Just because you can do something does not mean that you should, is a lesson one man learned the hard way after he posted video to Snapchat of him stealing a Jeep and got caught. Officers say the New York man made a series of Snapchat videos while he was stealing the Jeep Wrangler, parked it somewhere else, and then returned to the scene of the crime.
The police in Ocean City stated that the incident was reported sometime around 10:48 a.m. on Saturday, July 16, responding officers were called down to a popular beach hangout known as Seacrets Bar & Grille which is along the main strip of Coastal Highway in Maryland. Fox Baltimore reported that initially, the officers were unable to identify a suspect in the case of the stolen 1994 Jeep Wrangler. They did determine though that the theft of the vehicle more than likely occurred at about 2 a.m. the previous morning.
The police were able to track down the stolen car however, locating the Jeep outside of a condominium approximately a mile away from where it had been stolen. The vehicle appeared to have been parked and left abandoned in the area of 37th Street.
Fortunately for the police, though, it was not long until they received an anonymous tip later in the day telling them to check the social media platform Snapchat. Following the clue, the police were able to gain information about the suspect, 24-year-old Brian S. Engelmann of Mastic Beach, New York, finding that he had posted a bunch of videos to Snapchat of him actually stealing the Jeep. Engelmann also apparently videod himself driving erratically to the condominium on 37th Street.
According to the Washington Post a spokeswoman for the Ocean City Police Department, Lindsay Richard, said that the videos had given the full story of the New York Man’s decision to steal the vehicle, showing “him thinking about it, taking it, and then driving erratically.” In one of the videos it showed when he had left the Jeep after he stole it.
Richards also said that while in recent years there has been an uptick of criminals getting caught because of their use of social media it is usually because they post pictures of the the item(s) they have stolen, something like a road sign. Having the crime, from start to finish, is something that she says is not something that they encounter often.
“This is a unique one where someone posted the entire series of their crime.”
The Snapchat story showed that Engelmann had decided to steal the vehicle after he found that the keys had been left in the Jeep. The spokeswoman also said that the videos showed Engelmann driving the stolen vehicle with no hands and while using his cellphone — both actions have earned him additional traffic violation charges after his arrest.
Ocean City police wrote in a release of some of the details which they discovered using the videos that led to the capture of the 24-year-old suspect.
“After further review of his Snapchat ‘story’, officers were also able to determine that Engelmann had returned to Seacrets that night. Officers responded to the bar where they quickly located and arrested Engelmann with assistance from Seacrets security staff.”
Engelmann was brought before the Maryland District Court Commissioner before he was transferred to the Worcester County Jail on charges for the theft of the vehicle along with multiple traffic violations which includes his use of the cellphone, negligent driving, as well as the fact that he had been driving on a suspended license.
He is being held at the jail on a bond of $20,000.
[Image from the Ocean City Police Department]