Social media helps robbery victim recover items

Social media helps robbery victim recover items


by KGW staff

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Posted on June 15, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Updated Saturday, Jun 15 at 9:59 AM

VANCOUVER-- If you thought Facebook was just for birthdays and vacation photos, it turns out it can also keep a stolen gun out of the wrong hands.

A home burglary happened at ten Friday morning in Hockinson, Wash. The victim’s Hockinson home has seen it all. It’s been ransacked and burglarized many times before.

But in this case, social media helped get the stolen items back.

“Basically this is the third time in a year this place has been targeted, said Patty Colson, who owns the home her son Travis lives in. “The second time he got burglarized, I bought him that camera, which is now mounted in that tree.”

Friday morning, the camera caught a couple more people trespassing, and there were pretty clear photos too. That's also happened before.

“The truth is if you don’t know who they are and there’s nothing distinguishable and it doesn’t catch them breaking in, there's nothing they can do about it,” Colson said.

The stakes were higher Friday. Someone stole a handgun from the bedroom, leading the man who owns that gun to up the ante too.

This time, photos of the men at his house didn't just go to police.

“So I posted them to Facebook immediately after the cop left, everybody I know starting sharing it,” Travis Colson said.

As police investigated, Travis' Facebook friends did their own detective work.

“Somebody recognized him and a friend of a friend got the stuff back for us,” he said.

That included the handgun that had Travis Colson so worried.

“Who would have thought that Facebook would help out in this way?” Travis said. “I would have never thought. But it makes total sense.”

The burglary victims don't know the people who had their items. The connection was a friend of a friend of a Facebook friend.

The Clark County Sheriff's Office is investigating. The Colson's are hoping for an arrest in the case.