A couple in a stolen truck were arrested after a Facebook video went viral showing a woman stealing a Biloxi man’s golf clubs off his front porch.
The petit larceny of a set of golf clubs owned by Kieren Rouse of Biloxi tied together a multi-state investigation after Rouse posted video from his home-security system.
How viral did his post go? By late Wednesday afternoon, there were 423,663 views and 7,923 shares.
The investigation spanned three beachfront cities and Heavener, Oklahoma, where the truck had been reported stolen.
Police in Gulf Shores, Alabama, had posted a video of the stolen truck on their Facebook page. They said the couple had been staying at a campsite there and were wanted on theft charges.
As Rouse’s video went viral and friends shared it with friends, Gulf Shores police saw it. They contacted Biloxi police, who alerted neighboring law enforcement agencies.
Biloxi police found Rouse’s golf clubs at a pawn shop, police Lt. Christopher De Back said.
Waveland police said someone who had watched the video in a news report recognized the couple and saw the truck at the Waveland Wal-Mart.
Police Chief David Allen said that’s where his officers arrested Amy Beth Minor of Howe, Oklahoma, and Bryan Shane Bebermeyer of Monroe, Oklahoma. Both are 31. They each face a charge of receiving stolen property in Waveland. They were taken to the Hancock County jail and were being held with no bond.
A Biloxi investigator said the couple had switched tags on the truck again to avoid detection.
The truck also had been wrecked somewhere between New Orleans and Waveland earlier Wednesday. There is damage on the passenger side that did not appear in Rouse’s video, police said.
Rouse said when he first realized his golf clubs had been stolen, he checked his home-security system and saw the theft play out.
A barefoot woman wearing a T-shirt with LOVE on the front grabbed the clubs, ran to a white pickup truck and told the driver, “Let’s go!”
“Need some help making somebody Facebook famous,” Rouse had written in his Facebook post Tuesday night when he shared the video of the clubs being stolen Monday while he and his wife, Leighanne, a former Sun Herald reporter, were at work. The Rouses live on Carter Road.
Kieren Rouse didn’t realize just how how quickly the post would spread.
“It’s mind-blowing,” said Rouse, worship leader at Mosaic Church in Ocean Springs. His wife teaches seventh and eighth grades at Woolmarket Middle School.
“I was being sarcastic or facetious when I made the post. I figured it would get a few shares locally and maybe somebody would recognize her or the truck. But it’s been shared on the west side of Texas and up in Wisconsin or somewhere near there.”
“It’s, like, a $500 set of golf clubs, no big deal, but I feel violated that someone came on my porch and stole from me.”
He had taken the set of clubs out of his car trunk Monday morning to make space for items he needed for work at the church. He noticed the clubs missing when he returned home from work Tuesday.
“My Vivint (home security) system has a visitor detector,” he said. “I went back three days on the system and worked my way up and then I see that woman stealing my clubs. We looked in the back of the truck and saw other things in there, and it broke our hearts that they were probably stealing from other people.”
The video shows the woman knock on the door and look around before she grabs the clubs.
“I’m not trying to play Mr. Detective,” Kieren Rouse said. “I’m giving up all the information to the people who get paid to do that.”
Before the couple’s arrests, Rouse said he didn’t care if his golf clubs were returned. He said he wanted the couple found and stopped so they don’t steal from anyone else.
“If she had waited to knock on my door once I’d gotten home, we’d have given them money to help them if she said they needed help.”