Alleged vacuum thief sucked in by social media

Nanaimo RCMP have an alleged vacuum cleaner thief in the bag after a social media post kicked up a whirlwind of tips from the public.

Police posted a picture of the suspect caught on surveillance cameras walking out of the Nanaimo Target store with a $700 vacuum Wednesday.

The 35-year-old suspect also allegedly hosed Future Shop when he walked away from that store with a vacuum he failed to pay for Tuesday.

Police posted the suspect's photo Wednesday at 1:26 p.m. and by 4 p.m. they received a call that the man fitting the suspect's description had just walked into Port Place Shopping Centre where investigators arrested him moments later.

Mounties are crediting social media – posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter – with making a clean sweep of the case.

"The arresting officer commented this was the first time he can recall a tweet leading to an arrest," said Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

Nanaimo RCMP uses its Twitter account, currently followed by more than 1,800 people, daily to share success, broadcast wanted photos and post advisories.

To follow Nanaimo RCMP, please visit

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