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'World’s dumbest' suspect collared in Facebook sting

Profile left open in burglary victim's home, man logs into jail

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A suspect is languishing in jail after allegedly breaking into a house, logging into Facebook on his victim's PC, and then reportedly obligingly leaving his social network profile up and open for the returning homeowner.

Police mugshot of Nicholas Wig

Wig's profile pic from his police department presence

Arresting officers charged suspect Nicholas Wig, 26, with targeting the house of James Wood in South St. Paul, Minnesota, on 19 June. Wood had arrived home to find the place turned over, with cash, credit cards and a watch missing, although the perp did exchange the booty for wet "Nike tennis shoes, jeans and a belt". It was raining at the time of the burglary, Wood explained.

Wood told local WCCO: "I started to panic. But then I noticed he had pulled up his Facebook profile."

Wood posted a message on Wig's page, announcing the burglary, and including his phone number. Later that day, Wood claims, Wig texted him, and Wood replied "you left a few things at my house last night, how can I get them back to you?"

The pair arranged to meet later that night, with the suspect apparently believing Wood would return his ditched clothing "in exchange for a recycled cell phone Wig had stolen".

On his way back home from a friend's house, Wood clocked Wig in the street, saying he'd recognised him from his Facebook profile pics. Cue swift police intervention and cuffs for the suspect, who was allegedly wearing Wood's watch when his collar was felt.

Wig now faces "up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines if convicted", WCCO reports.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom told the station: "I've never seen this before. It's a pretty unusual case, might even make the late night television shows in terms of not being too bright."

“World’s dumbest [man]?” said the homeowner. “I don’t know.”

Previous hopefuls who've magnificently pitched for the planet's thickest ne'er-do-well accolade include another Facebook cover-blow perp, the teenage Brit who sprayed "Peter Addison was here!" at the scene of a burglary, the armed robber who left a mobile phone containing pictures of himself and his missus at the estate agents he relieved of £6k, and the Colombian who "entered a martial arts school with a firearm" with intent to rob, but who instead got a good slapping for his trouble. ®

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