Catching a Thief on FacebookFriday, August 21st, 2009
It appears that dusting fingerprints, taking hair samples, and performing DNA analysis might not be enough to catch a thief. For Daniel James, owner of Las Olas, he did some of his own detective work using Facebook.
Where most companies use Facebook for promoting their businesses, Charleston’s own surf apparel shop Las Olas took Facebook to a whole new level. Below is the incident report.
Report Entered: 2009
Case Title: To Catch a Shorts Thief
Reporting Officer: Las Olas Facebook Page
Las Olas Store Owner Daniel James
Shorts Thief Mr. Pánts-Stuffer
I was in Las Olas when a group of teenage skateboarders came in to browse. I had met one of the boys before and wasn’t suspicious of anything. They came in and started browsing; meanwhile, I had a friend asking about surf trip pointers as I rearranged merchandise—so I was a little busy. I was at the counter, and the boys were in the back looking at shoes. I had just rearranged the men’s shorts, and when they left, I noticed a pair was missing. At this point I called the police who showed up very quickly. I reviewed my security video from my computer and saw one of the boys had stuffed some shorts down his pants. The police did a sweep based on my descriptions but to no avail. So, I took still pictures from the video, enhanced them, and made a Facebook photo album with a reward for whoever could identify the thief.
Within about one hour, I had a dozen or so responses and suggestions. I followed the leads and found out the thief’s name. I then called the detective working on the case and gave him the information. I wasn’t too surprised that people recognized this boy from the Facebook album I created. Charleston is a small town, and if you live here, someone has seen your face before.
THIEVES CAUGHT—CASE CLOSED
Las Olas was opened in May 2007, during a time in which mainstream surf clothing had evaporated everything unique. Las Olas tries to promote unfiltered products to let the customer decide what is in fashion. Bringing Southern California style to Charleston, SC, Las Olas has now been open for two years, despite a fluctuating economy. You can reach the Las Olas store via phone at 843.737.0488, or visit them at 441 King Street in Charleston, SC.