UPDATE: Suspect who posted stolen iPad on Facebook arrested - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Suspect who posted stolen iPad on Facebook arrested


FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- Fitchburg police officials tell 27 News a suspect who posted a photo of himself with a stolen iPad on the victim's Facebook profile page was arrested Thursday.

Officials say the 15-year old suspect is in juvenile custody, and a charge of burglary is being recommended.

Authorities say the suspect's apparently unwitting Facebook post of his on-camera offer to sell the iPad helped investigators locate him. 

"Through that photo, we were able to identify him in very rapid fashion," Lt. Chad Brecklin tells 27 News.

Brecklin says the suspect had been a runaway until his arrest.

Victim Paisley Morgan used the suspect's photo with her stolen iPad to produce wanted posters, and distributed them at police stations and other public places. The photo landed on her Facebook page due to the common practice of linking one's smart technology accounts.

The suspect's mother tells 27 News the victim should have left the investigation to police, and was wrong to publicize the photo of a minor, even though her son's original web post initiated access to his photo.

Brecklin says a victim's efforts to help solve a crime can at times be detrimental. Brecklin says publicizing the teen suspect's photo could have motivated him to quickly sell or discard  the stolen iPad. Brecklin says he does not know if investigators have recovered the device.

Brecklin says other, local law enforcement agencies have had past contact with the teen suspect.


FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- A woman who claims to be the mother of a suspect in the theft of an iPad in Fitchburg, says the victim's use of her son's photo in posters seeking tips violates his privacy.

"He is a minor," the woman tells 27 News.

Victim Paisley Morgan says the iPad was in her purse, when it was snatched Sunday morning from her work place. Morgan says a window screen was removed and someone reached in and grabbed the purse at approximately 3 a.m.

The suspected thief took a photo of himself holding the stolen iPad in an effort to sell it, and the photo linked to the victim's Facebook account, and displayed on the victim's profile page.

Morgan used that photo to produce flyers and placed them at the Fitchburg Police department and other public places.

"Sorry this happened to her," the woman, who refused to provide her identity to 27 News, told us.

"But she shouldn't have been so hasty," she says. "There was no need for her to post that picture. And she should have let police do their job."

Fitchburg Police Lieutenant Chad Brecklin says an investigation continues. Brecklin confirms the woman's claim the suspect is a minor. The woman says her son is 15.

Morgan was working at the Hyland Park senior living facility when her iPad was stolen. Morgan says the device's memory includes many photos of value to her, including photos of her recently deceased cat.

The woman and Brecklin say there's been police contact with the suspect.

The woman says she hopes this crime case will be resolved, and her son's right to privacy as a minor honored.

"If I wasn't a parent that cared and was involved with my child, I wouldn't care two cents if his picture was out there."

After being contacted by the woman, WKOW-TV and another Madison television station blurred the face of the suspected thief in the photo on news web sites.


FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- A criminal investigation is playing out on social media, after a thief posted a photo of himself holding a stolen iPad, to the victim's Facebook page.

"Probably not thinking to log out of my Facebook, and posted to my profile," victim Paisley Ann Morgan tells 27 News.

The thief's post included this caption: "Bored asf (and so forth) but Gotta sell the ipad."

Morgan says someone popped out a window screen at her work place in the early morning hours of May 19 and swiped her purse, with her iPad inside.

Fitchburg police officials have yet to return calls from 27 News seeking comment. Morgan's employer, Hyland Park senior living facility, acknowledged the theft but declined further comment.

Armed with the thief's photo holding her iPad in its blue case, Morgan has been proactive in trying to crack this case, establishing an email address for tips: mystolenipad@gmail.com.

Morgan has also made a flyer with the thief's Facebook photo on it, and placed it at police stations and other public places.

"I really just want my iPad back," Morgan tells 27 News. "I had a lot of pictures on there. It sounds cheesy, but my cat  of sixteen years just passed away, I had pictures of him on there. My little cousin takes pictures on it, with kids I work with, lots of different things that are valuable to me."

Morgan says investigators believe the thief is a minor.

"It just goes to show how kids are all about showing pictures of themselves, doing everything, apparently. 

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