Cairns Police have arrested and charged three young boys after a business they allegedly stole from posted their images on social media last night.
A Facebook post by Jump Mania containing CCTV images of the boys went viral last night, with hundreds of shares and messages of support.
Facebook subsequently deleted the post from its network for breaches of its usage rules, while police have urged locals not to follow suit and engage in 'name and shame' style activities.
Ben Neldner, the owner of Jump Mania, told TropicNow the family-owned business used the Facebook post to "reach out" to the boys and seek recovery of the allegedly stolen cash.
"Jump Mania is a family owned business that has operated in Cairns since 2015 and we employ over 20 staff, most of whom are young students or new to the work force, and all of whom are hard working," he said in a statement.
"The matter was immediately reported to police, who were prompt and professional in dealing with it. The Facebook post was our endeavour to reach out to the boys, through their social network, and convey our plea to return the items.
"Jump Mania sought legal advice prior to posting the CCTV images to Facebook."
Cairns MP Michael Healy did not respond to requests for comment about the spiralling issue of youth crime, while Cairns Police senior constable Russell Parker cautioned against such posts.
"Publishing images such as this can be very risky from a legal perspective," he told TropicNow. "Whilst it is technically legal to publish images of suspect youths, as soon as they are subject to action under the Act (such as being arrested and/or charged), you can no longer publish or broadcast the image as it identifies them.
"In this particular case, investigations resulted in the location, arrest and charging of the trio in the early hours of this morning.
"Therefore, and here's where well-meaning people can suddenly find themselves in a spot of bother, anyone who publishes an image of any of them from this morning onward is committing an offence under The Youth Justice Act 1992 of publishing identifying information of a child.
"The offence carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment or 100 penalty units/$12000.
"Our advice is don't do it."