Stolen items returned after burglary photo goes viral

Kaaawa Burglary Suspect. Photo courtesy: Ian Lind.
Kaaawa Burglary Suspect. Photo courtesy: Ian Lind.

A Kaaawa resident says most of the items stolen from his home Friday have been returned. Ian Lind posted an update on his website confirming their recovery.

In addition to filing a police report, Lind posted photos of the suspect on his website, which were captured by a motion-activated camera inside his home. The photos went viral and Lind received numerous tips.

In a blog post, Lind says a family member of the suspect contacted him Sunday and returned the stolen property. “The family, he said, is taking responsibility,” Lind wrote. “They know that with the photos in circulation, there may well be additional consequences. They have told the man that he has to face the problems, and that he can rely on his family for support.”

Lind says he installed his first camera in 2007 after a break-in and added a second camera in 2011. “I have the cameras set to start taking photos when they detect motion in the room, and the digital photos are immediately uploaded to a secure spot on the remote server that hosts my blog,” he said. “I can check the cameras from my iPhone, as well as relying on the motion detection.”

Lind says this is the second time he’s caught a burglar with the cameras. This time, he says social media also played a big role in identifying the culprit.

“I was surprised at what a strong reaction the photos got online, and how quickly they went viral on Facebook,” he said. “They solved the case almost before I was able to have photos printed to distribute around our neighborhood. It shows how quickly social media can get the message out.”

Despite the happy ending, Lind says many of the tips he received incorrectly identified the burglar. “You can’t rely on the crowdsourced information as ‘true’ without further investigation,” he said.

Read the post in its entirety here.

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