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Robbery in Frenchville causes a stir online

SMILE, YOU’RE ON CAMERA: CCTV footage of the alleged home robbery at a Frenchville home.
SMILE, YOU’RE ON CAMERA: CCTV footage of the alleged home robbery at a Frenchville home. Contributed

WITH great power comes great responsibility.

And the power of social media certainly is great.

A Rockhampton man discovered this on Monday when he posted photos of alleged thieves entering his Frenchville home to numerous community pages.

The posts received an overwhelming response, shared more than 1000 times and getting the thumbs up from hundreds of users.

Plenty of Facebookers joined in the conversation, condemning the acts of the young men in the pictures and even suggesting possible suspects.

The poster later declared the culprits had been identified, but not before the reputation of one innocent man was potentially harmed.

After being named in the comments, the man was forced to defend himself.

"I was at work all day today," he wrote.

"I'm just caught up in some thing I had nothing to do with, and if this effects (sic) my career I might think about taking legal actions."

The poster also came to the man's defence, stating he had nothing to do with it.

Michael Cope, president of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, said they had long-standing concerns about the rise of online vigilantism.

"One of the obvious issues is potential defamation or mistaken identity," he said.

"Secondly, it interferes with a person's right for a trial and thirdly in the context of the offence the result is often disproportionate."

In a media release, police stated the offenders entered the Old Rollo Dr home between 3pm-3.30pm Monday via an unlocked side laundry door. An Xbox, Xbox games, laptop, hand tool, carry bag and bottles of scotch were stolen.

If you have any information that could assist police contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppers.com.au.

Topics:  break and enter, rockhampton police, social media, theft



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