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Austin police hope a 'selfie' could get $600 camera back to its owner

Austin Police have released these photos found on a stolen camera in hopes of locating the rightful owner. (Photos courtesy: Austin Police Department)

The Austin Police Department (APD) is hoping someone will recognize the people in three pictures they released to the media on Thursday. It's the only way APD says it will be able to return stolen property to the family.

APD says they arrested 19-year-old Juan Charles Gurley trying to sell the stuff. Gurley is accused of Burglary of a Vehicle, a Class A misdemeanor. APD is now trying to find the rightful owners of the property and they're using social media to do it.

Detective Jared Manning says a selfie and a couple of other photos discovered on an expensive stolen camera are their only connections to the owners. So they posted the pictures on social media and are hoping the man who took a selfie will see himself.

“It's a high-end digital camera and I figured the owner would like to get their property back,” said Detective Jared Manning.

The camera was found with a carload of other stolen stuff. Everything else that was lost has found its owner. But like a lot of burglary victims, the owner of the camera never filed a police report.

“Half the time people don't even report their stuff being burglarized. They just think, oh, I left my car unlocked. I'm never going to see it again and they don't report it,” said Detective Manning.

Which makes it harder for detectives to do what they do best.

“Get their stuff back. They've been victimized and at least maybe what we can do is get something back that's been taken from them,” said the APD detective.

To do that police are now using social media to track down victims not just criminals. They hope if they share more and so do people across Austin, crime fighting could go viral.

“I love giving people's property back. It makes my day,” said Detective Manning.

Anyone who recognizes the family in the photos should have them call Detective Jared Manning at 512-974-9211.

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