The power of social media is pretty remarkable sometimes.
Kacy Meinecke, a Wichita photographer, found that out the hard way on Tuesday, when a suspected burglar at her business was arrested about 30 minutes after she posted surveillance video of the crime.
Around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, a man broke into her office at Douglas and Market – within view of her Canary security system.
Meinecke had taken most of her valuable gear to a photo shoot Tuesday morning, so all the burglar left with was a small Polaroid camera and snacks, she said.
When she discovered the burglary, she called police and then posted the security footage to Facebook. She also posted an image of the suspect to her Instagram account.
The footage quickly started making the rounds on Wichita social media, being shared 150 times on Facebook.
A friend saw a picture of the burglar on Meinecke’s Instagram account over her lunch break Tuesday.
Shortly after, as the friend was returning to work, she drove past McDonald’s at Waterman and Broadway and spotted a man dressed in the same clothes as the man in Meinecke’s video.
The friend called police, and officers determined it was the same man from the security footage, Meinecke said.
Police called Meinecke five minutes later, informing her that they had arrested the suspect, who also was wanted in Colorado, she said.
The search took less than an hour, thanks to an army of social media sleuths.
“It’s unbelievable,” Meinecke said. “I’m very thankful I have friends and neighbors that look out for me.”
Meinecke said she feels “a lot safer” knowing the man was caught – she had seen the same man lingering around her building “several times” in the last week or so, she said.
“The fact that I’d seen him and he broke in just made me really, really creeped out,” Meinecke said. “I feel a lot better that he’s caught, and much safer now that it’s all taken care of and was so quickly.”