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Burglar signs into Facebook, gets caught

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James Wood says a thief logged on to Facebook while burglarizing his home, forgot to log off and got caught. (Source: WCCO/CNN) James Wood says a thief logged on to Facebook while burglarizing his home, forgot to log off and got caught. (Source: WCCO/CNN)

MINNEAPOLIS (CNN) - A Minnesota man is in jail because he logged on to Facebook during his alleged crime.

When James Wood came home Thursday morning, his house had been ransacked.

"When I came home from work that day, that screen was laying right here," Wood said. "Credit cards, cash for a soccer tournament, checkbook, watch. Kind of started to panic."

Wood notified police but then noticed something on his computer.

"He pulled up his Facebook profile and left it up," Wood said.

Police say Nicholas Wig, 26, had checked his Facebook while stealing from the house and forgotten to log out.

So, Wood updated Wig's status.

"I shared his photo and said watch out for this guy he's a thief," Wood said. "People kept commenting on that post."

Wood also left his phone number asking anyone to call with information on where to find Wig.

Wig actually texted Wood.

"I replied 'you left a few things at my house last night, how can I get them back to you?'" Wood said.

Wig agreed to meet with Wood thinking he could return Wood's recycled cell phone in exchange for his clothes he had left at the home.

When Wood spotted him heading toward the house, he called police.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom says he's thankful Wig was caught, but even he is baffled by Wig's decision to log onto Facebook.

"It's a pretty unusual case might even make the late night television shows in terms of not being too bright," Backstrom said.

"If he wouldn't have done the Facebook thing, we wouldn't have caught him," Wood said.

Wig has an extensive criminal history, including a second-degree burglary conviction from 2008, a domestic assault misdemeanor, and pending drug charges.

He could face up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines if convicted of this most recent charge.

Copyright 2014 WCCO, ST. PAUL POLICE via CNN. All rights reserved.

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