Burglar signs in to Facebook, gets caught

(WCCO/CNN) — A Minnesota man is in jail because he logged on to Facebook while in the act of burglarizing a house.

Police say the alleged thief checked his profile from a Minneapolis home he broke into and then didn’t log off his account.

“When I came home from work that (Thursday morning), that screen was laying right here,” said homeowner James Wood

He first noticed that his house had been ransacked with several items gone. “Credit cards, cash for a soccer tournament, checkbook, watch — I kind of started to panic.”

Wood notified police, but then noticed something on his computer.

“He pulled up his Facebook profile and left it up.”

Police say 26-year-old Nicholas Wig had checked his Facebook while stealing from the house and forgotten to log out.

So Wood updated Wig’s status.

“I shared his photo and said ‘watch out for this guy, he’s a thief.’ People kept commenting on that post.”

Wood also left his phone number, asking anyone to call with information on where to find Wig.

And who should text him at later that evening? — Wig himself.

“I replied you left a few things at my house last night (and) how can I get them back to you,” Wood said.

Wig agreed to meet with Wood under the impression he could give back Wood’s recycled cell phone in exchange for the clothes he had left at the home.

“World’s dumbest criminal,” Wood said.

When Wood spotted Wig heading toward the house, he called police.

“I’ve never seen this before,” Dakota County attorney James Backstrom said..

He said he’s thankful Wig was caught, but even he is baffled by Wig’s decision to log onto Facebook.

“It’s a pretty unusual case,” Backstrom said. “It might even make the late night television shows in terms of not being too bright.”

“If he wouldn’t have done the Facebook thing, we wouldn’t have caught him,” Wood said.

Wig has an extensive criminal history, including a second-degree burglary conviction from 2008, a domestic assault misdemeanor, and pending drug charges.

He could face up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines if convicted of this most recent charge.

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