Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators were able to recover a stolen boat, motor and trailer using social media. The value of the stolen items was in excess of $10,000.
While following up on the theft report and utilizing various investigative tools, investigators turned to a social media website and saw a motor advertised for sale locally. The motor was very similar to the one which had been reported stolen.
Posing as a potential buyer, investigators called the listed number and arranged to meet the seller at night time. When they arrived at the agreed upon purchase location, investigators determined the motor was the one which had been reported stolen. Further investigation that night revealed the trailer which was hidden in underbrush on the Mississippi side of the Pearl River bridge. The boat was located and recovered at another location off of the Pearl River.
Arrested and charged with theft was William Zachariah Bennett, 18, a resident of Lee’s Creek Road in Bogalusa. Bennett was booked into the Washington Parish Jail on April 24 with bond set at $5,000. He was able to meet the conditions of his bond and was released on April 30.
“Thieves need to understand they are not the only ones who know how to use social media websites,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “Our investigators monitor these websites regularly seeking clues to crimes which have been committed against our honest citizens. In this case it paid off quickly, leading to recovery of the stolen items and the arrest of the thief. It was a good end to an otherwise bad situation.”