Crook caught on facebook - nothing to do with Stamford (yet)
22nd January 2009
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Being a fan of Facebook, and having just returned from a month in New Zealand, this item caught my eye:

Police in Wellington, New Zealand copped a robber after posting security footage on Facebook of him trying to crack a bar's safe.

Police said it was New Zealand's first Facebook arrest and that they'd use the site again in crimefighting. Law enforcement officials and lawyers are increasingly turning to online networks for purposes other than just general social interaction.

Police said that Facebook is a "good little tool," after the burglar, in a face-covering balaclava and carrying a bag of tools, broke into a storage room in Queenstown's Franklin Tavern early Monday 12th January, and tried to cut into a safe containing NZ $20,000 in gambling machine takings.

The thief removed his balaclava after almost an hour in the cramped space, red-faced from his fruitless toil and looked around. With a shocked look, he spots the video camera and leaves.

The footage was posted on the Queenstown police Facebook page and overnight there were a number of public responses with identification. The man was later charged with two counts of burglary and is due to appear in court on 26th January.

(As an aside, we loved Queenstown - my husband had a great Jetboat ride and I was just a little disturbed afterwards when he showed me the number biro'd onto his hand which was for ID purposes should he have fallen into the water and drowned!)

Last month, an Australian court approved a mortgage lender's application to serve legal documents on a couple who had defaulted on their payments via Facebook, whilst the previous month, a restaurateur in Melbourne reportedly used Facebook to track down a group left without paying a substantial bill.

I've also heard that employees often check out potential employees by looking at their Facebook or MySpace page.

So beware all you FB fans out there (self included) - Big Brother is watching you! (the original BB of course, not Channel 4)

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