Columbus Police said they were able to identify one of two burglary suspects posted on their CPD Burglary and Theft Facebook page thanks to the community.
Authorities said 18-year-old Bobby Thomas was positively identified as the teen seen looking at two computers in a surveillance image. Arrested Monday, Thomas pleaded not guilty to the Lakepointe Court burglary Wednesday in Recorder's Court.
Thomas was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail under a $10,000 bond. The case was bound over to Superior Court.
Columbus Police Detective Jack Willis said the victim installed the surveillance camera that captured the burglars' faces as they invaded the home in the 5400 block of Lakepointe Court. They offenders took $1,300 worth of property during the July 8 incident.
Police published still shots of the surveillance video the next day at about 9:20 a.m., and the Facebook post generated 1,130 shares and 41 comments by this afternoon.
A Facebook user contacted Columbus authorities about 30 minutes after the post was published and told them that one of the offenders was Bobby Thomas.
"We pulled up a picture of Bobby Thomas and compared it to the photograph that we had, and it appeared to be the same individual," Willis said. "We also went on the Facebook page of Bobby Thomas and located a picture of August 2013 where he was wearing the same shirt that he was wearing in the photo."
Thomas’ mother contacted officials to confirm that her son was one of the teens pictured, Willis added. The woman said she tried to convince Thomas to turn himself in to police after she saw him on the Facebook post.
Thomas is also a suspect in a pending criminal attempt burglary case that is not related to the July 8 incident, Recorder's Court Judge Michael Cielinski said. The defendant was released on a $5,000 bond when the Lakepointe Court burglary happened, the judge added.
Willis said police have yet to identify the other burglary suspect.
Officials would like anyone with information to contact the Burglary and Theft Unit at (706) 653-3424.