WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 03, 2013, 10:08 PM

Criminal mistakes make arrests easier for police

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Law enforcement never knows what they're going to find when they show up the scene of a crime.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Law enforcement never knows what they're going to find when they show up the scene of a crime.

In the case of these two men, authorities say they did themselves in.

At times it can be hard to look away. In fact, the media has exploited some criminals after they leave a trail of information at the crime scene, like in this show on HLN, 'World's Wildest Police Chase', highlighting what they call the "World's Dumbest Criminals".

Cass County State Attorney, Birch Burdick, says this is nothing new, criminals ratting themselves.

Birch Burdick, Cass County State’s Attorney: "People have done that sort of thing inadvertently for years. People crawling through windows and their wallets drop out of their pocket and they don't know it until after they've left the crime scene."

What has changed, though, according to Fargo Police is bad guys involvement in social media. Meet 25-year-old Benjamin Emerson and 34-year-old Matthew Hedstrom, two Fargo men charged with burglarizing a home in Harwood. The catch? A Cass County Sheriff Deputy found a cell phone near a door while investigating the break-in. Court Documents indicate Emerson had a Facebook application installed, open to his own profile.

Lt. Joel Vettel, Fargo Police Department: "This is another example of somebody utilizing technology to catch a criminal but also a criminal utilizing technology to catch themselves."

Just recently another man was charged with terrorizing after he made a threat on Facebook geared towards his former employer.

Vettel: "We were contacted by an owner of a local business who stated a former manager of his business who had been fired had made some statements on his Facebook page."

According to court documents the Facebook posts said, "They fired me Jefe. Can you drive over to Mesa and burn their house down? I'll give you the address."

Police say this case is proof yet again, you never know who is looking at your Facebook page.

You're constantly leaving an online trail, so what do you want that trail to reveal?