Suspected Thief Identified on Tinder | NBC Bay Area

Suspected Thief Identified on Tinder

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The idea could help catch a thief. But how they did it puzzled singles in San Francisco. Ian Cull explains how they had to go Tinder to catch their woman. (Published Friday, Dec. 19, 2014)

    The office of startup Buildzoom, has seen some ugly days. In July, co-founder David Petersen received an unusual call after several of his computers and equipment had vanished from the San Francisco building.

    "An employee, he called me on my way to work and he says, ‘Hey Dave, are you playing a practical joke on me? My computer's missing,” Petersen said.

    After three weeks and more missing computers, Petersen filed a police report on July 3 to try to figure out who had taken his stuff. But no one was caught.

    So, he Petersen set up a security camera in the office. And he caught someone on it.

    "You can see her creeping in,” Petersen said Thursday night, pointing to the footage.

    The camera caught a woman sneaking around the Buildzoom office in San Francisco, grabbing a company bag, and then taking items off of employee desks.

    Petersen claims the woman stole $30,000 worth of computers and tablets over several weeks. He posted her picture on social media and the company blog. No luck. So last week, he went a little more risqué, and turned to Tinder. It’s an app that connects two people who find each other attractive.

    “And I'm like, wait a minute. If we put it on Tinder, thousands of people are going to see her [face], someone is going to know who she is,” he said.

    Petersen posted a picture of the woman, with the words "I rob offices in SF, $5,000 reward for identifying me.”

    "Within two days someone e-mailed me a name and a picture,” Petersen said.

    NBC Bay Area asked Tinder what they thought of the story. They responded with a statement, "This is a very creative use of our platform. We're happy to hear that Tinder is helping people connect for a variety of reasons."

    Peterson hopes police will make a quick arrest. He also thinks the Tinder app may have even helped his love life.

    "My girlfriend did not have a Tinder account ... but I needed a girl's account and they link it to Facebook so I got her, I used the account, I created it and the good news is that account is now suspended. So she's banned from Tinder, which I think is good for me,” Petersen said smiling.

    Petersen also plans to pay the reward if the woman is arrested. San Francisco police did not immediately comment on whether the woman in the video is a suspect or not.