Store Owners Use Facebook to Track Down Suspected Thieves

Published 02/25 2012 01:04PM

Updated 02/25 2012 07:07PM

    Husband and wife duo Ken and Regina Dowd own "Glitter Bug 'n Bling, a women's boutique in Wichita Falls that sells purses, jewelry, and belts.
    On Tuesday afternoon, the couple says they suspected a group of people shoplifted from their store.
    "I went back and looked at some of the areas they shopped and noticed there were some items missing," Ken says.
    Ken says he was able to confirm his suspicions by looking at security camera footage.
    He decided to post a still image of the suspected thieves on Facebook because they had a young child with them during the act.
    "Taking your child on a shoplifting trip, I can't describe how wrong that is on so many different levels in what you're teaching and instilling into your child.  That's why I did it."
    All it took was just one click...
    "And within 30 or 40 seconds it started going viral," Ken says.
    Hundreds of people re-posted and shared the store's message.
    "Within 30 minutes after posting the initial photographs, we had their names, addresses, phone numbers, apartment number," Ken says.
    The Dowds says other business owners have taken notice, and say they'll employ the same technique should they ever have to deal with shoplifters of their own.
    "It's so powerful in so many different ways.  Until you experience it, you just don't even realize it.  You can post one item, and then instantly everyone sees it," Ken says.
    The owners say the think the group got away with at least $100 in merchandise.
    They have turned over all the information, including security camera footage, to Wichita Falls police.

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