Cracked click ’n’ collect case shows power of social media
THE owners of two pedal karts worth about $4000 stolen from a resort and the police who recovered them are hailing social media for helping solve the crime.
The manager of the Solitary Islands Marine Park Resort in Wooli, Greg Spies, said the two karts were stolen in the early hours of yesterday.
About 9am the park posted on its Facebook page a photograph and a plea to share its status.
Three hours and 130 shares later the police had interviewed two youths under the age of 18 and were waiting in Kent St, Grafton, with the undamaged karts for Mr Spies to come and collect them.
He said the karts, which the resort purchased only a week ago, were extremely popular.
"I'm so glad we were able to find them so quickly," Mr Spies said.
"There would have been a lot of sad kids - and their parents - if they had gone for good."
The US-made karts are a rarity in Australia, Mr Spies said, with only six in the country.
"When we ordered them through Commercial Toys Australia, they told us there were only six in the country," he said.
Police said a person who saw the Facebook post saw the two young males riding the bikes in a yard in Kent St and called the police.
They said the pair had been at Wooli and taken the karts as a "spur of the moment" theft.
Coffs Clarence Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said the pair would receive a police caution under The Young Offenders Act.
"The details of the crime will be sent to the Youth Liaison Officer, who will look at the case details," Insp Jameson said.
"Once it's processed the two boys will have to come into the police station, where a senior police officer will issue them with an official caution."
Insp Jameson said the quick resolution of this case showed the effectiveness of Facebook as a tool for police.
He said the Coffs-Clarence LAC Facebook page was growing in popularity, with about 1400 people "liking" the site.
"It's grown by about 600 in the past eight weeks," he said. "I would like to see it get to more than 10,000."
Insp Jameson said it was also good to see a positive side of social media.
"We sometimes see the negatives of Facebook with things like cyber bullying, but this shows it can be a good tool for the community to fight crime," he said.