Fugitive to police on Facebook: Catch me if you can. They do

Taunting the police on Facebook has limited benefits -- as one wanted man in the U.K. discovers when it takes police just 12 hours to catch up with him. They leave him a taunting message on Facebook in return.

The police's picture of Greenwood on Facebook. Greater Manchester Police/Facebook

Thin is the line between the brave and the foolhardy.

Thinner is the brain that thinks it's brave to taunt the police on Facebook.

Perhaps it comes from watching too many movies or too few, but those who are wanted by the police sometimes turn to Facebook to offer a "na, na, na-na, na."

A couple of years ago, a man in Utica, N.Y., allegedly tried to dare the police to catch him, with troubling results (for him).

The world learns as slowly as it turns. For today I have news that an English teen, wanted for allegedly not complying with the terms of his release from jail, decided to offer these well-worn words to the police on Facebook: "Catch me if u can."

Oh, Sam Greenwood from Rochdale, U.K. The police have technology and dogs and sometimes even good sense.

19-year-old Greenwood didn't even allegedly post on his own Facebook page.

Instead, as the Daily Mail reports, he went onto the official Greater Manchester Police Rochdale North Facebook page to respond to the police's appeal for information leading to his capture. He even used his own Facebook identity.

His "catch me if u can" brought this response from the police: "You are a talented young man. Don't waste your life away. So many people are willing to help you -- but you've got to start helping yourself."

It took police just 12 hours to catch him. They found him walking down a street.

And then, in a fit of good cheer, the police posted one more Facebook comment: "Caught you. Do not pass Go, do not collect £200, go straight to jail."

This comment was later deleted, to the chagrin of some on Facebook who thought it unusually amusing.

Inspector Umer Khan of the Rochdale police told the Manchester Evening News: "Unfortunately this man was always going to be a hostage to fortune once he decided to goad us on Facebook."

Dear fugitives and criminals of the world: mocking the police on Facebook has not generally been known to work. It tends to have a negative effect. It tends to slightly annoy the police and makes them try a little harder to catch you.

I know this is now a socially networked, sharing, caring world, but running and hiding has better results.

 

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