DIY detective helps track down car crim

DIY detective helps track down car crim

A Christchurch man has been inundated with messages of support after uploading security video of a car break-in to Facebook.

It's just the latest in a long line of do-it-yourself investigations, with the public working together to name and shame thieves online.

Craig Blackwell spent $4000 on his security system, which captured the break-in.

It was just after midnight in east Christchurch when his neighbour's friend's Mini got some unwanted attention.

In the black and white security footage, the suspect is unaware of the camera operating and capturing his every move.

Mr Blackwell uploaded the video to Facebook and it's now been seen more than 40,000 times.

"It's actually unreal, the amount of people who have messaged me who had their cars interfered with on the same night," he says.

Public DIY investigations are a routine part of Facebook's culture.

Last year there were the bag-nicking thief and the cheeky teenagers pelting a band's car with eggs.

In January, a man was arrested after a public appeal from Gun City over $20,000 of stolen goods.

While the number of break ins are down by a third, just seven percent were solved last year.

Detective Sergeant Nicola Reeves is concerned the Facebook appeals could turn nasty.

"We do urge caution around what people are posting," she says. "It can jeopardise future prosecutions.

"We do urge that all suspicious behaviour is reported to police."

Mr Blackwell just wants to keep his street safe.

"There's six degrees of separation around here and I know that somebody has watched it and gone, 'I know exactly who that guy is'," he says. "If not, he's probably already seen it."

Police recommend if you have any information don't just post it online -- pass it on to the authorities.