We often discuss how law enforcement is increasingly using social media to help catch criminals and spread information.
But this is perhaps the first time we’ve known the authorities to openly trade jokey taunts with criminals-on-the-run via a series of social media postings.
It started when Andrew Marcum – on the run from the police – haplessly commented on a Facebook update about himself, posted from the local Butler County Sheriff’s office requesting information that could lead to his arrest (see below.)
Andrew Marcum writes “I ain’t tripping half of them don’t even know me.”
Okay so this isn’t the first time a criminal bizarrely thought it would be a good idea to taunt the police by commenting on a police posting about themselves, but the reaction from the Sheriff’s office was equally bizarre slash amusing, depending on what way you want to look at it.
Without missing a beat, the Sheriff’s office gave a somewhat quirky reply, “If you could stop by the Sheriff’s Office, that’d be great.”
However it didn’t stop there. Sheriff Richard Jones then decided to make a couple of Twitter postings openly taunting Marcum, possibly luring him into another ill-advised social media posting. First the social-media savvy Sheriff tweets “We r close to you marcum soon u will have a new place to live. C u soon.” (we prefer our enforcement officials communicate in a way that makes them seem a little less like a 12 year old, but each to their own) and then even followed it up with a picture of Marcum’s future cell with the caption ”Hey Andrew Marcum we’ve got your room ready…”
Naturally the taunts exchanged between criminal and police drummed up quite a bit of interest in the case, which could possibly have been a reason as to why Marcum, visibly upset, turned himself in.
Whilst many media outlets have described this as another case of a criminal taunting police on Facebook, in reality it was law enforcement doing most of the taunting with 3 postings to Marcum’s 1!
Either way it worked. And the Sheriff’s office couldn’t resist having one more dig at Marcum, along with his mugshot they posted “Andrew Dale Marcum will be off Facebook temporarily, because there is no social media access in the Butler County Jail. He’s turned himself in. Thanks to our Facebook and Twitter friends for helping turn up the heat.”
What do you think of this peculiar police tactic? Would you like to see more examples of police taunting criminals-on-the-run via social media? It certainly makes for good entertainment.