San Francisco Company BuildZoom Used Tinder to Catch a Thief — and It Was More Effective Than It Sounds

It turns out that Tinder might be good for something other than awkward conversations and one-night stands. A startup business in San Francisco recently used Tinder to catch a thief who was poaching computers from their offices.

After Buildzoom employees realized that computers were slowly going missing, the custom home building company's CEO David Petersen filed a report with Bay Area police. But this left the company with no results, so Petersen set up a security camera in the office hoping the catch the culprit in the act. It worked; the feed recorded a women sneaking into the offices and swiping electronics from employee’s desks. Hoping to identify the robber, Peterson posted a picture of the women to the company blog and social media accounts, but no one came forward with information.

Then Petersen realized that there was one social media outlet where people pay particular attention to the appearance of other users: Tinder. So Petersen posted the thief’s face on the app with a message reading “I rob offices in SF, $5000 reward for identifying me,” and within two days he got a name. The woman made off with around $30,000 worth of electronics and has yet to be arrested, but knowledge of her identity and the videotape proof will certainly move things along. Ah, Tinder: fighting for justice, identifying one robber at a time.

While amusing, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Petersen turned to social media for help with solving a crime. Though this is the first I have heard of Tinder being used for anything other than advertising and hooking up, other popular platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have been used to make arrests. A woman from Illinois was arrested after putting up a selfie in a dress that she stole, and another man in Oregon was caught after telling her Facebook followers about the car he hit while drunk driving.

So what’s the moral of the story here kids? When you run out of other options, turn to Tinder. Oh, and don’t post about the illegal stuff you do on social media.

Image: Mark Lange / Flickr; Buildzoom