FREELAND — If you’re wanted, posting a police department’s mugshot of yourself on your Facebook profile could shorten life as a fugitive.
That’s just what happened to Anthony James Lescowitch, who police alleged posted the photo to taunt authorities. His life as a fugitive ended 45 minutes later when undercover officers took him into custody, Freeland police announced, fittingly enough, on the department’s Facebook page.
The Freeland Police Department posted a photo of Lescowitch at 9:19 p.m. Monday, noting that Lescowitch, 35, was wanted for aggravated assault and numerous other charges. The post asked that anyone knowing Lescowitch’s whereabouts to call police or 911.
Less than two hours later, Freeland police posted another photo of Lescowitch, this time with the caption: “CAPTURED!!!!!! SHARES OUR STATUS ON FACEBOOK ABOUT HIMSELF, CAPTURED 45 MINUTES LATER.”
Police said they noticed Lescowitch shared their post about him on his Facebook page minutes after they posted it on theirs, and he mocked police in his post as well.
So, an undercover officer used a Facebook profile of a fictitious attractive woman to engage in online conversation with Lescowitch through Facebook for about a half hour, pretending to be interested in meeting him and gathering key information about him.
Lescowitch, of Freeland, initially declined an offer to meet for a drink, but when the officer asked him where he was and said, “The least you can do is come out and have a cigarette with me,” Lescowitch agreed, police said.
Sure enough, when undercover officers pulled up in a car at the location Lescowitch specified, he came out and was promptly arrested without incident.
Freeland police said they wanted Lescowitch for an assault back in the summer, and he had been ducking them since charges were filed in November. He was also wanted by Luzerne County Probation. As of Tuesday, he was jailed at Luzerne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 bail, with a preliminary hearing set for 8 a.m. Jan. 29 before District Judge William Feissner in Freeland.
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