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Facebook used to nab North Carolina robbery suspect

You've probably heard the warning countless times: Tempting as it may be, it's best not to post anything on your Facebook page that could come back to haunt you later. That means steering clear of incriminating photos, status updates or other posts that you wouldn't want to show your employer, professors, parents or anyone else who might have an influence on your life. That list might also include police or your probation officer.

A North Carolina man was arrested earlier this month and accused of robbing a United States Postal Service driver of several thousand dollars late last year. The 30-year-old man was arrested while visiting with his probation officer. The suspect has convictions of grand larceny and burglary in his criminal history.

After he was identified as a suspect in the robbery, investigators took a look at his Facebook page. There they found a photo he'd posted of himself, holding a large stack of bills. That wasn't the only incriminating content, though. An affidavit sworn by a U.S. Postal Inspection Service agent cites posts he'd written on his Facebook wall, including one that said, "its time to go get that money rob work steel what ever." Although the post doesn't prove he committed a robbery, prosecutors used that and other status updates as evidence against him.

If he's convicted of the robbery, he could face 25 years in prison, where he'll no longer have access to Facebook or any other social media.

Although it can be extremely tempting, it's best not to say anything about incriminating activity you may have been involved in when you're on social media sites, which are being used more and more by investigators and prosecutors. It's better to assume that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

Source: The Smoking Gun, "Facebook Posts Helped Sink Robbery Suspect," Feb. 8, 2012

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