MINNEAPOLIS (CNN/WCCO) — A Minnesota man is in jail because he logged on to Facebook — during his alleged crime.
Police say Nicholas Wig checked his profile from a home he broke into – and then didn’t log off.
The homeowner helped police catch the accused crook.
“When I came home from work that day, that screen was laying right here,” said James Wood.
When Wood came home Thursday morning, his house had also been ransacked — several items gone.
“Credit cards, cash for a soccer tournament, checkbook, watch,” said Wood, explaining what had been taken. “[I] kind of started to panic.”
Wood notified police but then noticed something on his computer.
” He pulled up his Facebook profile and left it up,” said Wood.
Police say Wig, 26, had checked his Facebook while stealing from the house and had forgotten to log out.
So, Wood updated Wig’s status.
“I shared his photo and said, ‘Watch out for this guy. He’s a thief,’” said Wood.
People kept commenting on that post. Wood also left his phone number, asking anyone to call with information on where to find Wig.
“He text me at 7 p.m..” said Wood.
Who texted Wood? Wig himself.
“I replied, ‘You left a few things at my house last night. How can I get them back to you”” said Wood.
Wig agreed to meet with Wood under the impression that he could give back Wood’s recycled cell phone in exchange for the clothes he had left at the home.
“World’s dumbest criminals,” said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.
When Wood spotted him heading toward the house, he called police.
“I’ve never seen this before,” said Backstrom, who says he’s thankful Wig was caught.
But even he is baffled by Wig’s decision to log onto Facebook.
“It’s a pretty unusual case,” said Backstrom. “Might even make the late-night television shows, in terms of not being too bright.”
“If he wouldn’t have done the Facebook thing, we wouldn’t have caught him,” said Wood.
Wig has an extensive criminal history, including a second-degree burglary conviction from 2008, a domestic assault misdemeanor and pending drug charges.
He could face up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines if convicted of this most recent charge.