11/13/2013

Teen behind website targeting witnesses of crimes in custody

The Instagram account "rats215" had featured affidavits and photos of victims and witnesses in criminal cases

By Ron Todt 
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Police say a Philadelphia teen faces charges in connection with a social media account that aimed to out "rats" in criminal cases.

A police spokeswoman says the 17-year-old was taken into custody Tuesday in connection with the department's investigation into a now-shuttered anonymous Instagram account titled "rats215," a reference to Philadelphia's area code.

Little says the teen is alleged to have posted material from the Instagram account to his Twitter feed. The teen was charged with intimidation and terroristic threats.

The Instagram account had featured affidavits and photos of victims and witnesses in criminal cases.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that the Instagram account had identified more than 30 witnesses since February. The newspaper said the account had nearly 7,900 followers and had contained more than 150 photos.

Little says the investigation is ongoing.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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