Fugitive arrested, thanks to selfies

After you get finished reading this, you’ll likely ask “why didn’t she just take the shoplifiting charge?”

I can’t speak for her life before July 3, 2017 but, I can say for sure that, on that day, Megan Boulter made a number of bad decisions.  The first was her decision to shoplift at a Kauffman, Texas Walmart, with her 5-year-old daughter in-tow.  She was caught in the act and, had she accepted her punishment, her life would be far less complicated. But, you already know she didn’t, right?

Instead of giving up, Boulter bolted from the from the store, with her child, hopped in her car and tried to run over the loss prevention officer who tried stopping her.  Believe it or not, it gets worse.  She then proceeds to lead police on a high-speed chase and managed to escape.  Now, if you’re not considering the legal dynamics of what I just described, her crimes went from misdemeanors to felonies in a matter of minutes.  So, instead of just facing a shoplifting charge, she tacked on felony counts of child endangerment, evading arrest and aggravated robbery to her list of offenses.

Police knew who she was but didn’t know where she was.  They put pressure on her friends to either give her up or encourage her to turn herself in.  In addition to traditional methods, the Kauffman police decided to employ another tactic.  By visiting her Facebook page, they noticed she had a fondness for taking selfies.  They decided to re-post a number of her pictures on the department’s Facebook page.  The post went viral and was shared all over the country.  Police say that Boulter’s friends were even tagging her in the post, calling on her to turn herself in.

After 10 days on the run, Megan Boulter did just that.  In the early hours of July 13, 2017, she decided to stop running and face the music.

Kauffman Police Captain Ed Black touted the power of social media as tool for policing in his statement:

“Social media is the most powerful tool out there right now. I can’t think of anything, as far as law-enforcement, any other tool that works as well as social media…One of our tips that helped us find the child came from a lady in Hawaii. I mean, that right there says it all.”

 

 

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An opinionated technologist, JP launched Death By Social Media when he saw just how easily and how often people's misunderstanding/abuse of social media created personal catastrophes. As a result, he wanted to provide a resource that would provide cautionary tales for those seeking to avoid similar fates.