Bad Strategy: Announcing The Target Of Your Robbery On Facebook Before Giving It A Go

While dumb criminals doing dumb criminal-y things with technology aren’t exactly new around Techdirt, we can’t help but be amazed at the things some of these folks think they’re going to get away with. That said, much of the silliness tends to occur after the fact. A murderer takes a selfie with his victim after the crime is committed. A phone thief uses the stolen phone to upload selfies of himself to his victim’s account. A teen pimpette brags about her crimes after committing them.

But, in what may be a first, today we bring you a UK man who proactively used social media to post the location of his to-be-committed robbery before then committing said robbery. Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long for the public and the police to put two and two together.

Andrew Hennells, 32, posted a comment on his profile which read: “Doing. Tesco. Over” at 19:25 GMT on 13 February. Just 15 minutes later, after he had held up the King’s Lynn store, police caught Hennells with a knife and £410.

I must commend Hennells on his attempts to streamline police action this way. With all the fervor we’ve heard about attempts to use technology for so-called pre-crime efforts, folks like Hennells might give potential investors of those prospective systems pause as they negate their use entirely. Now, police weren’t solely reliant on the Facebook posts to put Hennells in cuffs, but they obviously didn’t harm the effort.

Sgt Pete Jessop said Hennells’s Facebook confession had made it easier to secure a guilty plea.

“It was a bizarre and unusual case,” he said. “The pictures and posts on Facebook helped us confirm what we already knew. None of this takes away from the seriousness of the crime or the trauma experienced by the victims of the robbery.”

No, but it sure is good for a chuckle at the stupid. God’s speed, Mr. Hennells.

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