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Facebook Photo Burglar Caught: Candidate for Stupidest Criminal Nabbed by Police

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March 4, 2011
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Facebook Photo Burglar Caught: Candidate for Stupidest Criminal Nabbed by Police

Remember my post from January about the burglar in Washington DC who posted his photo on his victim’s Facebook accountwhile in the victim’s home? At the time I stated that truth wins out over fiction every time, since it would be difficult to make this one up. Of all the “stupidest burglar” accounts, this one took the prize. Well, there’s a follow up story, and it’s hardly surprising.

A Southeast [DC] man Tuesday pled guilty to second-degree burglary in connection with a December break-in of a Northwest home during which he posted a photograph of himself on the victim's own Facebook page. Police identified Rodney Knight Jr. as the suspect weeks after Washington Post editor Marc Fisher detailed the robbery of his D.C. home. Fisher also posted a photo from his son's Facebook account in which the burglar, later identified as Knight, posted a picture of himself wearing Fisher's stolen coat and holding up cash.

Hard to Believe, Right?

Yes, it does stretch credibility that anyone could be so stupid as to intentionally post their own picture at the scene of a crime. Even in a city of 600,000, police were able to locate Mr. Knight. I’ve also posted on the potential dangers of sharing too much information on Facebook, such as when you are planning to be away, or even your actual address or pictures of your house. This burglar clearly took it to the next level in posting his own picture – wearing the victim’s coat. One might ask what he was thinking, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the right question!

More to the Story

Prosecutors said Knight stole about $400 in cash, along with the coat and two laptop computers. Knight, 19, also pled guilty to one count of carrying a pistol without a license, a case prosecutors said was unrelated to the burglary. Knight was arrested on Jan. 2, after police observed him in an alley in the 2800 block of Dunbar St. SE clutching his waistband and running. The pistol was loaded with one round in the chamber and one in the magazine, according court documents. Knight has been in D.C. jail since the January arrest. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4 by Judge Anthony C. Epstein.

What Happens Next?

Here’s a section from the original story:

Still, Fisher says two officers said police in the city rarely press hard on burglary cases because the courts almost always let thieves go with nothing more than probation. Maybe that’s why four days after handing over the photo, the Fishers waited to hear from the detective assigned to the case.

Now they have the perpetrator in custody. The question remains: what will happen to him? The gun violation certainly won’t help, when it comes to sentencing. Also from my original post:

Burglaries are up 11 percent in Washington this year (2010), to a total that will top 4,000 — most likely a reflection of continued hard times, especially since virtually every other category of crime is down. Police made 30 burglary arrests in the last two weeks of November, up from six in the same weeks last year. Nationwide, police solved only 12 percent of burglaries last year; in big cities like Washington, the figure often is barely more than half that high. Says Fisher: “No wonder the guy in our photo wore such a confident smirk.”

This incident has come full circle: it’s refreshing to know that another perp is off the streets, and hopefully out of circulation for a long time. Unfortunately, there are plenty more intruders, and we are a long way from burglary statistics heading in a better direction. Only one in five homes has a monitored alarm system – and it shouldn’t take an incident like the one described above before people take home security more seriously. That’s where companies like FrontPoint can help. We’re the #1 ranked alarm company in the US for wireless, interactive home security. With systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat, FrontPoint is your first line of defense – so you can keep your Facebook account to yourself.

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