In New York City the bad guys may want to think twice before bragging on Facebook about their dastardly deeds. The New York Police Department is lurking on social media sites ready to pounce.
The NYPD has launched a new unit whose goal is to track down criminals using social media networks. The original idea was to decrease crimes committed by juveniles but it's not just the kids getting caught.
Ruben J. Burgos, a man on the top ten list from Utica, went to Facebook to taunt the police with the phrase “Catch me if you can, I’m in Brooklyn” last month. He went as far as to post a video of himself walking into a station house.
Those taunts didn't go unnoticed. With the help of the U.S. Marshals the NYPD used his own taunts to track him down. The task force broke down his door finding the criminal in front of his computer. Another case closed for the NYPD.
The unit headed by Kevin O'Connor has been able to use the Internet to prove guilt in some cases. One such case is that of the anti-gay beating death of Anthony Collao. A member of a group wrote about his part of the murder on Facebook.
The NYPD isn't the only police force to have a social media crime solving team. Last month the Toronto Police Service announced their social media program. Police in London have turned to Flickr.com to identify rioters this week.