Facebook Fugitive Taunts UK Police, Builds Fanbase

By: Raphael G. Satter - AP Writer
By: Raphael G. Satter - AP Writer

An escaped British prisoner is taunting police and attracting a growing Internet fan base from his Facebook profile, mocking authorities for failing to find him and openly musing about moving across the Atlantic.

But police say the convicted burglar's antics on the popular
social networking site haven't gone unnoticed and have appealed to
his more than 3,800 Facebook friends to help track him down.

Craig "Lazie" Lynch, 28, escaped from the minimum-security
Hollesley Bay Prison near the village of Woodbridge in southern
England three months ago. Since then, he's been regularly updating
his Facebook page with ungrammatical digs at police, as well as
pictures showing him holding a "wanted" sign or making obscene
gestures at the camera.

"i aint handin myself in," Lynch wrote in one post Tuesday.
"why am i going to do their job for them. What do they get payed
for. And does anyone have a cannon, i need firing over the
atlantic."

Lynch's Facebook page is clogged with hundreds of messages from
well-wishers, although a few occasionally write in to remind fans
that they're cheering for a criminal. Police said that Lynch had
been serving a seven-year sentence for committing a burglary with a
weapon, but did not go into detail.

For his part, Lynch's updates typically center on what he's
eating - pizza was recently on the menu - as well as complaints
about the number of messages he gets from all over the world. His
profile pictures show him shirtless while holding a well-roasted
turkey.

"if any of you was doubtin my freedom. Here's proof," he
explains. "How the (expletive) could i get my hands on a bird like
this in jail. ha ha."

Lynch's Internet stardom has spawned several fan groups (and
some hate groups) as well as customized T-shirts and even a song in
Lynch's honor.

Fans have flooded his page with praise for his daring, but
Suffolk Constabulary spokeswoman Anne-Marie Breach said there was
nothing spectacular about Lynch's escape from the prison where he
was held - a converted college on the English coast that she said
had only minimal security.

"Basically it's an open prison," she said, calling it a place
inmates "can virtually walk out of."

Despite the reference to going abroad, Breach said police
believed that Lynch was still in Britain. She added that police
were keeping close tabs on Lynch's updates.

"Everyone else is," she said.


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