Woman tracks down lawnmower burglar using Facebook

By Keith Garvin, Anchor/Reporter, kgarvin@kprc.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:39:37 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 20 2013 07:46:32 AM CDT

Surveillance video from one angle shows a man casually stroll into the yard. Another camera catches him grabbing and walking away with the mower. Keith Garvin reports.

HOUSTON -

When a crook made off with a woman's lawmower, she turned to Facebook to post surveillance video of the suspect.

Kelly, who doesn't want to be identified, said she, her son and boyfriend noticed their lawnmower missing when she returned from vacation. A check of their security cameras by her boyfriend produced a suspect.

"He basically replayed the tapes to see which day it was missing," said Kelly. "Then he kind of narrowed it down and noticed some guy was walking in our backyard."

Probable cause documents say that guy is Kelly's neighbor, 46-year-old Wade Keith Bibbs. Surveillance video from one angle shows Bibbs casually stroll into the yard. Another camera catches him grabbing and walking away with the mower.

Sheriff's deputies said it took him just eight minutes to walk nearly a mile to a pawn shop on North Main and Wallisville Road.

Kelly tracked down her mower in less than 24 hours.

"As soon as I walked in she says, 'We have your lawn mower here.' And I said Really?'"

Tired of recent thefts, Kelly had used Facebook to spread the news of her stolen lawnmower. She wanted it back and she got results.

Within hours of posting, friends and neighbors including the pawn shop's manager had identified Bibbs.

He was known at the pawn shop as a frequent customer.

Tracking him down was just a matter of reaching out to a diligent group of friends.

Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Bibbs but they have not yet arrested him.

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