A FACEBOOK group - which allows people to share their memories of Basildon - help police snare a burglar within hours of committing his crime.

The Basildon Memories Facebook group was set up on the social networking site last year by 44-year-old Ian Clarke.

It allows people to share memories and photographs of Basildon’s bygone days and has 4,000 members.

But the group found themselves acting as detectives, when one member posted a CCTV image of the man who broke into her garage.

The woman, who lives in Wood Green, Basildon, was distraught to return to her home on Tuesday November 20 to find her garage had been broken into. More heartbreakingly the crooks had stolen her grandson’s scooter worth £400.

But, determined to help police snare the thief, the woman posted images of the man - captured on CCTV - brazenly walking away with the scooter on the Basildon Memories Facebook page.

Within minutes other members of the group had positively identified him and he was arrested that night.

Edward Goble, 28 of Cockerell Close, Basildon was even arrested wearing the same clothes as he had on when he committed the offence.

He was charged with burglary and appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court two days later where he admitted a charge of burglary.

In the wake of the swift justice Basildon Memories’ founder Ian Clarke, 44 of Rayleigh Drive, Basildon, praised his members for helping bring the crook to justice.

He said: “The group is like one big family and it is this type of family-orientated thinking that got the members to stick together and name this offender.

“A year on from setting up this page and we now have over 4,000 members.

“I love running this group. People often thank me for rekindling their youth, I reply that all I have done is provided a platform.

“It's the wonderful members that have made this place a success and I cannot thank the kind contributions of stories and pictures they share.”

Goble was released on bail and will return to Basildon Magistrates’ Court next month for sentence.