Social Media Updates Lead to Arrest
The popularity of Facebook, Twitter and other social media Web sites has led to a revolution in disclosing personal information. Millions of people daily give updates on the most minute parts of their lives, from going shopping to going to bed. But there’s a downside to social media sites, especially if you’re a fugitive and giving away information leads to your capture.
That’s what happened to a California man who fled more than a decade ago to Montana after his arrest for shooting another man.
Robert Lewis Crose fled California when his parole was revoked in 1998 after he served a year in prison. Crose went to Montana and led a quiet life harvesting crops near Cut Bank. Then he discovered Facebook.
Crose, using his real name, posted updates that gave California law enforcement officials his exact location. He wrote how he was working near the border and had won $600 gambling. When a friend asked where Crose was after posting his water line had frozen, he replied, “Cut Bank.”
That was all a California fugitive task force needed. The force traveled to Montana and arrested Crose.
Experts say using social media can be fun and fulfilling, but they caution that people need to understand that using any form, from Facebook to Twitter, means exposing themselves to criminal charges and further exposing their personal lives. That can be hazardous for anyone with something to hide, especially a fugitive, they say.
Social media has also ensnared people into other predicaments with wives, girlfriends, employers and state agencies.
In one instance, a New York man supposedly away from his job and receiving workers’ compensation posted photos of his trip to Disney World. He was subsequently fired.