Snapchat leads to downfall of ‘cocky’ criminal hiding in cabinet

Christopher Wallace (Somerset County Sheriff's Office)
He may not have checked in from a cabinet on Snapchat exactly, but posting his location to the social media app is what led to the arrest of burglary suspect Christopher Wallace. Police found him because he posted from within his hiding place.

Wallace, 24, was suspected of burgling a Maine sporting camp in mid-January, Somerset County Chief Deputy James Ross said. Police asked the public for help finding him at the end of February.

Christopher Wallace was previously arrested in Somerset County (Somerset County Sheriff's Office)

By Sunday, Wallace “had become cocky. Which led to his downfall,” the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

He had used Snapchat to post that he was at his house in Fairfield, which prompted members of the public to call the police to let them know of his whereabouts. The sheriff’s office sent two officers, who were joined by two more from the Fairfield Police Department.

The law enforcement agents were given permission to search the home, to no avail.

“Here's where things went bad for him...While the deputies/officers were wrapping up their search, Wallace posted again on Snapchat,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “This time he posted that the police were searching for him in the house, and that he was hiding in a cabinet.”

The officers restarted their quest.

“A search of the kitchen cabinets turned up some food, some pots and pans, and also a pair of feet,” the sheriff’s office said. “The pair of feet just so happened to be attached to a person, and that person was Christopher Wallace. He was removed from the cabinet, and placed under arrest.”

Wallace was charged with burglary, theft and violation of administrative release arrest warrants.

Erika Hall (Somerset County Sheriff's Office)

However, he wasn’t the only person arrested on Sunday. Erika Hall, who gave the officers permission to search the house, was arrested for hindering apprehension “because...well...let's put it this way, when the police ask you multiple times if someone is in the house, and you answer repeatedly that they are not in the house, and that you have not seen said person in ‘weeks’, you're just going to get arrested. That's how it happens.”

Wallace was wanted for burglary and theft after still photos from a game camera showed him at a camp from which a propane cook stove and a cast iron wood stove were stolen. The incident occurred on January 15, police said. Forest Ranger Shane Nichols discovered the evidence and notified the sheriff’s office while investigating a fuel theft in the same location that wasn’t related to the stove thefts.

Police were then able to obtain a search warrant for Wallace’s home, where they recovered the stolen stoves, the sheriff’s office said.

The department told the Morning Sentinel that its Facebook page has led to half a dozen arrests, as well as helping connect with the community.

“The Facebook page has proved to be an excellent tool in communicating with the public and has allowed public participation in some of these harder to solve cases,” Ross said.

The sheriff’s office pointed out that Wallace would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for that meddling Snapchat app.

“All of that, brings me to the moral of the story,” the department said in the Facebook post. “Always remain humble, my friends.”