iCloud Selfies Lead to iPad Theft Arrest

Some people just can't resist the urge to take a selfie. For a pair of alleged thieves in Houston, that impulse led to their arrest. Early this month, a man reported to police that his truck had been burglarized, and that the thieves took thousands of dollars in cash and electronics including a laptop, a radar detector, and an iPad from the vehicle. Later, the man checked his iCloud account and noticed that the alleged thieves had used the iPad to take selfies that showed two men posing with several hundred dollar bills. [caption id="attachment_4433" align="aligncenter" width="270"]© Randy Schaefer/AP Photo © Randy Schaefer/AP Photo[/caption] The theft victim believes that when the stolen property was dumped behind a local Starbucks, his device connected with the coffee shop's Wi-Fi connection and synced the images to his iCloud account. The two men even bragged in a video, which one uploaded to his own Facebook page, "This, my good people, is what we get from a good night’s hustle." The video and the damning selfies were taken at a local Burger King, just two miles from the victim's house. The Facebook profile was deleted after a friend commented on the posted video, "Yo deactivate yur page n*** yu hot." Police distributed the images over social media, and the two men were identified as Dorian Walker-Gaines, 20, and Dillian Thompson, 22. Both men were arrested on felony theft complaints. As of this writing, both men remain in jail. Walker-Gaines is held on $10,000 bond, and Thompson is held on $5,000. Ironically, Walker-Gaines has a tattoo across his chest that reads, "Brilliant." You would think that criminals would learn that uploading selfies of their crimes is a bad idea, but it seems to be a lesson they are slow in learning:

  • Last month, police in Palm Beach arrested two people after they posed with stolen cash and uploaded the picture to Instagram.
  • In July 2014, a woman in Illinois was arrested after she allegedly shoplifted a dress and then posted a picture of herself wearing the stolen outfit on Facebook, saying, "Love my new dress."
  • In August 2014, two people in Missouri were arrested after they allegedly let their friend die of a drug overdose, then posed with his corpse and uploaded the pictures to Facebook before dumping the man's body.
  • In February 2014, police in Chula Vista, California, arrested a suspect in a string of church burglaries after they discovered a cell phone at the scene which contained selfies of the man.
Social media can be a prosecutor's best friend, even if the defendant doesn't upload selfies of himself or herself actively engaged in crime.  This month, a man already in a Louisiana jail for attempted murder had additional charges filed against him, after a search of his Facebook page uncovered a selfie of him wearing the exact same outfit he was wearing on surveillance camera during a robbery. Your Miranda Rights inform you that anything you say can AND WILL be used against you. That extends to anything you post and upload on social media as well.