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When Selfies Go Wrong: 3 Recent Cases Where A Selfie Lead to An Arrest

Brian J Smith July 27, 2014

Taking a selfie is as commonplace as sending an email these days. Most of the time, its just a fun way to share your day, travels, or experience with your social network. Every once in a while, though, taking a selfie has some unintended consequences. Check out these three examples of selfies gone wrong.

1. Facebook selfie leads to shoplifting arrest

Earlier this year in West Frankfort, Illinois, a woman posted a photo of herself in a wild leopard print dress to Facebook. Problem was, she never paid the small boutique for her purchase. It was just a matter of hours before the owners of the shop were alerted to a post on Facebook showing the exact item they were missing. Danielle Saxton, 27, was arrested that same day on theft charges.

Wow. Just, wow. » “Shoplifting #Selfie Leads To Woman’s Arrest” via SocialNews— Stephanie Leishman (@hatchsteph) July 22, 2014

2. Florida man arrested after posting selfie

Taylor Harrison of Port St. Lucie took a picture of himself handling drugs in view of a police car, taking the chance to mock the local police. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office did not appreciate the joke. The MCSO then arranged an undercover drug buy with the young man and even added their own photo of him to their Facebook page–his mugshot.

3. Instagram photos lead to 142 felony charges

In 2013, Palm Beach County, Florida was experiencing a small crime wave. Little did the police know that the ring-leader behind a string of thefts reveal himself via social media. They already suspected that the local 19 year old might have something to do with the robberies, but when he posted photos of himself holding guns and wads of cash, they decided it was time to investigate. After obtaining a warrant using the man’s own social network photos, they found enough stolen goods to indict him on 142 felony charges. They claim he and his gang were responsible for stealing as much as a quarter million dollars wroth of jewelry, electronics, and guns. But it wasn’t just “duce22ceritfied” who got busted–four additional arrests have come out of the investigation.

The moral of the story? Be extremely careful what you post. Even if you haven’t done anything technically wrong, the content of your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages could be used against you. Check out our blog about rap superstar Wiz Khalifa to find out about the potential legal consequences. Most importantly: think before you upload!

If you need legal advice, contact Brian J. Smith, a federal criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas.