Monday, Nov. 30, 2009

Better than a Lineup

Police in Queenstown, New Zealand, dubbed it their first Facebook arrest: in January, they tracked down a man who had allegedly tried to burgle a local pub by posting security-camera shots of him on Facebook. After spending about an hour trying to open the safe, the would-be criminal — apparently overheated — removed his mask. He stole a glance at the camera for long enough that investigators could freeze the frame and post the images on the police department's Facebook profile. Web users — and viewers of a TV segment that featured the images — quickly recognized him as 21-year-old Michael James Ede, and the man was soon in custody. Along with co-offender Tye George Bennet, 18, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to complete 300 hours' community service and pay a fine of $125 to repair the safe.