A teen faces jail time after bragging on his Facebook page about flooding a U.K. town’s central library and causing $250,000 worth of damage to a local library.
The 16-year-old went to Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square library last August and decided to stop up all of the men’s toilets on the third floor with toilet paper, then flushed and in addition, turned on the tap water.
The water from the bowls and sinks overflowed and kept going from 7:28 pm on August 18 straight through until the very next day, according to Portsmouth News.
At first the 16-year-old denied having any part in the wrongdoing but he and another young boy were caught on the library’s close circuit cameras. The other boy was questioned then released by police after it was proven, that the youth only used the facility and did not take part in the actual crime. The accused finally confessed to his costly criminal high-jinx only after investigators presented him with his Facebook transcript in which he clearly confessed to causing the flood.
The boy’s criminal antics resulted in the five-month closing of the library, as well as the destruction of several computers, carpeting and electrical systems. There were also some irreplaceable books that were damaged by the flood.
Although insurance covered some of the damage to the library, the City Council was forced to contribute $82,500 of taxpayer dollars for the repairs. The teen will face sentencing on May 11.
This case simply adds a new type of crime — flooding a public building — to a trend we’ve been observing for a while on Facebook: People continue to think that things they post on the site won’t get forwarded to law enforcement officials. As such, the posters do the digital equivalent of hanging themselves by their own petard. This low public awareness about how police use the social network ultimately helps in capturing criminals. Presumably wrong-doers will eventually figure out what kinds of social media posts can incriminate.
Readers, do you think law enforcement officials will continue to find wrong-doers incriminating themselves via social media posts or will the criminal element eventually wise up?