Arrest follows Facebook naming and shaming

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 09:16 06/08/2014
THAI CONTAINER/Facebook

The security video taken moments before the attack on the restaurant.

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Police have arrested a 20-year-old man for allegedly vandalising a Thai eatery after footage of him was posted on Facebook.

The man was arrested at his Christchurch home and charged with burglary. He was granted bail, and will appear in the Christchurch District Court tomorrow.

"We don't muck around," Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Darren Folau said.

The man was named and shamed on Facebook after he was allegedly caught on the Thai Container's security footage, which was posted online.

Within half an hour, Thai Container owner Ren Bell received an apology message.

The footage showed a well-dressed young man walk on to the Bealey Ave site at 1.37am on Saturday (the time on the security footage is incorrect).

The man looks at a security camera then disappears from screen.  About 30 seconds later, the camera is destroyed.

Security cameras, gas piping, a door and stock were damaged. The eatery was also flooded as towels were placed in the sink and the taps turned on. The damage totalled about $2000.

Bell handed the footage, the man's name and details to police yesterday.

It was the fourth time Thai Container has been vandalised since Bell and his wife set up on Bealey Ave in May 2011. They lost their central-city restaurant in the Canterbury quakes. 

Bell said he would post security footage on his Facebook page again in a heartbeat.

''Now I really truly comprehend the power of social media,'' Bell said.

Folau said earlier that social media was a platform that police also embraced with their own Facebook page. 

"It's pleasing the online community can resolve these issues quickly," he said. 

Folau said using the internet to identify criminals carried "inherent dangers" of naming the wrong person and creating "issues of natural justice".

Police did not condone vigilantism, Folau said. 

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- The Press

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