Selfie Leads to Woman's Arrest

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By Sam Jones
By Andy Shofstall

FRANKLIN COUNTY-- A West Frankfort woman's Facebook posts landed her in jail.

Police say 27-year-old Danielle Saxton stole from a downtown boutique last week. Then, she posted pictures of herself wearing the merchandise. Investigators say Saxton shared the pics just a few hours after the theft. The images quickly spread on Facebook, and led officers straight to her.

“What she stole was a very distinct leopard dress,” store co-owner Kert Williams explained.

Police say the pictures are evidence of shoplifting committed by Saxton. The theft happened at Mortie's Boutique in West Frankfort, where multiple items disappeared last Friday.

“[She stole] A dress, a couple shirts, some jewelry, couple items like that,” Williams said.

Williams was heading back to work last week when he saw a woman walking away from the store with those clothes.

“Her excuse was there was nobody in here. We were in the back working, and that she could just take it. You know, not really much of an excuse there,” Williams told News 3.

Williams checked store security cameras and posted about the theft on Facebook. Thanks to the pictures on Saxton's account, other users immediately put two and two together.

“We just had a description and a direction of travel, but when the social media aspect played into it, we were able to identify who it was. And by looking at the background of the photograph we were able to pinpoint where she was at,” said Police Chief Shawn Talluto.

Talluto says Saxton still had the clothes in her hand when officers arrived. They arrested her and later found she was wanted on another warrant in Jackson County. Talluto’s not surprised by the help from social media.

“When you put something out there, it's a matter of minutes before it can go viral, and it can go to the world,” Talluto explained.

Mortie's installed cameras just six months ago; owners say the purchase has already paid off.

“With having the cameras now we've been able to catch the people," said Williams, "We've had an instance before where we caught the people, you know, posting on Facebook. It's a way of shame."

The last time Williams posted surveillance video online, they caught three other female shoplifters.

Saxton was released from jail on her own recognizance.

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