Culture

Man uses Facebook to find FedEx package allegedly stolen from doorstep

A Texas man's surveillance camera catches someone allegedly taking a sweater for the man's son from the man's doorstep. His Facebook friends help get the package back.

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A surveillance camera appears to catch a thief in the act. Facebook helps identify him. ABC News screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Technology can expose you, but it can also protect you.

One Texas man is very grateful for two technologies at his disposal that, he believes, secured his son's FedEx delivery.

First, there was his surveillance camera. For all the world it seemed as if someone had wandered up to his front door and availed himself of a package left by FedEx.

Inside the package was a Houston Rockets sweater meant for Texan Jeff Turner's son. However, someone with a face disguised by a pulled-up sweatshirt could be seen picking it up and walking away with it.


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But who was this person? How to find him? In Turner's case, he decided to survey his digital market-square -- known as Facebook -- to see whether anyone recognized the alleged miscreant. He posted screenshots of the footage and hoped that someone would find this person familiar.

As he told ABC News: "The more I thought about it, the kind of madder I got."

It seems that the alleged thief was quickly identified. It's not clear whether it was his shorts that gave him away or his gait.

KHOU-TV reports that the suspected thief is 11 or 12 years old and lives near Turner in Harris County.

It seems the boy had been mowing a lawn at a nearby house. Turner went to that house and allegedly found the sweater.

He told KHOU-TV that the neighbor informed him what happened: "He says he bolted off on his bike a little while ago -- the kid that did it -- but he left the sweater here, so we do have our product back."

Turner said he wouldn't be informing the authorities but added that he wouldn't be so forgiving next time.

Sometimes, Facebook is your neighborhood, and your surveillance camera is your own personal security.

Of course, it used to be that no one would take things from a neighbor's doorstep. Things are a little different now.