Simon Mulhall, a resident of Banbury in UK, made good use of social networking site Facebook to retrieve his stolen bike. The incident gained wide attention after it was reported by the BBC.
Mulhall resorted to the option of using Facebook as a tool to find his missing bike, after police had been apprehensive about finding it. Although Mulhall was given a crime number after cops did a thorough search of his compound, they had reportedly told him ''we don't think we're going to get it back''
The bike was not locked at the time and enabled the thief to make a quick exit after stealing it.
Earlier, Mulhall had installed CCTV cameras on his premises after a failed attempt to rob his house. Soon after the bike went missing, he went through the CCTV footage to see if the thief had been caught on camera.
The surveillance cameras showed a man, seemingly young and wearing a violet hooded jacket, simply pinching the bike and leaving the scene.
After the cops gave Mulhall a lukewarm response, he decided to look for other options. It appeared to him that there was nothing wrong in posting the images on Facebook.
After the images were uploaded by Mulhall, one of his friends posted the same pictures on her wall as well. Apparently, this led to solving the crime as another lady who was a friend of Mulhall's friend (but not his) felt she had witnessed the incident.
She had also come across someone riding a similar bike later that day.
With this information, Mulhall visited the area mentioned by the lady and he found his bike. It turned out that a 13-year-old was the culprit.
Mulhall, however, opted to not report him as he was too young, and because he overtly regretted committing the crime.
This is not the first time that Facebook has been in the news related to solving crimes. In February last year, police had arrested a notorious burglar after he boasted on the social networking site that he could not be caught. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) arrested him after evading arrests for 18 months.
On the flip side, NY Times had reported earlier that burglars in New Hampshire had used Facebook to know when people leave their homes so that they can conveniently plan their operations.
There were also reports claiming that burglars were smart enough to exploit Facebook's location services that give away the location of the user.