Technology: phone owners know it can be your most trusted and best friend, and other times it can be a real pain in the neck. But in a few extra-special cases, technology proved to be the Achilles heel of some especially dumb criminals and burglars. These individuals were apparently either too wrapped up in the digital world to think clearly about the real one, or so blinded by their egos that they didn’t recognize the law-breaking mistakes they were making. In other words, they took criminal selfies.
Yes, sometimes a selfie can really send you to jail – especially when it involves memorializing the moment of breaking the law. For proof, look no further than this list of some of the worst criminal selfies ever captured on a smartphone: when culprits couldn’t resist the siren song of the selfie, and posed mid-misdemeanor to snap the perfect shot. Unfortunately for them, their dumb selfies landed them in some extremely hot water. Fortunately for everyone else, their legal predicaments make for some satisfying, schadenfreude-filled laughs.
Read on and weigh in on the worst selfies. Remember to vote up the criminal selfies that are so bad that they’re secretly kind of genius, and vote down the ones that are too boring – or just plain stupid – to top the list.
Brazil Fugitives Give Thumbs Up After Successful Escape
Two Brazilian criminals who successfully broke out of prison stopped to take a selfie, giving a “thumbs up” to celebrate their new freedom. “On the run from jail,” his caption reads.
Unfortunately for Brayan Bremer, a convicted robber, and his unnamed companion, their victory was short lived. Not long after his post, he and his fellow escapee were recaptured and sent back to prison.
The duo, along with more than 100 others, were able to break out after a prison riot that left 56 people dead. Authorities said a undisclosed number of people were recaptured.
Ohio Fugitive Took Selfie Instead of MugshotDonald “Chip” Pugh was wanted in connection with crimes including drunk driving, arson, and vandalism. But he wasn’t a fan of the mugshot local police were posting of him on social media – so he snapped a selfie that he thought was much more flattering. The police added the picture to their existing post requesting that he turn himself in.
Maybe Take the Masks Off First?
Holy Robbery!Californian Adam Howe decided to rob a church of its computers, cash, and other valuables. It was the perfect crime – except that he left his phone at the scene. It only took the police a few moments to flip through his photos and find this fateful selfie.
This Is Why You Always Log Back InAfter breaking into a home and stealing a phone, among other valuables, Ashley Keast decided to post a new selfie to WhatsApp. Unfortunately, he didn’t think to sign into his own account on the phone before posting, and displayed the photo under his victim’s account instead. It only took a few hours for friends and family members to notify the victim of the new photo, and for Keast to be caught.
A Drug Mule MistakeDeciding to transport illegal drugs is questionable enough. But if you choose that career, definitely don’t boast about it on social media by posting a picture with a wad of illicitly acquired cash. That’s what this drug mule did, though, and it’s also what got him arrested.
Cool Gun Selfie, BroThis 21-year-old posted a photo of himself with a gun – one that he recently used to commit a crime. You can probably assume it didn’t take too long for the police to find him after this. Was it really worth the few likes he might have gotten on Facebook?
No Facebook Allowed in PrisonThese two guys successfully snuck a phone into prison, which is something of an accomplishment. Less of an accomplishment? Posting a photo of themselves in prison with said phone on social media. Their gadgets were immediately confiscated.
An Unwanted VisitorA woman got a shock while checking her photos, discovering a snapshot of a strange man sitting at her kitchen table. Even creepier? Her handbag is visible in the image, meaning that she was home at the time. The invader reportedly only stole food, but the incident was disturbing enough for the victim to change all of her locks.
Flaunting the Family CashWhat’s even bolder than the post-crime selfie? The mid-crime selfie, of course! Thisburglar paused to pose with the winter coat and cash he was taking, snapping the picture on a laptop he also lifted. He posted the image straight to the victim’s social media accounts, where it almost immediately caught the attention of the police.
World Trade Center SelfieSneaking into any guarded building isn’t a smart move, particularly when it’s one of the most recognizable addresses in the country. That’s what this teenager discovered when he trespassed at 1 World Trade Center. That cool profile pic got him arrested and lost the security guard on duty his job.
Maybe This Wasn’t the Best Time for a SnapshotKayleigh Hill gained notoriety by running out onto the field during the 2013 College World Series final – and then snapping a selfie with the guards chasing after her. Her prank cost her a fine of $1,500.
The Cloud Is a Robber’s Worst EnemyThis young woman stole an iPad and then proceeded to take a flurry of silly selfies with it. Not wise – especially since the victim’s cloud was immediately updated with the new photos. Thanks to those selfies, the police knew exactly who to look for.
Strange Kindle NotificationThis man may have accidentally snapped this photo of himself while stealing a Kindle. Regardless, the previous owner found it while syncing his new device, and took it straight to the authorities.
Don’t Take Selfies If You’re Going to Rob SomeoneThis man robbed another man at gunpoint, taking his phone and some cash. But thanks to iCloud, the photo he posted helped the police identify him.
Smile for the (Stolen) Cameraphone!This pair of phone thieves posed for a celebratory post-crime portrait. Too bad it went straight to the cloud, where the phone’s owner noticed it and notified the police.
Amateur Move, DudeIt’s a familiar story: someone snatches a smartphone, and decides to post a selfie. It didn’t work out so well for Jess Ewald, who was promptly arrested.
Time for Your Daily Cash Bath!Jeane Napoles couldn’t resist snapping a shot of her relaxing soak in a bath full of cash. The only problem? Her mother is currently under trial in the Philippines for allegedly helping the parliament embezzle $230 million – and this photo ensured that Napoles landed under investigation for tax fraud herself.
Why Not Make a Text Group for Armed Robbers?After a string of crimes had been committed in the United Kingdom by this specific group, the police managed to capture one of their phones. Not only did they find several incriminating photos, but also a group text thread including all of the self-proclaimed “armed robbers.”
Thwarted By an Email AlertAfter stealing a phone, this man took a selfie with it. But the victim had adjusted his settings to receive an email alert any time a new photo was taken with his phone, a wise move that ensured a speedy return of his phone (and the arrest of the thief).