Alleged wedding gifts thief tripped up by Facebook

Alleged wedding gifts thief tripped up by Facebook

DIAMONDHEAD, Mississippi — Newlyweds Chance and Katherine Stockstill are enjoying their new life together. Soon, they’ll move into a new home, but it will be without any of their wedding gifts, reports CBS Biloxi affiliate WLOX-TV.

They got married in May and decided to keep the gifts in a storage unit until moving day.

But just weeks after tying the knot, Chance made a shocking discovery.

“I went to a storage unit to put something in it, one day, and the lock was broke. I opened it up, and all of our wedding gifts we put in it was gone,” he said.

The entire heist was caught on video. Surveillance cameras at the facility captured a man loading his pickup truck and driving off with what the couple estimates at more than $2,000 in wedding gifts.

The couple posted the video on Facebook. Just a few hours and hundreds of shares later, a stranger reached out to them with the lead they were looking for.

“Phone call said I don’t know his name, but I know his address. So, we pretty much had him then,” said Stockstill.

An investigator used that information to identify the suspected thief as William Smith, who had already been arrested and was in jail in north Mississippi for identical crimes. 

The Stockstills are now breathing a sigh of relief, thankful for the help of social media.

“Social media was everything. If it wasn’t for Facebook, we probably wouldn’t have caught him,” said Katherine.

Investigators have only been able to recover three of the couple’s gifts, including a spice rack and knife set that had been opened.

“It was all of our friends and family, they gave us those gifts as a couple. That was our wedding – and our gifts, and now they’re gone. I know we’ll never get them back, but I just want justice to be served,” said Katherine.

The couple said they advise anyone else using a storage unit to check it frequently, make sure the facility has a surveillance system, and onsure their items.

Smith was booked into the Hancock County Jail last week on charges of burglary and trespassing.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.