Facebook helps catch accused scrap metal thief - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Facebook helps catch accused scrap metal thief

LOUISA COUNTY, VA (WWBT) -- Facebook helps the Louisa County Sheriff's Office nab at least one person in a scrap metal heist caught on camera.

Right now, Billy Bentley was arrested on Saturday by the Sheriff's Office, accused in the heist. A second person is still on a run. Bentley was caught thanks to the help of Facebook.

Snap shot after snap shot. All of the pictures, capturing the scrap metal heist in action.

The crime happened on Kennon Road where it is just a dirt road, a few homes, and a lot of woods. We are not telling you where the exact home is, simply because the Sheriff's Office tells us that the homeowner is concerned his camera will be stolen.

That camera left the Louisa County Sheriff's Office with 16 clear images of the crime. But police needed the community's help. "While the pictures showed clearly individuals stealing metal from this property, we never did get a clear shot of their faces,' said Louisa Detective Mark Stanton. 

All it took was a post to the Sheriff's Office Facebook page for them to get a clear picture of at least one of the men who police say did it. Billy Bentley was busted.

"Mr. Bentley had in fact sold a large amount of scrap metal to a yard in Fredericksburg that very same afternoon... 2 hours later," said Det. Stanton. 

Detectives used surveillance video from that scrap yard and the pictures to match things up.

"Dressed in the same clothes as in the same camera photos and he was selling items that were photographed on the camera," adds Det. Stanton. 

This is the first time the Sheriff's Office posted something like this on Facebook. You can bet it'll happen again! "People look at that page everyday and say hey I know this guy!"

Police believe they know who the second man involved in the larceny is, but they are hoping more Facebook tips will come in to help find him.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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