2012 was a banner year for idiotic criminals who idiotically use the internet to commit or propagate their idiotic crimes. From #YOLO to assassination tweets, and from stupid Facebook photos to botched Apple Store robberies - these are your top ten internet-related criminal fails of the year.
Occasionally, people forget that Facebook is a public forum and that their words have meaning. Just because you're typing it instead of, let's say, screaming it from a rooftop doesn't make it any less consequential.
Take Edward Neary for instance. Last year's Winter Classic hockey game was marred by a post-game brawl - not players, but fans. Reports indicated that several Philly Flyers fans kicked the crap out of some NY Rangers fans. One of the victims, a Purple Heart recipient, was seriously injured.
And Mr. Neary copped to it. On Facebook.
He quickly backtracked and began naming (and tagging) others as participants in the brutal beating.
It was later determined that Neary was simply a class-A jerkoff, not the perpetrator of the assault. But his Facebook comments led to his name being linked to the crime in dozens of major publications. If you commit a crime, you shouldn't brag about it on Facebook. And you definitely shouldn't brag about committing a crime you didn't actually commit on Facebook.
Two jailers in Oconee County, Georgia forgot that it's just a little improper to attempt to become Facebook friends with inmates at their prison. Deputy Dewayne Powers and Deputy Andrea Rogers were relieved from duty after an internal investigation revealed inappropriate communications with a 23-year-old inmate.
Reports indicated that the inappropriate communications extended to texts and physical contact, but both deputies denied those allegations. The sheriff's department echoed that now evidence of sexual contact had been found, but that damage had already been done by the untoward Facebook relationship.
Ok, admittedly not really internet related - but it does involve a cellphone which puts it on the tech radar. Plus, it's just too funny to pass up.
24-year-old Justin Kryzanowski of Scranton, Pennsylvania probably wishes that his phone had sported a passcode, or at least "slide-to-unlock." According to a report, Kryzanowski made an unwitting call to 911 while in the middle of a drug deal. The Lackawanna County dispatch center captured the entire deal on recording, and notified Scranton police of the “open line” to “narcotics activity.”
Police tracked him to his home where they found drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Once again - Facebook is public. You can make it more private by fine tuning your settings, but you can never expect true privacy when posting on a public forum. One Australian girl found this out the hard way.
As the story goes, the 17-year-old decided to snap a photo of her grandmother's life savings (all in cash) and throw it up on Facebook. Approximately seven hours later, two masked men armed with knives and clubs were beating down the girl's mother's door. They didn't find the money, but did get away with some loot after ransacking the home.
In the days leading up to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, one Charlotte resident thought that it would be a good idea to tweet his intentions to assassinate President Obama.
Other tweets include "Potting president Obama's murder" and "The Secret Service is gonna be defenseless once I aim the Assault Rifle at Barack's Forehead...F* the #DNC."
@DestroyLeague_D, or as the court would call him 21-year-old Donte Jamar Sims, was confronted after the Secret Service spotted his tweets.
“Sims stated that he published the statements because he hated President Obama,” the Secret Service agent wrote in the affidavit. “Sims asserted that he was high on marijuana when he made the threats but that he understood what he was doing and that it was wrong.”
Let's give a big shoutout to Equonne Howard, who in 2012 executed the most ridiculous attempt at a smash and grab ever documented on the interwebs.
In September, Howard used his own 2003 BMW X5 to plow through the glass and metal gating of the Temecula, California Apple Store. When Howard and his crew realized that the metal gate had trapped them inside, they were forced to make a hasty exit - leaving without much merchandise.
Lucky for us, the crime was captured on surveillance video:
If the botched robbery wasn't enough, Howard cemented his place in idiot criminal history by returning to the scene of the crime in an attempt to retrieve his lost license plate, which had fallen off during the hasty retreat. Police were waiting for him at the scene.
If there's any one story that accurately sums up the idiocy of the #YOLO meme, it's this one.
A 21-year-old Ontario, California man was responsible for this deaths of five men (including his own), after smashing his Nissan Sentra into a concrete wall.
In a twist of tragic irony, Ervin McKinness tweeted #YOLO just minutes before the wreck. Police said that alcohol was likely involved, as you can see from the tweet:
Drunk af going 120 drifting corners #FuckIt YOLO
Another tweet read "Driving tweeting sipping the cup fuck yolo I’m turning it up."
You only live once - true words. Don't go out like this.
"I just stole a car and robbed a bank. Now I'm rich, I can pay off my college financial aid and tomorrow i'm going for a shopping spree. Bite me. I love GREENDAY!"
Those words adorn a YouTube video posted by a 19-year-old Nebraska woman who allegedly stole over $6,000 from a local bank, among other things. The video quickly went viral, and Hannah Sabata is facing charges after York county residents called the Sheriff's office to drop tips about the unbelievable video. According to the Sheriff, Sabata is wearing the same clothing in the video that she wore during the bank robbery, which was also caught on video.
If you posses the fortitude to sit through it, the video is still available on YouTube:
Brutally beating a 62-year-old disabled man to death immediately puts you on the list for worst person in the world. Uploading a video of said attack to Facebook throws you near the top of the list for dumbest.
Three men in Chicago were charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of 62-year-old Delfino Mora. The men, aged 16,17,and 18, were apprehended after the youngest suspect posted a video of the beating on Facebook.
Sick. Sick and dumb.
The best internet-related idiot criminal story of the year comes to us from Kentucky. In April, 20-year-old Michael Baker was arrested after posting photos of siphoning gas from a police cruiser to Facebook. In the photo, Baker is seen squatting in front of the Jenkins cruiser, directing gas into a container with one hand and flipping the bird with the other.
He quickly defended himself, saying it was a joke:
“We was just standing there and thought it would be funny to take a picture and then post it on Facebook,” he said. “I mean, if we was going to steal gas, we wouldn’t put it nationwide on Facebook. We don’t steal anyway, but we’re sorry. I got a little bit of gas, I ain’t gonna lie, but not much. I couldn’t get much. I tried, but there wasn’t much in it.”
Here's to another great year of stupid criminal fails.