Wash. man on the run finds time to update Facebook

Published April 9, 2012 5:18PM (EDT)

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) — He's on the lam avoiding police, but Travis A. Nicolaysen still had time to update his Facebook page.

The 26-year-old escaped from officers in two foot chases Wednesday and a dragnet that included a police dog tracking him through a Port Angeles neighborhood.

One friend posted to his account: "cops all over you." Nicolaysen responded the next day with: "got away thanks bro."

Nicolaysen has been convicted of five felonies, including domestic violence, burglary and theft of a firearm. Police were searching for him after he allegedly failed to check in with his parole officer since January, the Peninsula Daily News reported.

He's also accused of assaulting his girlfriend on March 28. In a post Saturday, he let his friends know he was now single, the Peninsula Daily News reported (http://is.gd/dpnPtm ).

The change in relationship status was followed by a discussion between Nicolaysen and several females asking him to contact them and warning him to watch out. At least two urged him to surrender, telling him to set an example for his children.

A picture on the Facebook page shows Nicolaysen with two toddlers.

An aunt in Port Angeles, Teri Newell, confirmed that the Facebook account was her nephew's. Nicolaysen did not immediately respond to a message left Monday by The Associated Press.

Investigators were checking Facebook as part of their search, said Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith, who added that police believe the Facebook account is Nicolaysen's.

"People are giving him advice" to surrender, Smith said, "and he might want to follow it."

Nicolaysen's brazen use of the social networking site is unusual, but not unheard of, said Port Angeles Police Cpl. Tom Kuch.

"It's more frustrating than anything," Kuch said. "He and others like him seem to think that being on the lam is glamorous."

Kuch said he blames movies that glorify the lives of criminals on the run from the law.

Unlike some movies or TV shows, Port Angeles police do not have a computer expert or the technology to track criminals through Facebook, he said. Tracing IP addresses, Internet experts say, generally narrows the location only to a city and a service provider.

According to Facebook's data-use policy, the social media site has some limited ability to trace users. The policy indicates that the site "may share your information in response to a legal request (like a search warrant, court order or subpoena) if we have a good faith belief that the law requires us to do so."

By Salon Staff

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