Theft by Taking a Photo

A Detroit man just found out that you can be charged with theft even if all you take is a photo.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

A man who was hired to clean the Detroit office of the FBI saw a chart displayed in an agent’s cubicle that outlined the hierarchy of Detroit street gangs with pictures of the gang members under investigation.  So he snapped a photo and posted it on Facebook, where, within days, it wound up in the hands of said gang members.  Huh.  The man was charged with theft of government property.  Although, he didn’t actually take anything with him.  The chart was still in the cubicle after he left.  Yeah, but he did; he took knowledge that wasn’t his.

Lots of people who leave companies think they can just take a copy of company information before they go.  But having or distributing information that isn’t yours is theft, to which the cleaner pled guilty in June and for which he will soon be sentenced.  If only the FBI thought to investigate the guy cleaning the cube of the guy who was doing the investigation.

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