Selfie Stupidity: When Criminals Defeat Themselves With Selfies

Three car thieves in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Canada, blew their cover when they sent a selfie of themselves in the car they stole to the owner of the vehicle. It is the kind of criminal investigation that could only happen in the digital age involving smartphone technology, social media, and a love of the selfie. Oh, and a trio of not-very-bright thieves helped a lot as well.

On Tuesday, Lucille Lavoie stopped to help her daughter-in-law bring groceries into her house, leaving her vehicle running, with her cellphone inside. When she returned to the car a few minutes later, the vehicle (and the cellphone) was gone.

In a stroke of luck, however, when she returned home that evening and turned on her computer, she discovered a new photo that loaded automatically to her Facebook account. It was a selfie that the thieves took as they drove in her car, showing their faces as plain as day, according to the CBC.

“I clicked on it, and, my goodness, there it was, yeah the three of them. She was doing a selfie, I guess, and it caught all three people.”

The three suspects, a male and two females, were arrested thanks to the power of the internet. Lavoie shared the selfie of the thieves on Facebook. It was shared thousands of times, according to the Huffington Post. And of course, a copy of the selfie was sent to the police.

Meanwhile, over in Venice, California, a similarly self-defeating, selfie-taking thief destroyed his chances of getting away with a crime when after stealing an iPhone from a house, he accidentally turned on the video application capturing a clear picture that the police are using to track him down, according to the LA Times. The police are still looking for the suspect in that case.

selfie thief Thief in Venice, California takes selfie on stolen iPhone [Photo from Los Angeles Police Department]And the stories of stupidity when it comes to criminals and selfie shots continue over in Houston, Texas. There, according to the Daily Mail, a young man who decided to rob a camera crew at gun point who were making a short film promoting the city of Houston accidentally took a selfie as he tried to get away with the camera equipment.

As he ran along the side of a highway near where the robbery took place, heading towards the Nissan Altama he took off in, the selfie- taking thief didn’t notice the GoPro attached to the equipment that was, very handily, filming the whole time. The camera crew, which included Zach Jankovic, who took after the selfie thief wasn’t able to stop him but was able to obtain the GoPro that the thief dropped – selfie included.

“Why he dropped off the Go Pro, I don’t know, but I’m glad he did, because at least now we have a photo of him.”

And, meanwhile, in San Francisco, on September 23, an unsuspecting male contacted a female thief over Craigslist. According to the SF Gate, the woman was invited over to his apartment, where, after a few minutes of visiting, the thief asked the man to go take a shower. While showering, she took off with his iPhone, iPad, and MacBook computer. But, being a not-so-smart, selfie-loving thief, she couldn’t resist the urge to take a pic of herself using the iPad.

selfie thief Craigslist thief takes selfie. [Photo from Daly City Police Department]The legit owner of the device was able to log on remotely and found the selfie of the thief, which, of course, he passed on to the police.

And, in probably the most ridiculous of selfie related crimes to go down recently, a man in Capetown, South Africa, decided he would steal an operating surveillance camera from a private residence. As can be expected, the camera got a nice, detailed selfie of the perpetrator, and the police are currently looking for the suspect, according to IOL News and police spokesperson André Traut.

Capetown surveillance camera thief [Photo IOL News]

“On September 10, a surveillance camera was stolen from a residence in Bellville, but before the suspect could remove the camera, an image of him was captured on the surveillance system.”

Although phones and technology may be getting smarter, it appears not all that decide to steal these items are. And, it also seems that ego is getting in the way of making good decisions, and it is just too difficult for a thief not to take a self-incriminating selfie – intended or not.

[Header Photo from Lucille Lavoie/Facebook]