A police department in Christchurch, New Zealand, had some help in a pursuit this weekend — from the suspect himself. On a Facebook post calling for the community to report any information leading to his capture, the suspect commented, “I need a new mugshot.”
Christchurch Police routinely post mugshots, security camera images, or other photos to their Facebook page, requesting information from anyone in the community who might know where the suspects can be picked up. They’re not alone in this — it’s a practice many police departments are taking advantage of in the age of Facebook.
However, few if any police departments have probably ever had a suspect comment on their page to taunt them before now. Samuel Evan Lake, who commented on his own mugshot, may have been the first.
“I need to get a new mugshot.”
TVNZ says that the police department responded, offering the suspect a new mugshot, free of charge, if he’d just drop by.
Lake responded with further taunts, expressing negative opinions about the department’s ability to apprehend him. He even photoshopped Ben Stiller’s face onto his mugshot, sharing the edited photo on Facebook.
The screenshot of Sam Lake’s mugshot and comments went viral, with his taunts — and the police responses — garnering hundreds of “likes” and plenty of attention.
However, the additional attention to Lake’s mugshot and comments seem to have served the police better than they did him. Judging from a post on the Christchurch Police Facebook page on Sunday, Lake misjudged the abilities of the department, and will indeed be getting his new mugshot.
“Thanks to everyone for their help locating Mr LAKE in Wellington tonight!”
Comments followed from other Facebook users, asking to see the new mugshot, cheering the police efforts, and laughing at the the idea of a criminal tripping himself up by commenting on his on mugshot.
“BEST update ever!! Please update us with his latest mugshot please!”
“I guess now he will get that new mugshot that he wanted LOL!”
Lake’s original mugshot, along with the post seeking information on his whereabouts, has been deleted from the Christchurch Police Facebook page, but numerous screenshots of the post are still making their way around the internet through social media sites.
However, it’s a safe bet that Lake’s commentary is done, at least for a while. It remains to be seen whether the Christchurch Police will grant the many public requests to see the new mugshot, though.