British Columbia

Selfie by alleged smartphone thief leads to arrest

A selfie taken on a stolen cellphone and posted on social media leads to a rapid arrest of a suspect in Nanaimo.

Selfie on stolen cellphone uploaded to victim's new phone

Nanaimo RCMP say this alleged iPhone thief was arrested just 48 hours after taking a selfie with a stolen phone. (CBC)

A selfie taken with a stolen smart phone turned out to be — not so smart.

RCMP in B.C. say the image captured by the stolen device helped them catch the alleged cell snatcher.

The iPhone disappeared earlier this month in Nanaimo, after a woman briefly left her purse beside her car while taking out the garbage.

She discovered her purse and iPhone missing, and spotted a man nearby.

Alleged thief's selfie uploaded to replacement phone

When the woman later activated her replacement phone, a  photo of that man uploaded automatically.

She said she recognized the stranger as the man she had last seen near her purse.

"The suspect in his infinite wisdom uploaded a picture of himself," said Nanaimo RCMP Cst. Gary O'Brien.

RCMP distributed the photo through news outlets and social media. 

That suspect's selfie got a lot of shares.

RCMP said they made an arrest within 48 hours.

A 39-year-old man has been charged with theft under $5000.

The man's name has not been released.

He is scheduled to appear in Nanaimo Provincial court in August.