MESA, AZ - Home security video posted on Facebook led to the arrest of a burglar in Mesa.
Mesa police report that on September 14, a home near Dobson and Guadalupe roads was burglarized. Police say a man, later identified as 39-year-old Ryan Eugene Johnson, is seen on the home’s security camera ringing the doorbell.
Then about 15 minutes later, Johnson is seen again, this time carrying a large camouflage duffel bag.
The homeowner, Eric Ringler, contacted police telling them several items were taken from his home, including a shotgun.
"Violated — that's how I feel," Ringler said. "Someone is in your personal space, going through your stuff."
The victim posted the home security camera video on his Facebook page. Later that night, police say a friend of the victim was eating a restaurant and saw Johnson, whom he recognized from the video.
"I was telling my buddies it happened — people in the area that it happened and to look out for this guy," Ringler said.
The post was shared over 1,000 times and hundreds of people commented.
"It was like the whole town was investigating for me," he said.
"A Facebook friend, who Ringler hadn't seen since high school, happened to be sitting at a bar down the street from his home. The friend saw his post on social media and saw the familiar face in the bar.
"I didn't even have his phone number and he hit me up on Facebook saying 'I'm literally sitting next to the guy,'" Ringler said.
Ringler called police and raced over to the bar to wait for Johnson to leave.
"As soon as he walked out, the cop said 'Oh, yeah, that's him,'" Ringler said. "Because I showed him the pictures too. and it was pretty much an open shut case at that point."
Police made contact with Johnson and reportedly found checks, with the victim’s name on them. Other items, including the stolen shotgun, were also found.
"It was awesome," Ringler said. "We were taking pictures; it was a good time!"
John allegedly admitted to police that he entered the home when no one answered the door. He reportedly said he was going to shoot the gun and then sell it.
He has been charged with burglary.
"Hopefully it discourages more people from doing stuff, knowing cameras are this cheap and this easy and it can get you caught in a few hours," Ringler said.