In the classic Mel Brooks movie Spaceballs, the villain Dark Helmet boasted “Evil will always triumph, because Good is dumb.” But that was before the Internet, when we started seeing cases where Good won because Evil stupidly filmed itself doing evil (or at least illegal) things before uploading the incriminating footage to the web.
There’s a near-limitless number of examples. Most recently, antivirus guru John McAfee made international headlines after he not only committed an alleged murder, but blogged throughout his time on the lam. Students have been arrested not so much for taking illicit upskirt videos of their teachers as for posting the videos on YouTube and bragging to their friends. Last July, a New Zealander on the run from police came to their attention after taunting them on Facebook.
And two equally brash New Zealanders are busily turning themselves into the latest example of criminals who might’ve got away with it, had they kept their actions secret rather than brag to the Internet. Police in Wellington are searching for two people—Callan “Jackeduaride” Giles and Miki “Makeuwalk” Rangi—in connection with a string of high-end car thefts in the city.
The middle names Jackeduaride and Makeuwalk came from the alleged thieves’ own Facebook pages; it is not known if the two want to come to police attention, or simply don’t understand that cops have Internet connections, too. But a Wellington police sergeant, speaking with rare understatement, called those middle names “in your face” and told the local news “I know that they exist, I know what they do, and if the opportunity arises, I will prosecute them.”
Giles also posts on political issues; last February he posted his Facebook cover photo, a car whose back wheels are “burning rubber,” over the caption “The government don’t want boy racers doing skids on the streets but don’t offer an alternative so GIVE US A PUBLIC SKID PAD." (Police believe the stolen cars are being used for this purpose.)
More potentially incriminating is Rangi’s cover photo, presumably showing Rangi’s own face and future mugshot. On the other hand, Rangi’s public Facebook page contains little other personal information about him, whereas Giles’ page—assuming it’s accurate—lists his former school and current employer, while his LinkedIn account says he’s looking for work in mechanical or industrial engineering.
Maybe he’ll get lucky, and land a job offer from an employer with just enough Internet savvy to use LinkedIn, but not quite enough to Google a potential hire’s name.
Photo via Callan Giles/Facebook