On Friday, December 29th, a male wearing green Santa pajama pants and a hunter's camouflage jacket was caught by security cameras while stealing from a Weyburn business. The young man entered the business and saw an opportunity to swipe several cellphones from a donation bin in the foyer, then took off. Luckily, the footage clearly captured the offender's face and Weyburn Police took to social media for the public's assistance in identifying the individual. Weyburn Police Chief Jamie Blunden said that the response was rapid, and the individual was positively identified quickly.

"The footage went out, and we had one of the officers with the RCMP, she called in, as well as another individual from the Salvation Army," he explained. "Both knew who the individual was, so we've had him identified and at this point we have a summons prepared and done up for a theft under [$5,000], and we're asking the assistance of Radville RCMP to make that arrest for us at this point."

Now that the individual has been identified, his photos have been removed from social media and law enforcement is on the lookout for the non-violent offender. In smaller communities such as Weyburn, it is not often that thefts go unnoticed or that offenders go unrecognized. Tightly knit communities such as those in the Southeast corner of Saskatchewan lack certain layers of anonymity that more densely populated areas may experience, a tool that works in the benefit of law enforcement.

"Somebody's got to know somebody around here," said Chief Blunden. "If we put somebody on Facebook or the local webpages, someone's going to recognize them. So in this case, both a Weyburn citizen and one of the RCMP members identified this male for us. Subsequently, we were able to put his thumbs together for the theft under and hopefully that will be issued on the individual in the next little while here so we can account for and answer to the charges."

When an offender cannot be recognized within a community, agencies will also share available information with each other and look for possible connections to similar crimes committed in other centers. With multiple agencies working together, such as the WPS and Radville RCMP in this case, investigators greatly increase their chances of catching criminals. 

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, we encourage you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverWeyburn app