NYC cops take down burglars by friending them on Facebook

Facebook Login

As reported by the New York Daily News earlier this week, Brooklyn police officers were able to arrest an entire burglary gang called the Brower Boys by simply befriending the burglars on Facebook. Working in Crown Heights, Officer Michael Rodrigues sent friend requests to several members of the burglary crew and simply monitored status updates to piece together information about recent and upcoming heists. In one instance, a gang member posted “It’s break-in day on the avenue” on Facebook, thus allowing Rodrigues to monitor his actions during the day. The police had been aware of the gang’s activity for approximately one year, but was able to track the gang members to each burglary location after the Facebook post and film them in the act before arresting them. 

Facebook PrisonThe gang was made up of approximately fourteen teenagers ranging in ages from 13 to 19 and had focused on stealing electronics from empty apartments in order to sell the illegally-obtained goods to stores within the city. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes indicated that the criminal behavior had escalated to violence recently with the sexual assault of a woman during a home invasion earlier this year. The entire crew faces a 102-count indictment for robbery and burglary as well as other more serious charges.

According to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the Brower Boys continued to use Facebook to organize criminal action even after becoming aware of other gangs in Brooklyn that were indicted during January 2012 when police used their posts on Twitter and Facebook as evidence against them. Instead, they joked about becoming targets of the police and continued to discuss how they would divide up cash received from the sale of stolen electronics. At least one member of the gang attempted to dissuade others from posting information about each theft on Facebook, but the others simply laughed at him.

Mobile

Police bust a massive interstate SIM card hijacking ring

Law enforcement agents in Flordia and several other states have worked together to break up an interstate cybercrime ring that used hijacked SIM cards to steal cryptocurrencies and cash from victims.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

Amazon Prime brings more perks than just free two-day shipping. Subscribers get access to a huge library of TV shows to stream at no extra cost. Here are our favorite TV shows currently available on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in August, from ‘Arrested Development’ to ‘Dark Tourist’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Social Media

Facebook dismantles fake accounts that had thousands interested in a rally

A group of coordinated fake Facebook accounts created a rally that had thousands of users interested in attending. Facebook removed the Pages and accounts, shared data with law enforcement and is notifying users that followed the event.
Social Media

Time alerts put the brakes on your Facebook and Instagram consumption

Just how much time do you spend scrolling through the Facebook and Instagram feeds? Facebook is about to tell you. The new features also include daily alerts that tell users when they've spent too much time on the social networks.
Social Media

It’s over: Tinder won the dating wars. Swipe or stay home

From OKCupid to Bumble, a variety of online dating apps still elbow for superiority, but look at the numbers and the verdict is clear: Tinder wins by a mile. Here’s why the swiping model can’t be beat.
Social Media

Snapchat now uses speech recognition to animate your face

Get your tongue back in your mouth -- Snapchat's latest Lenses react instead to a specific keyword. The new Lenses animate after hearing a specific keyword, which Snapchat displays on the screen.
Mobile

Here’s how to hide your active status on Instagram

The Activity Status mode on Instagram shows people whenever you are online, similar to Facebook Messenger. If that annoys you, here's how to hide your active status on Instagram with a quick settings change.
Computing

The Facebook dating service will be free of charge and free of ads

Facebook is getting into the dating game. While the feature was one of the surprises from this year's F8, new details suggest what the feature may entail, including a few screenshots from a computer programmer.
Social Media

Three million people quit Snapchat after the redesign

After a million users signed petitions to get the old Snapchat back, the network's user count is showing the early results of the changes with a three-million-user drop in daily active users.
Social Media

Facebook wants to help you find a mentor with its latest Groups feature

Facebook is designed for connecting to other people -- so why not mentors? Today, Facebook launched a program inside Groups that allows for two users to go through a mentorship program together.
Social Media

Facebook’s less cluttered friend list feeds are no more

Facebook friend feeds created a more curated news feed -- but not anymore. Facebook discontinued the feature, saying it wasn't widely used. The move will help the network focus on improving the news feed, the company says.
Photography

Starting a vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability.