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MySpace Monkey Business Lands Animal Thief in Jail

September 24, 2008 05:02 PM
by Josh Katz
A teenager charged with stealing monkeys was caught thanks to information on his MySpace page, the latest victim of his own social networking.

MySpace Helps Nab Monkey Thief

Police say that Steven Labore and his friend Michael Naylor were searching for marijuana in November 2007, which they believed grew at a Wild World of Animals greenhouse, in Eight Four, Pa. The “animal education and entertainment business” did not yield any marijuna, however, but it did house monkeys, and the teens seized the opportunity, according to The Washington Post.

They stole two monkeys, named Gwendolyn and Lucy, but Labore’s mother would reveal the whereabouts of the animals about eight hours later to the co-owner of the business.

The authorities arrested Lahore and Naylor on burglary and related charges. In July, a court sentenced Naylor to two to five years in prison. Labore, however, missed a March court date and fled.

Chad Schneider, an assistant district attorney in western Pennsylvania’s Washington County, was able to track down Labore this month simply by checking his MySpace page, which revealed his new phone number and address.

Labore, who was hiding out in Southern Maryland, will be brought back to Pennsylvania this week.

Background: Others in legal trouble for social networking foibles

In one recent incident, Jimmy Lemke, a student at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, had scheduled an old-fashioned block party on N. Frederick Ave. for Sept. 20. He created a Facebook group for the event, which would become about 5,000-people strong. Community members and school officials became concerned that the party could turn into a version of the large annual Mifflin Street Block Party near the University of Wisconsin—Madison that boasts about 10,000 people.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Helen Mamarchev warned him that SWAT teams and mounted police might patrol the event. Listening to Mamarchev’s suggestion, Lemke opted to cancel the party by telling people on the Facebook page not to attend and spreading that information throughout the neighborhood. Sept. 20 passed without any commotion. “At 7:30 p.m. a single campus police cruiser patrolled the area, and a few students gathered on porches to talk quietly and smoke cigarettes, but there were no signs of a block party,” the Sentinel writes.

At the end of July, Facebook photos led to a stiff sentence for a young drunk driver, also illustrating the importance that image can have in the Internet age when all is laid bare.

College junior Joshua Lipton, 20, posed as a “jail bird” at a Halloween party just two weeks after a car accident in which he caused a woman serious injury while driving drunk. The prosecution used pictures of the party on Facebook to demonstrate Lipton’s lack of remorse, and the judge concurred, sentencing him to two years in prison.

A similar case came up earlier that month in the form of an 18-year-old Pennsylvania man who bragged of his speeding and drug an alcohol use on MySpace even after being charged with a DUI-related homicide.

MySpace turned fatal when Lori Drew’s daughter had a falling out with classmate Meghan Meier. Lori Drew invented a MySpace profile of a boy who flirted with Meier and then rejected her, allegedly driving her to suicide. Drew was ultimately indicted on “federal counts of conspiracy and accessing protected computers without authorization.” In this case, Drew’s use of MySpace to pretend she was someone else was considered a violation of the terms of the site.

Related Topics: Social networking for spies, babies


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