Thick as thieves: The dopiest criminals caught boasting of riches and lifestyle on social media

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You would think the first rule of crime should be: “Don’t brag about the swag.”

Yet the lure of social media proves too much for some who post snaps online that quickly expose their criminal deeds.

Last week Lidl checkout girl Emily Lock was jailed after living the high life on the proceeds of her boyfriend’s drug dealing.

Lock, 22, earned less than £10,000 a year – yet posted ­Instagram shots of her jetset lifestyle, including a holiday in Dubai, and her Vivienne Westwood handbags and Christian Louboutin shoes.

Lock was jailed after living the high life on the proceeds of her boyfriend’s drug dealing
(Image: Wales Online WS)

Merthyr Tydfil crown court heard Lock, from Caerphilly, amassed high-end fashion goods worth tens of thousands of pounds thanks to her drug dealer boyfriend Mark Price, 27.

Lock, taking a degree in law and criminology, had hoped to become a probation officer. She was jailed for 15 months.

But she is not the only one caught after showing off their luxury lifestyle.

Here are five others whose bragging cost them dear.

The benefits cheat

Fraudster Jacqueline Blake boosted her benefits by claiming she was single – but she had to alter her story after boasting online about her lavish US honeymoon.

Jacqueline Caren Blake
Fraudster Jacqueline Blake at the Empire State Building
(Image: Cavendish News)

Blake, now 53, and second husband George were pictured on Facebook on a helicopter ride over the Statue Of Liberty and taking a trip to the top of the Empire State Building.

She also posed for a snap with a waxwork dummy of Morgan Freeman outside Manhattan’s Madame Tussauds.

Investigators found Blake, then living in Colne, Lancs, had married in August 2014 but continued to claim she was living alone, getting benefits worth £12,800. She was given a 12-month community order by Burnley magistrates in 2016 for two counts of failing to notify of a change in circumstances

Holiday scammers

Food poisoning scammers Leon Roberts and Jade Muzoka claimed they had contracted a bug on a package holiday in Belek, Turkey.

Roberts, 38, and Muzoka, 27, were in line to receive a £50,000 payout from Thomson – now called TUI – but their lies unravelled thanks to their Facebook posts.

Food poisoning scammers Leon Roberts and Jade Muzoka
(Image: BPM Media)

The pair, who had claimed to have been bedridden with vomiting and diarrhoea, had uploaded 79 images to the social networking site showing them thoroughly enjoying their £3,000 luxury break.

Several snaps showed the bodybuilders heartily tucking in to meals including steak and chips in the sunshine resort.

But Roberts and Muzoka, from Derby, were definitely feeling sick last month when they were given a suspended 26-week jail sentence at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court and ordered to serve 200 hours’ community service.

The wad selfie

Junior Francis shows off his cash

Drug dealer Junior Francis was so in love with the dirty money he made that he posed for a selfie rubbing his face with a wad of notes.

Police found the snap on the heroin and cocaine pusher’s phone after following the trail from his Instagram post. He’d even taken a line from rapper Notorious B.I.G. claiming: “Everything I got I work hard for it.”

But it was Francis, 33, who took the rap. He was jailed at Inner London Crown Court after a raid on his home found £75,000 worth of crack.

The bike boast

Hapless thieves Jonathan Dougan, 26, and Matthew Murphy stole a series of luxury cars, motorbikes and champagne from victims across the North West.

But the dim-witted duo, who nicked a Mercedes worth £30,000, went on to post dozens of pictures of themselves on Facebook, sitting astride stolen high-performance bikes.

Matthew Murphy
(Image: © Cavendish Press)

In one snap, show-off Dougan, then 23, stuck a £50 note to his head. In another he gleefully held up a stolen bottle of champagne.

One of the victims received a tip-off about the posts – and spotted their KTM bike among the photos that had been uploaded.

When police swooped they found a host of evidence and, in 2014, the Salford career criminals were each jailed at Manchester Crown Court for nine years and four months. After that, being tagged is the last thing they’ll want.

The cash sandwich

An eight-strong gang of car thieves were so proud of their criminal gains that one posed with a cash sandwich on Facebook.

Conor Murphy with his sandwich
(Image: © National News and Pictures)

Others posted selfies with wads of cash fanned out in their hands.

And the gang were caught “bread-handed” thanks to their social media bragging.

A total of nine cars had been stolen in 15 burglaries, including a £100,000 Mercedes, plus jewellery, phones and laptops.

Rory Mason with £50 notes
(Image: National News and Pictures)

As well as his sandwich photo, burglar Conor Murphy, 19, was shown perched on a Porsche 911. Another gang member posed on the bonnet of a black Range Rover.

And Rory Mason, then 18, was snapped fanning out £50 notes.

The thieves also quaffed champagne and showed off Rolex watches. After their sentencing at Isleworth Crown Court in 2013, burglaries in London’s wealthy Kensington area fell 48 per cent.



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