Cops and social media definitely make a weird combination. At best, it sounds like an OK outreach program, at worst it's a waste of taxpayer dollars. But regardless of how you feel about it, police departments around the country and beyond have taken eagerly to Facebook and Twitter, where they really seem to enjoy shaming criminals with sarcasm and cruel mockery. Don't believe me? Here are the best examples we could find of cops snarking crooks on the Internet.
1. Burglar taunts sheriff's department on Facebook; sheriff arrests him and responds with sarcastic poem.
This Facebook post was shared by the Sheriff's Office of Polk Country, Florida to try and catch two burglars. One of the men, Logan Hale, saw it and started goading the cops as his bad boy alter ego "Finallyfree."
In the end, Finallyfree didn't turn himself in or change his name, but he was caught. And Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd didn't think any ordinary post announcing his capture would suffice. He had to get poetic.
Rhyming cops? We truly are living in the end times.
2. Woman tweets that she wants weed; cops tweet back at her.
This one started when a Florida woman tweeted a request to her friends:
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office quickly got back to her.
She played along in a surprisingly good-natured way.
And seemed to enjoy the fame.
It all worked out!
3. Mechanic tweets that he wants weed; cops get him fired.
A mechanic on the job at a Toronto-area Mr. Lube location got bored and tweeted an incriminatingly specific request for a re-up.
The cops saw it and responded with their own snarky tweet. Does this story seem familiar?
Here's where it diverges from the other stories: His bosses found out about it and joined in.
D'Oh! He should have been more vague like that Florida woman. At the very least, he shouldn't have mentioned his job.
4. Journalist corrects NYPD tweet about a crocodile; NYPD responds with unnecessary sarcasm.
This story started when a large reptilian was photographed crossing a street in upper Manhattan. Only in New York!
A journalist corrected the 34th Precinct's zoology knowledge.
The cops couldn't resist getting snippy in their response.
Mee-owtch! This officer's got claws! So did the crocodile, but it's dead now.
5. Burglar writes "catch me if you can" on Facebook, is caught 5 minutes later.
The police department of Rosenburg, TX posted this Facebook bulletin to help catch two brothers suspected of breaking into 17 cars in one weekend. One of the brothers saw his photo and was emboldened to taunt the cops from his own Facebook account.
The police wasted no time in rising to his challenge.
Just think: if he had waited five more minutes to post the comment, he could have spared himself the embarrassment.
6. Another burglar writes "catch me if you can" on Facebook, is caught and mocked with Monopoly reference.
A man named Sam Greenwood from Greater Manchester, UK, was locked up for four months for driving drunk without insurance. When he was released, he decided to keep it real by not attending any of the required meetings with his probation officer. The Greater Manchester Police posted his picture to their Facebook page, at which point he decided to get involved in the comments. The thread, presented here in descending chronological order, tells the whole story:
The Monopoly reference just adds insult to injury. If his life continues on the path it's on now, he'll never be a real estate mogul.
7. Man shares his own "Wanted" post on Facebook, then falls for the most obvious sting of all time.
Minutes after he shared the post, Lescowitch received a mysterious Facebook message from a stranger with an attractive female profile picture. Presumably entranced by his bravado, this siren invited Lescowitch to get a drink, but he was too smart for that. When she asked him to get a cigarette, however, he agreed. She had found his weakness.
When he showed up for the rendezvous, he was met by officers. Duh. He was immediately arrested, and the Freeland PD shortly commemorated the successful sting with (how else?) a Facebook post.
Mentioning how he got himself caught is extra humiliating. But at least they didn't describe the cigarette date. He'd never live that one down.
8. Cops burn criminal on Facebook over lame excuse for having weed.
26-year-old Richard Relliford tried to do some quick thinking when cops caught him in St. Marys, GA with a comically large bag of marijuana. Unfortunately, quick thinking isn't the forte of the stoned. His excuse was so bad, the cops felt the need to make fun of him in a viral Facebook post about the incident.
That's right. He said it was a salad. The kind of salad that you keep in a ziploc bag and doesn't have dressing and is made of weed. Of course, mercilessly mocking Relliford on Facebook opened up the SMPD to questions from the public about marijuana policy:
I hope their open-minded attitude comes as a comfort to Richard Relliford in jail.