News

Facebook detective gets her stolen goods back

Anne Veivers Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Anne Veivers Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst

BROOLOO mum Anne Veivers is stylish, well groomed and well spoken.

She doesn't look or sound like a detective and she has never attended the police academy.

But within 24 hours of thieves making off with $30,000 worth of farm equipment from her 80ha grazing property near Imbil in April, she had cracked the case wide open, leaving one of the thieves with no option but to turn himself into police.

Anne harnessed the formidable power of Facebook to back the thieves into a corner and make it almost impossible for them to "move" the tractor, ute and other farm machinery and tools they stripped from the shed on Anne, and her husband Brad's, farm.

"We had nothing left. They took everything," said Anne. "They took their time and picked over everything."

Outraged at being targeted by crooks - but refusing to think or feel like a "victim" - Anne sat down and thought hard about what the thieves' next move might be. She knew they would try to sell her belongings.

She got straight on Facebook, posting photos and details about what had been taken and asking everyone who saw her post to share it.

It went viral, clocking up 6000 organic (direct) shares and untold shares beyond that.

"I even got responses from the United States," says Anne. "One redneck guy asked me if I wanted anybody shot."

From the Facebook activity, the mainstream media picked the story up - newspapers, radio and television.

"The feedback was that they (the thieves) had gone to ground and could not shift the stuff and they panicked."

Imbil police then received a tip-off from the public that somebody had seen the Veivers' missing ute hidden on a property at Tuchekoi.

They went to the property and made an arrest, but recovered nothing but the ute.

This wasn't good enough for Anne. She wanted her tractor back.

"I was pretty motivated (and by that I mean crazy) at this stage," she said.

Through more investigative work on Facebook, which Anne doesn't want to reveal in detail for fear of upsetting those who helped her, one of the perpetrators turned himself into police and showed them where most of the stolen gear was. His co-accused has also since been arrested and charged.

"The Imbil police were just brilliant," says Anne. "Bill Greer in particular. He just worked 24/7 until it was all back."

Over the next few months Anne will be working with Kenilworth and Imbil police and the Kandanga Rural Watch to talk with rural property owners on how to best secure their property from would-be thieves.

Gympie Times

Topics:  court, crime, facebook, theft




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

‘Twirling hair’ breaches bail – man lands in jail

What occurred was “perfectly civil”

We wanted to live in a retirement community, so we built one

Construction continues at Southside Family Village, June 30 2016

Local over 50's community springing to life in Gympie

Atlantic Hotel: A great watering hole

BACK IN TIME: A street parade trails past the Atlantic Hotel in October 1910.

A look at the history of one of Gympie's Pubs: The Atlantic

Latest deals and offers

Hey Mumma

Mums talk to us about how they juggle work and kids.

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

Concern over Smerdon Rd high-density development

Mick Curran talks about the community's concern over the project which was approved...

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward