Social media helps outdoor retailers with marketing and sales, but can it also help catch a shoplifter?

That’s the hope at Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder, Colo., where on Thursday an alleged shoplifter walked out of the store wearing a pair La Sportiva Olympus Mons Evo boots (size 44.5) without paying for them.

At nearly $1,000 a pair, walking out with these specialty mountaineering boots was likely no mistake.

After calling the police, Neptune Mountaineering General Manager James Fulton wanted to enlist all the help he could to catch the suspected thief, so he took to the store’s Facebook page and posted the security video of the man buying a Clif Shot Blok before leaving the store with the bright yellow boots on his feet.

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The post spawned a flurry of comments, shares and likes, and even some important leads, Fulton told SNEWS Friday afternoon.

La Sportia Olympus Mons EVOOne important tip came from REI in Denver, where the manager called to tell Fulton that the same thing happened at his store the day before. The thief in that case walked out with a pair of La Sportiva Nepal Evo boots (size 44), priced at more than $500.

“Interesting,” Fulton replied. “That’s what this guy left here.”

Perhaps the Nepal Evos weren’t good enough, or didn’t quite fit.

Fulton said he appreciates all the support and comments coming through Facebook.

“It’s been fantastic with the leads, and even a lot fun comments that we appreciate,” Fulton said. As of Friday afternoon the post had generated more than 50 comments, 79 likes and 299 shares. By early Sunday, the traffic had grown to 138 comments, 113 likes and 372 shares.

At $990 the Olympus Mons Evo boots stolen from Neptune Mountaineering, fall just $10 short of making the crime a felony, police told Fulton.

“Maybe we should increase the price,” he said.

–David Clucas