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NYC Phone Thieves Take Selfie, Get Arrested

By Brett Snider, Esq. on May 27, 2014 3:55 PM

So you know, getting on the subway after a successful phone heist, but first, lemme take a selfie!

This may have been the thoughts running through the heads of two New York City teen boys who allegedly swiped a 14-year-old boy's phone and proceeded to take a selfie on it ... and send it to the boy's mother.

What charges are these two facing for their #theftselfie?

Petit Larceny and Possession of Stolen Property

The two culprits who essentially turned themselves in with their #getawayselfie, Khayyam Alexander, 16, and Fehti Nekrouf, 18, are charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, reports The Huffington Post.

Many states, New York included, like to divide up theft crimes based on the value of what was stolen. Petit larceny (often called petty theft in other states) occurs under New York law when a person steals property which is valued at $1,000 or less.

Reports were sketchy about the kind of phone that was stolen from the victim, but it's likely that it was valued less than $1,000. Both petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property are considered Class A misdemeanors, meaning Alexander and Nekrouf could be facing actual jail time for their theft-then-selfie stunt.

New York is also notable for trying even 16-year-olds as adults, so Alexander probably won't be getting off too easily.

Using Selfies as Evidence

This isn't the first time that a selfie taken by the suspect has led to their almost immediate arrest. A 19-year-old felon in Florida posted a number of selfies to Instagram, including ones posing with guns, which brought federal law enforcement down on him like a ton of bricks. These photos may now correctly be tagged #142feloninpossessioncharges.

What many criminals may not realize is that selfies often contain metadata (date, time, and even GPS location) that make it much easier to track down the selfie-taker. Police may also take a low-tech approach to tracking down criminal suspects who publish photos of themselves -- leak them to the media.

According to Metro New York, the New York Police Department released the incriminating selfie on Friday, leading Alexander to turn himself in on Saturday. Police then arrested Nekrouf on Sunday.

Too bad they don't allow #selfies while in custody.

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