Facebook helps town clerk catch thief

Updated: 
facebook logo reflected in an eyeA Devon town Clerk, John Germon, caught a burglar who stole his strimmer and chainsaw from his garden shed by using Facebook. Germon (59) said he spotted that the power tools had been taken about 9am and his son posted details on Facebook. Two friends named the thief within hours. Germon arranged to meet, confirmed the tools were the stolen ones and called the police. The thief has pleaded guilty in court.

Germon, town clerk in Ashburton, Devon, said: "I discovered the tools were missing about 9am. My son posted information on Facebook and we received the first call at about 10am and another at about midday."

One of the callers phoned the thief claiming he knew someone interested in buying the tools, arranging to meet the thief in the car park of the Victoria Arms pub. "As soon as I saw they were mine they were kept talking while I went off and phoned the police. They were there within minutes and arrested the man."

Germon got his power tools back and the thief, Wajeeh Izharuddin, 19, from Ashburton, later appeared before Newton Abbot magistrates. He was convicted of burglary and placed on probation for six months.

Facebook a force for good

Germon said: "For once there is something positive to say about Facebook. You hear a lot of negative stuff but we live in a very close-knit community and it worked well for us."

But Germon himself is not on Facebook and says he has no plans to sign up. "To be honest the only bit of technology I am on is AOL," he said.

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