The victim of a burglar who was caught out thanks to quick-thinking Facebook users had admitted she is outraged after the perpetrator got off the hook.
Members of the Basildon Memories Facebook page helped snare Edward Goble, 28, after the victim Pauline van Dijk posted images of the thief walking away with her grandson’s scooter after he broken into her garage on November 20.
Within minutes, eagle eyed members of the 4,000-strong group had identified Goble and he was arrested hours later.
Despite being swiftly arrested and making a full admission to officers, the charge was withdrawn at Basildon Magistrates’ Court yesterday. (Dec 11)
Ms van Dijk said: “Personally, he was caught bang to rights.
“Basically, the CCTV pictures proved he was there and that he took the stuff, plus he admitted it and when the police caught him the same night he was in the same clothes.”
Goble has mental health problems and the Echo understands the case fell down because police did not interview him with another adult.
Essex Police claims that Goble was assessed by a healthcare professional and was deemed fit to be interviewed without another adult being present.
A police spokesman added: “It is unfortunate that this case could not be proceeded and we will be looking to see if our procedures could be tightened up to ensure that this does not occur again.”
The police also said they did not contact the victim or any other witnesses has Goble had admitted to the offence.
Ms van Dijk added: “Whether he has mental health problems or not, he knows stealing off people is wrong."
The scooter was worth £400 but it was recovered.
Goble also appeared at court yesterday on another charge of attempted burglary at a house in Soane Street, Basildon on July 15.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to the offence and was handed a 12 month community order, including supervision, and ordered to go on a mental health treatment course.
After his sentence was passed, he said: “I know it was wrong to commit the offence.”