Ah, the humble selfie. What started out as a term posted on a humble Australian internet forum has risen to become something so much bigger (and we’re not just talking about being named the Oxford Dictionaries Online word of the year in 2013).
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For some, like American filmmaker and Webby Award founder Tiffany Shlain, it’s given us a completely new perspective on the world. Others meanwhile see the rise of the selfie as being analogous to the narcissistic nature of millenials.
There is however a certain breed of people for whom selfies are just a bad idea. The day they were handed a smartphone was the day they started walking down the path to their doom.
1. Bank robber posts gun selfie
Quick. What’s the best possible activity you can imagine doing a week after you’ve robbed a bank? Stashing the money somewhere safe? Fleeing to a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with your own? Hiding until the dust blows over?
If any of those were among the answers you would’ve chosen then congratulations, you have a lot more sense than Brooklyn native Jules Bahler. The 21-year-old New Yorker recently posted a bunch of “tough guy” photos to Facebook of him wielding the same gun he allegedly used in a bank heist the week before.
Investigators busted Bahler shortly afterwards, thanks in part to those selfies.
2. Phone thief posts selfies using stolen phone
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
You get dumb criminals and then you get criminals dumb enough not to perform a factory reset once they’ve stolen a smartphone.
The phenomenon is actually fairly common. The fella pictured at the top of this entry was arrested for theft in Palm Beach, Florida after posting pictures of himself with a stolen iPhone to his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
In South Africa meanwhile, Johannesburg-based Joe Knott reports that he regularly goes online to find selfies taken, most likely, by the person who stole his phone during a beach holiday in 2013.
The most well-known example however is probably Life of a Stranger Who Stole my Phone, which chronicles the day-to-day experiences of Hafid, a Dubai man who stole a German tourist’s smartphone in 2013.
Still, unlike our Florida selfie taker, they haven’t been arrested. With the kind of brazen criminal behaviour they display though, we’re not holding our breath.
3. Drug mule gets caught after taking selfie with wads of cash
When you find yourself working as drug mule, it’s seldom a sign that things have gone right in your life. Sure the financial rewards can be high but the risks are massive, so you’d think you wouldn’t really want to give away any clues that it’s what you were doing.
Someone should’ve told Peter Cavanagh that before the heroin and cocaine smuggler posted pictures of himself kissing and counting banknotes after a successful run.
The photos were then used to nail Cavanagh after they were found on the phones of two addicts with known links to him. He was sentenced to three years behind bars.
4. Any selfie taken while driving. Ever
For years, we’ve been getting information about how talking and texting from our mobile phones while driving is incredibly dangerous. What would possibly make anyone think that taking the time to compose the perfect selfie behind the steering wheel is any safer?
5. Teenage girls take selfie after being arrested
The Australian teenagers posted the photo to Facebook with the caption: “Hahahaha In The Back Of The Police Van. Beat You.” Now those are two young women with some seriously strong career prospects.