May 22, 2018
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Ellsworth police use Facebook to help solve wallet theft

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Ellsworth police officers used the department’s Facebook page this week to locate a woman who had taken a wallet from a shopping cart in the parking lot of Wal-Mart earlier this week.

According to Detective Dottie Small, the owner left her wallet in a shopping cart on Monday, and when no one turned it in, she reported it stolen on Tuesday.

The wallet contained a large sum of money, according to Small.

Small posted an initial appeal on the Ellsworth Police Department Facebook page Tuesday afternoon asking the person who took the wallet to contact her.

Meanwhile, security video from Wal-Mart had captured the theft.

“We watched her do it on video,” Small said.

The detective pulled a picture of the suspect from the video and posted it on the department’s Facebook page on Wednesday. An anonymous tip identified the suspect, and after talking with Small on Thursday, the woman came into the police department with the wallet.

“She did return the wallet and she said she knew it wasn’t right to take it,” Small said.

All but $100 of the cash was still in the wallet, according to Small.

The woman, Carol Leeman, 39, of Ellsworth was charged with Class D theft.

This is the third time in as many weeks that the police department has posted alerts on Facebook in which responses helped officers to solve a crime, Small said Thursday.

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