An Illinois woman learned just how fast things can go viral when a selfie she took helped a store owner track her down and have her arrested for shoplifting.
Danielle Saxton, 27, reportedly took clothes and jewelry from a boutique store while the staff wasn’t looking. When store co-owner Kert Williams was returning to the store, he witnessed Saxton leave with the items, and after reviewing surveillance video, he called the police to report it.
Meanwhile, Saxton had left the store and went home to put a stolen dress on. While wearing the dress, the pregnant thief decided to snap some selfies in her new dress with a friend and post them to Facebook. Little did she know that Williams had posted about the theft on Facebook, and suddenly, people began to connect Saxton’s picture with Williams’ post.
“What she stole was a very distinct leopard dress,” Williams said.
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Once Williams was alerted to the woman’s selfie, he passed the photos on to police, which helped them eventually apprehend Saxton.
“We just had a description and a direction of travel, but when the social media aspect played into it, we were able to identify who it was,” Police Chief Shawn Talluto said. “And by looking at the background of the photograph we were able to pinpoint where she was at. When you put something out there, it's a matter of minutes before it can go viral, and it can go to the world.”
Williams says he is grateful that his survelliance camera footage and social media has helped him in catching thieves.
“With having the cameras now we've been able to catch the people," Williams said. "We've had an instance before where we caught the people, you know, posting on Facebook. It's a way of shame."
Saxton was arrested and brought to jail, and police realized that there was already a warrant out for her arrest in another county. She has since been released from jail and has removed the incriminating photos from her Facebook profile.