Woman uses Facebook to track down purse thieves

(WJLA) - Tawana Stevens’ purse was stolen -- and although she was angry, she decided to be resourceful.

“The police had pretty much said to me, 'you can file a report, but these people are hardly ever caught,' and it just really ignited the fire in me," she says.

So Stevens filed that police report, and then decided to connect with all of her friends on Facebook, posting her status update with 28 surveillance pictures of the couple that police say was responsible for the theft.

"Facebook is a big community, but it brings a lot of people together -- people find people on Facebook all the time,” she says.

Last Saturday, it took just an instant for Stevens to realize she accidentally walked out of Smokey Bones Restaurant in Bowie, leaving behind her black Tory Burch tote. But when she turned around to go back and get it, it was gone.

Thanks to an extremely helpful restaurant manager, she got surveillance pictures, so while police did their investigation, she started her own:

"Once I posted it on Facebook, I just started getting such an overwhelming response of people telling me their stories, and it just snowballed."

It isn’t the type of face time you want on Facebook, and police confirm that the woman in the photo has Stevens’ purse slung over her shoulder. Photos of her and her male partner taken later at a CVS in Bowie and a Sunoco in Crofton show them just before they used Stevens’ stolen credit cards.

Even if all the likes, shares, and status updates don’t ultimately lead to their capture, Stevens says the exposure is satisfactory:

“The least I'm going to do is embarrass them."