Police use YouTube to track down shrubbery thieves
YouTube has helped police identify two alleged meth users who stole $1,200 worth of shrubberies from a medical office outside of Atlanta, Ga, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Police arrested Cary Tilotta and Steven Masters Monday and charged the two with felony theft after mounting evidence and public testimony insinuated that they had uprooted a gaggle of shrubs outside the office of orthodontist Ron Wilson and kept their bounty in Tilotta's backyard. Tilotta, who owns a landscaping company that apparently does not have enough shrubs in stock, was charged as the primary perpetrator of the crime.
Police found the culprits after Dr. Wilson posted incriminating surveillance footage of the theft onto YouTube. In the video, Tilotta and Masters are seen pulling up to the building in a white pickup truck, circling the building, and getting out of their truck to uproot the plants—twice.
Uploaded June 13, the video has received 2,629 views from individuals in the greater Atlanta area. One viewer, a woman identified on YouTube as Cadie Wood, noted two weeks ago that she lives down the street from a neighbor with a white pickup truck who had recently come into possession of a bevy of new shrubs.
"Random plants have been popping up in her yard, her boyfriend knows a little too much about it, and he has a white pickup truck," she wrote.
Police brought Tilotta to the station on Monday and showed him the surveillance clip. After watching, he admitted to stealing the plants, Braselton Police Department assistant police chief Lou Solice told the Journal-Constitution.
Tilotta told police that his friend Masters wanted some plans and that Wilson owed Tilotta money. Taking the shrubs, he reasoned, would be proper recompense.
According to Solis, Tilotta also admitted to using methamphetamine shortly before the theft.
"'He also said, We were both high on meth, it makes me do stupid stuff and that's why we did it,'" Solis told the Journal-Constitution.
Tilotta and Masters now await trial and could face a penalty of 1-10 years in prison. No word yet on whether or not the Knights Who Say Ni were involved in the crime.
Photo via YouTube