Hancock Co. newlyweds use social media to locate accused wedding gift thief

Hancock Co. newlyweds use social media to locate accused wedding gift thief

DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - Newlyweds Chance and Katherine Stockstill are enjoying their new life together. Soon, they'll move into a new home, but they'll be doing so without any of their wedding gifts.

The couple got married in May and decided to keep the gifts in a storage unit until moving day.

But just weeks after tying the knot, they came across a shocking discovery.

"I went to a storage unit to put something in it, one day, and the lock was broke. I opened it up, and all of our wedding gifts we put in it was gone," said Chance Stockstill.

The entire wedding gift heist was caught on camera. Surveillance cameras at the facility captured a man loading his pickup truck and driving off with what the couple estimates were more than $2000 in wedding gifts.

The couple posted the video on Facebook. Just a few hours and hundreds of shares later, a stranger reached out to them with the lead they were looking for.

"Phone call said I don't know his name, but I know his address. So, we pretty much had him then," said Stockstill.

An investigator used that information to identify the suspected thief as William Smith, who had already been arrested and in jail in north Mississippi for identical crimes.

The couple is now breathing a sigh of relief, thankful for the help of social media.

"Social media was everything. If it wasn't for Facebook, we probably wouldn't have caught him," said Katherine Stockstill.

Investigators have only been able to recover three of the couple's gifts, including a spice rack and knife set that had been opened.

"It was all of our friends and family, they gave us those gifts as a couple. That was our wedding - and our gifts, and now they're gone. I know we'll never get them back, but I just want justice to be served," said Katherine Stockstill.

The couple said they advise anyone else using a storage unit to check it frequently, make sure the facility has a surveillance system, and insure their items.

Smith was booked into the Hancock County Jail last week, facing charges of burglary and trespassing.

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