Woman Caught When She Posts Stolen Dress Selfie on Instagram

Photo: Danielle Sexton Facebook/Gawker
Photo: Danielle Sexton Facebook/Gawker

A 27-year-old Illinois woman who was accused of stealing several items from a clothing store was busted after she posted pictures of herself in a shoplifted dress on Facebook.

Danielle Sexton reportedly swiped a multicolored leopard print dress with a black waistband from Morties, a store in her native West Frankfort. After the owner's son, Kert Williams, posted a note about the theft and a description of the woman on his Facebook page, people quickly began pointing him toward Sexton's selfie, which she had just set as her new profile pic. Williams passed the information along to the police, who arrested her.

"I was pulling up to the front door and I saw a girl running out of the store with stuff in her hand," Williams, who manages the store, tells Yahoo Shine. He was immediately concerned, watched the store's security camera footage, and checked with other nearby shops to see if anybody had spotted her. "She'd also taken from a consignment store down the street from us," he alleges

Williams credits the close-knit community in West Frankfort for catchng Sexton so quickly. People sent him screenshots of Sexton's Facebook page, while others reported that they'd seen her walking around town in the distinctive dress they recognized from Morties. Even some of the police who helped nab Sexton were pals of Williams's on social media. "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," police chief Shawn Talluto told local news channel WSIL.

"It's almost too good to be true," Williams says about how Sexton was nabbed. He reports that Sexton also made off with a shirt, some jewelry, and a pair of sunglasses. Instead of lying low after her shoplifting spree, Sexton put the dress on immediately, posted pics online, and went out. "She came in here at three, she was arrested by six, she was in jail by nine," Williams adds. Police also discovered that Sexton had an outstanding warrant for an arrest in another county.

For Williams, the whole situation is an example of how public embarrassment can help deter crime. "Everybody laughed about it a little bit because she got herself caught. She put herself out there." And now, her face has been splashed all over the place as a warning to future criminals who just can't curb their selfie addiction.

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