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Fugitive posts on Snapchat that he’s hiding in the cupboard, while police search his house

Is this the dumbest fugitive ever?

Meet 24-year-old Christopher Wallace, wanted by police in Somerset County, Maine, in connection with the theft of a wood stove earlier this year from a sporting camp, and violation of administrative release.

wallace

Well, this weekend, Wallace made it remarkably easy for police officers to find him.

The first thing he did was post a message on Snapchat, telling his friends that he was at a house in Fairfield, Somerset County.

Someone tipped off the police, who duly went to search the residence. Two officers from Somerset County Sherrif’s Office, accompanied by two officers from the Fairfield Police Department, went to the residence and were given permission to search the house.

However, Wallace could not be found.

That’s when the police’s luck changed, as Wallace did something very dumb indeed.

He posted another message on Snapchat – saying that police were searching the house for him, but that he was hiding in a cabinet.

The Somerset County Sherrif’s Office shared more details on its Facebook page:

While the deputies/officers were wrapping up their search, Wallace posted again on Snapchat. This time he posted that the police were searching for him in the house, and that he was hiding in a cabinet. Again, we received phone calls.

A search of the kitchen cabinets turned up some food, some pots and pans, and also a pair of feet. The pair of feet just so happened to be attached to a person, and that person was Christopher Wallace. He was removed from the cabinet, and placed under arrest.

All of that, brings me to the moral of the story. Always remain humble, my friends.

Also arrested at the address was 20-year-old Erika Hall, suspected of hindering the police’s investigation after denying on multiple occasions that there was anyone else in the house and saying that they hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Wallace for weeks.

This isn’t, of course, the first time that someone of interest to the authorities has found their obsessive Snapchatting has led to their downfall. For instance, earlier this year a 16-year-old youth was charged with murdering his classmate, after a Snapchat photo he sent of himself with the dead body was forwarded to the police.

Maybe we should be grateful that criminals haven’t learnt the most basic rule of privacy online – if you don’t want people to know something, don’t post it on the internet.

About the author

Graham CLULEY

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, researcher and public speaker. He has been working in the computer security industry since the early 1990s, having been employed by companies such as Sophos, McAfee and Dr Solomon's. He has given talks about computer security for some of the world's largest companies, worked with law enforcement agencies on investigations into hacking groups, and regularly appears on TV and radio explaining computer security threats.

Graham Cluley was inducted into the InfoSecurity Europe Hall of Fame in 2011, and was given an honorary mention in the "10 Greatest Britons in IT History" for his contribution as a leading authority in internet security.

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