Social Media and Crime – Part 2
On Monday I discussed a horrific murder and robbery that took place in 2006. It was a classified ad that put the victim together with his killers.
Since then, Craigslist has taken classifieds to a new level. It’s free and easy to sell something. Equally easy is profiling and stalking someone.
Craigslist has been considered one of the biggest prostitution aggregators, but it’s also an aggregator of different types of crimes…violent crimes.
Taken from probable cause statements of current cases, let me tell you a tale of two recent crimes that happened right here in Salt Lake. Since these cases are still pending, I won’t be naming names. All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.
Case one involves a personal ad placed on Craigslist. After exchanging emails, these two potential lovers met in person. After a little small talk, they went back to the victim’s apartment. Once there, the “date” put the the victim in a choke hold and knocked him out. Then he took off with the victim’s wallet which was found discarded a few blocks away.
Of course, the email exchanges and eyewitness landed the assailant in jail.
Case two was a lot more brazen. The victim went to meet someone who answered his Craigslist ad. (Don’t know what for.) When he arrived at the meeting place, the assailant got in the victim’s car and pointed a gun in his face. He took the victim’s phone and wallet and demanded money. When the victim explained he didn’t have any more on him, the gunman demanded the victim drive back to the victim’s house to get more.
On the way to the victim’s house, a police car was parked on the side of the road and the victim clipped it to attract the officer’s attention. When the victim stopped the car, the gunman jumped out and was later apprehended.
Both of these are serious crimes, with Craigslist being the common factor between victim and assailant.
Again, for safety, meeting in a public place is always a good idea. Inviting strangers into your home usually isn’t.
I’ve talked about the dark side of social media and crime. On Friday, I’ll discuss the social media methods law enforcement is using to fight crime and increase public safety.
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