Teenage members of a New York street gang who used Facebook to boast about their activities, squabble over who got what of acquired goods, and even befriended a police officer on the social network, have been arrested.
Kings County District Attorney Charles J Hynes and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W Kelly announced yesterday a 102-count indictment against 14 members the gang, known as the "Brower Boys”, who range in age from 13-19. They are accused of committing robberies, assaults and burglaries in the Brower Park area of Crown Heights.
“Although some were as young as 13, the Brower Boys were old hands at burglaries and worse – victimising neighbours, but making the mistake of fighting over the proceeds on Facebook, which led keen NYPD Anti-Crime officers in the 77th Precinct to monitor and arrest them,” Kelly said in a statement.
The group stole mainly electronic equipment, such as mobile phones, laptops, cameras and video games, which they would later pawn, the indictment said.
Det Michael Rodriquez is the officer who befriended seven of the gang members on Facebook, most likely under a different name, and since the boys posted news about upcoming heists on Facebook, as well, police were able to act and film some of those incidents.
Members of the NYPD Burglary, Larceny And Surveillance Team filmed several boys entering and leaving apartment windows, climbing up and down fire escape ladders and stairs, and running across rooftops.
Watch one of those police videos here:
Image of Facebook via Shutterstock