Wairarapa shoplifters should expect to be shamed on Facebook, as retailers take to CCTV and social media to fight back.

Owner of Trev's Sports in Queen St, Quentin Henderson, has twice turned to the community on Facebook to help identify shoplifters.

Last October, a teenage cat burglar who stole hundreds of dollars' worth of goods owned up after CCTV images of the burglary was widely viewed on Facebook.

And last month, footage of two teenage girls shoplifting received 21,768 views.


Although not from Masterton, the girls were identified.

Mr Henderson said the community supported retailers by trying to help identify the shoplifters on social media.

"As soon as people started seeing it, the community wanted to help, and that was really awesome."

"It's a kind of name and shame. We are a small community and for people to be stealing really hurts business."

The shop had been actively using Facebook for the past six months and it was an effective tool retailers could use to help prevent theft, Mr Henderson said.

"It's trying out every avenue you have and waiting for somebody to help you with information -- and the information does start pouring in really fast.

"It makes other people aware of it. We are just lucky that we have invested in cameras which are really good at facial recognition. It's a small community, people are willing to help.

"They don't want this happening in our community."


The day CCTV cameras were first installed in-store, six shoplifting incidents were recorded.

While he would be continuing to invest in his own cameras, it would be great if there was a network that could be linked across all nearby retailers, Mr Henderson said.

Other Masterton stores, such as Legal Theft, also post footage of shoplifters on Facebook.

Acting Senior Sergeant Ian Osland said he was aware social media had been used to resolve several incidents.

"It can have its benefits -- and the 0800 number, they all have equal benefits and success. It's a medium that people feel comfortable using to relay information."

Wairarapa police have also been active on social media, using their Facebook page to appeal for information.

Last year, they posted images captured on CCTV of a suspect in relation to a burglary at Faulknors Service Station in Masterton, asking people for information.

As a result, a number of people were arrested and charged.

Police also post wanted to arrest notices, article links and other public service announcements.