Caught on Camera: social media leads to arrest in burglary case

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – As a family slept, the surveillance cameras were alert, gathering evidence of a crime in action just below their bedrooms.

"On July 29, we were notified of a burglary, but with the surveillance video, we were able to locate and arrest three suspects, which are three juveniles," said Investigator Don Sliker with the Surfside Police Department.

When the family awoke, they realized multiple skateboards and belongings were taken from underneath the home. The homeowner decided to post video from her surveillance camera on Facebook to see if neighbors recognized the alleged robbers.

"The use of social media and the public's trust in us and relaying the information is how we closed this case," Investigator Sliker said.

Tips poured in online and over the phone.

"Within three hours, we got the information to proceed with an arrest," Investigator Sliker explained.

The video was shared more than a thousand times. As the images spread on social media, the news spread quickly in the close community. Soon, the suspected thieves returned to the home. However, this time they weren't taking items from the house.

"This is an interesting case. The items were brought back," Investigator Sliker said.

They brought back the items to the homeowner, along with an apology. However, the police department is still pursuing charges.

"We did pursue burglary charges as well as conspiracy," Investigator Sliker said.

Investigator Sliker said during certain crimes, security cameras become eye witnesses and can increase the odds that police can identify and catch suspects.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.