It used to be the criminals had to keep a lid on what they boasted. Now they have to watch what they posted. The Los Angeles Police Department is ramping up its use of social media in efforts to fight crime, reports USC's Neon Tommy this week.

The latest caper involves a suspect wanted in the June 17 Lakers championship unrest outside Staples Center. A man sprawled out on top of a car was captured in a picture, and police found that photo online (apparently they're not saying exactly where). The LAPD plans to release the image soon so that they can track down the suspect. It's not the first time the department has used social media to nab an alleged bad guy, and it certainly won't be the last.

States Neon Tommy:

LAPD officers frequently flip through Facebook and Flickr in hopes of finding information that can help them apprehend suspected criminals.

While the department does not maintain an official presence on the social networking website Facebook, individual officers have created personal profiles that allow them to covertly browse the profiles of other individuals.

LA Weekly