This week in dumb things criminals do, an alleged rapist seems to have responded to his own wanted post shared by authorities on Facebook.
A North Carolina man named Derek Helms was wanted for first-degree kidnapping and second-degree rape. The Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office shared a photo of Helms on Facebook to assist in their search. Little did they know, their post turned out to be perfect bait.
A local resident who claimed to personally know Helms commented on the photo, asserting that Helms was a man of good character.
"This is a great guy. I met him on a job where I was the Foreman and he worked hard for me," the acquaintance’s comment read. "Through our time of working together, he always was speaking of his kids and how much he loved them. I'd be willing to speak up for this man. I will not believe that any of these charges are true."
Shockingly, Helms — or someone with access to his account — responded to the positive comment.
"Thanks bud really appreciate it enjoyed working with yall guys aswell [sic]," read the reply.
The message also went on to further denounce the steep charges Helms faces.
“Truth coming out bfor [sic] long vindictive and spitfullness [sic] and some croked [sic] cops,” Helms continued.
Upon noticing the exchange, the sheriff’s office responded with, “Derek Helms you need to turn yourself in.”
"Been doing this 27 years and seen this a bunch of times," Sheriff Brad Riley reportedly told Inside Edition, referring to suspects who know they're wanted but choose to stay away from police. "That's what's making it different: Facebook... our hope is to use social media to try to reach out."
According to the sheriff's office Facebook page, Helms is now in police custody. It is unclear, however, whether Helms turned himself in or if he was captured on the run.
Initially, when other followers caught on to the fact that the suspect responded to his own wanted post, the thread went viral — garnering several other responses from people expressing shock, amusement, and disdain.
If Helms really wanted to proclaim and defend his innocence, he should have turned himself into authorities in the first place instead of hiding and lurking on social media. Luckily, he's finally off the streets.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters