Proudly Criminal: How American Thief Showcased Crime on Facebook


Authorities in England have jailed a pair of brazen thieves who they say displayed expensive stolen goods on Facebook.

A judge last week sentenced Matthew Murphy, 23, and Jonathan Dougan, 26, to nine years and four months behind bars for a series of thefts across the Greater Manchester area, The Manchester Evening News reports.

The pair reportedly pleaded guilty to 14 thefts that were committed between November 2012 and June 2013.

The thieves’ downfall began in June 2013, when someone alerted the owner of a stolen KTM motorcycle that Dougan posted a photo of himself posing with the stolen item on Facebook. The owner tipped off police and investigators launched a six-month police investigation, codenamed “Operation Exmoor.”

Investigators said Murphy and Dougan posted nearly 50 photos of themselves online with stolen items, including a Triumph Bonneville motorcycle and a Mercedes ‘A’ Class and a Mercedes E820.

In addition to the Facebook photos, investigators assembled other evidence in the case, including images they recovered from Murphy and Dougan’s cellphones.

At the time of Murphy and Dougan’s arrest, they were on parole for a previous robbery. A condition of their parole prohibited the two from having contact with each other, The Mirror reported.

In one instance, police say the men stole a Honda Accord belonging to two cancer patients. Authorities later found the vehicle wrapped around a tree — an accident that reportedly occurred following a 70mph police chase.

Manchester Crown Court Judge David Hernandez addressed the young men’s apparent arrogance at their Feb. 20 sentencing hearing. He said they glamorized their crimes and “blighted the lives” of their victims.

“You took great pleasure in committing those crimes,” Hernandez said, according to The Express.

The Daily Mail reported a third man, Daniel Breeze, 19, admitted to conspiracy to steal in connection with the thefts and is due to be sentenced next month.