckily for the child, the police were able to locate the father quickly and arrest him on charges of child abuse. While he pleaded with the court to forgive him of his crime, his pleas fell on deaf ears when it came to the judge. He was sentenced to two years in prison.