Photos on Facebook helped the Federal Bureau of Investigation nab a Detroit man accused of robbing five banks between October and January.
The profile pictures of the accused, Anthony Wilson, feature him wearing some of the same clothes seen in the banks surveillance video captured during one of the robberies, according to The Chicago Tribune. Presumably he hadn’t spent his $6,300 take from the five robberies to buy clothes!
The fact that he didn’t realize his Facebook photos might match with the surveillance video fits a pattern we see in the types of cases that lawmakers have been cracking on Facebook — careless uploads and postings to the social network continue to provide the clinching evidence for a widening array of crimes and misdemeanors.
Police departments around the country are using Facebook as their own personal police blotter with a localized Facebook page. Law enforcement presences on the social network are very commonly posting mug shots of local criminals on the social network, asking people for information about suspects, sharing press release about recent arrests and spreading the word about missing persons .
Facebook also enables a two-way conversation between law enforcement and the community. For example, the enterprise can be an effective platform for locals to share concerns or voice complaints, or even share tips about a recent crime.
Readers, do you think the current trends in law enforcement use of Facebook will continue, or will we reach a point where criminals leave fewer clues on the site?