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Social media helps shop owner find robbery suspects

Suspects who broke into SmartShopper Sunday morning have been identified.
April 10, 2014 - 10:07 AM

PENTICTON — A local shop owner caught his own suspects after sharing the surveillance video of a robbery on social media.

Early Sunday morning at 3 a.m., Leigh Follestad received a call from his security company alerting him there had a been a break in at his store, SmartShopper on Main Street.

After cleaning up glass from a broken window, and putting ransacked items back on the shelves, Follestad uploaded the video clip showing the suspects to YouTube. He shared the video with media and on Facebook, hoping someone would recognize the two men who robbed his store.

Someone has to show these people out here how easy it is to catch these guys, Follestad said.

It only took a few days before he started getting calls from people who believed they knew who the men on tape were. The names of the suspects are now in the hands of Penticton RCMP, who said there isn’t much they can do, since the video does not show a clean face shot of either of the men.

This isn’t Follestad’s first time at the rodeo either. A few years ago, he caught a shoplifter on tape at a different store he owned. After spreading the video online, the suspect was identified and police made an arrest.

Follestad said he posted the video online to hopefully “scare some of these people into thinking twice.”

He said the town, as a community, has the ability to stop this kind of thing from happening. And it’s all about turning a negative situation into something constructive.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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