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Penticton store owner gets his men

Posting video of thieves quickly leads to tips to identify them
Leigh Follestad with the sign on the front door of his Main Street business warning people about the use of video cameras like the one on the ceiling just above his head which captured the images of what appeared to be two young people who broke into his store during the early-morning hours of April 6.

Social media has helped a Penticton business owner nab a shoplifter less than three days after he posted security footage online.

During the early morning hours on Sunday, two shoplifters were caught on the Smartshopper security camera stealing what owner Leigh Follestad figured was about $20 worth of energy drinks and chocolate bars.

The items weren’t the biggest hit for the owner, it was the $1,000 that came out of his own pocket to repair the glass front door they broke to enter.

“Through Facebook I was able to find out at least who one of the individuals was and with the help of RCMP I’ve made contact with that individual and decided to work through the restorative justice process,” said Follestad.

After posting the video on Facebook, Follestad said he had three tips within 48 hours and about 5,000 views on YouTube. Follestad contacted the suspect on Facebook and the individual indicated they were wanting to go through restorative justice.

“I didn’t do it to name names but just to make people aware of how easy it is to track them down” said Follestad. “Hopefully anyone out there that is thinking of shoplifting or committing a crime will become more aware of what technology can do and have second thoughts,” said Follestad.