A 19-year-old Lake Worth man’s Instagram selfies caught the eye of a Palm Beach County Sheriff and eventually lead to his arrest.
The officer noted that the man had a criminal record that included grand theft, burglary and felony possession of a firearm, so the deputy apparently decided to look more closely at the pictures.
Police claim the problem was the man was posting very public pictures of him holding a gun. In the state of Florida, convicted felons are not allowed to possess firearms, and the 19-year-old is a convicted felon.
Authorities obtained a search warrant for his Lake Worth apartment and allegedly uncovered stolen jewelry, electronics and firearms, valued at nearly $250,000. According to reports, police uncovered numerous pieces of jewelry such as watches, charms, necklaces and loose diamonds, as well as two stolen firearms.
By the time police were done searching the man’s home, they had charged him with 142 felony counts of being in possession of a weapon or ammo.
Police allege that the man was the ringleader for a group called the “dinnertime burglars,” which they claim is responsible for dozens of burglaries targeting senior citizens in Palm Beach.
When filling out the arrest report, officers said they asked the man what his occupation was, and he allegedly replied “Thief.”
The man is currently behind bars with bail set at $60,000. His Instagram page is no longer active.
Social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, allow people to keep tabs on their friends, acquaintances, celebrities and even make new friendships. However, the convenience of being able to constantly stay connected to people comes with a price. In the case of social media, this means that someone is always watching, and that includes law enforcement.
Instagram allows you to post pictures of anything going on in your life and essentially anything that interests you. You can easily notify your friends and followers about everything from what meal you just ate to the new car you just purchased. It is very important to understand that electronic media is always being monitored and government agencies are quick to use technological advancements to observe and track any suspicious activities on the Internet.
Always remember that even “private” conversations taking place via the Internet are not always private. Social media sites, like Instagram, are not unknown to police, so you should think twice before you post something that could be incriminating. Regardless of the charges against you, a strong criminal defense could combat any accusations. A Palm Beach County Criminal Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you achieve a favorable judgment. For a free assessment of your case, please contact us today online or call 561-367-8777.
Photo credit: Jason A. Howie / Foter.com / CC BY