OKLAHOMA CITY - Craig Crissman had just arrived at his house in southeast Oklahoma City.
He parked in his driveway and was unloading groceries and changing from work clothes into a swimsuit.
He was in and out of his garage and was planning to leave again soon.
But, on the last trip to his garage, he noticed his lawnmower was missing, looked out his garage and saw the thief.
“I saw him just loading it into the back of his truck, and I yelled at him: 'What are you doing with my lawnmower?' And, he closed the gate. He looked right at me, closed the tailgate and went running to get in it,” Crissman said.
Crissman made the split-second decision to give chase, jumped in his daughter’s car and took off after the thief.
“When he took off, he didn’t see me get in the car yet, and he was already down the street. So, he never saw me following him,” Crissman said.
Up Sooner Road and onto I-240, Crissman finally got close enough to get a tag number but then lost the vehicle.
“It’s my stuff. I worked hard for that. So, I wanted it back. And, if I couldn’t catch him, at least I was going to get a tag number,” Crissman said.
Crissman called police and picked the suspect out of a photo lineup then decided to take matters into his own hands.
“I just thought, well, I’ll see if he’s got a Facebook page. Sure enough, there he was,” Crissman said.
Crissman posted multiple pictures of the suspect and outed him on social media, telling the world what he’d done.
The post has been shared almost 3,000 times.
“It’s out everywhere. And, I see a lot of people are tagging him: 'Hey, you’re stealing people’s lawnmowers. You need to bring it back,'” Crissman said.
And, then, late Sunday night, almost a week to the day the lawnmower was stolen, Crissman heard his doorbell ring.
“I kind of look out my front door, and there’s my lawnmower sitting on my front porch,” Crissman said.
It was returned unharmed and still running.
“Social media’s done something that I’ve never heard of. He actually brought it back to my house, dropped it off. So, it’s kind of amazing,” Crissman said.
Police tell us the suspect has pawned numerous items at pawn shops over the last few months, but they’re not releasing his name because he has not been arrested.
Crissman signed a complaint against him though, so the suspect will have to appear before a municipal judge who will then decide his punishment.