Internet Detectives Catch Vicious Alleged Thief When Police Can't (VIDEO)

When a woman was brutally mugged, cops took three weeks trying to find the guy, who was caught on surveillance video perpetrating his sickening crime. No luck. So they put the video on the Internet and asked for help. How long do you think it took to get him now? A day? Half a day? Try an hour. The video, which was quickly picked up by Gawker and some other outlets, showed a young scumbag attacking a 56-year-old woman in the Brooklyn subway, kicking her, and emptying her purse. Three weeks later, cops had not managed to collar the punk. But then they let the Internet do its work.


Gawker posted the video on April 2, and within an hour a commenter named "secretsout" posted a link to a Facebook page, saying, " link to most likely suspect. take care of business guys."

The suspect, 21-year-old Aidan Folan, has been arrested. Internet sleuths were apparently easily able to match up identifying traits on the mugger in the video to pictures of Folan on his Facebook wall. For one, the mugger was wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with his fraternity ("Alpha Phi Delta") and pledge name ("Stugotz 27") on it -- clothes that Folan was wearing in photos he posted hours before the mugging. ("Stugots" was popularized by The Sopranos and usually used to mean someone is a dick. This guy is a Stugotz for sure!)

Other eagle-eyed Internet detectives pointed out that the mugger was wearing a purple wristband and a keyring that Folan was also wearing in his photos. (People must have some serious freeze frame capabilities because I couldn't tell this from the video.)

Meanwhile, a reader going by Samaritan over at New York Magazine's Daily Intel also easily tracked the creep down, and was kind enough to post exactly how he did it:

Just did some old fashioned googling. Stugotz is not is not a common word -- combine that with 27 and his frat and a photo with comments comes up on instagram. Tracked that to facebook, where all of his photos are public, and it's pretty much a no-brainer from there.

Surfers then went to Aidan Folan's FB page in droves. To abuse him. Most of the comments have been taken down since then, but it was pretty fun for awhile.

Lesson for stugots? Don't wear your frat hoodie when you mug someone. And hope like hell evidence of your crime doesn't make it online. Ask the Steubenville rapists.

And good work, Internet! Keep it up!

Are you good at online detective work?

Image via YouTube

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