Watch above: After a Saskatoon pub was robbed twice over the past month, its owners decided to take matters into their own hands. Amber Rockliffe spoke with the owners of Somewhere Else on why they took that step.
SASKATOON – The owners of a Saskatoon pub took matters into their own hands after being robbed twice in the past month. They posted surveillance video on social media and it may have paid off.
Darwin and Nissa McMaster have owned Somewhere Else Bar and Grill for seven years. Two weeks ago, someone broke into the pub, smashing glass at the front door and stealing thousands of dollars worth of beer and liquor.
“In six years, absolutely nothing’s ever happened in my room, and the last six months, I’ve been broken into four times, robbed once and it’s just – enough is enough,” said Darwin McMaster.
“It affects us personally on the amount of money we’ve spent, the security I have put up now again, and insurance,” he explained.
The business owners posted a surveillance video of the robbery on Facebook. Within several days it received more than 5,000 views.
A 16-year-old boy has been identified as a suspect in this theft and others. He’s charged with two counts of breaking and entering, six counts of breaching probation and theft under $5,000.
“It just hits the mass really quick, and then everybody wants to be involved, everybody wants to help you out,” Darwin McMaster said.
Businesses across Canada have been using social media to help combat crime by posting surveillance videos and photos on Twitter, Facebook and blogs.
“It used to be that you had to go through a gatekeeper to get your message out, might have been the media,” said Michael Klein, CEO of Meshy Communications in Saskatoon.
“These tools have evolved, really anybody who wants to spread a message far and wide, has that ability.”
Last September, a restaurant owner in Regina took to social media after patrons dined at his establishment and left before paying the bill. He posted a photo of one of the patrons on Twitter, garnering dozens of retweets and responses.
“I think that’s both a huge opportunity for businesses and people personally … if they’re turning to their friends and family and colleagues to help them catch criminals, but at the same time it’s a bit of a risk,” Klein explained.
To avoid lawsuits and other repercussions, Klein advises people to consult with police before posting any personal photos or videos of criminal activity.