Facebook-loving burglar racks up arrests, convictions, and international notoriety

Remember the 26-year-old South St. Paul man who was arrested after logging into his Facebook page at a house he broke into?

For those who don't, Nicholas Wig, now 27, broke into a South St. Paul home in June and after rifling the place and taking credit cards, cash and a watch, just couldn't resist sitting down and updating his Facebook page on the homeowner's computer.

However, he failed to log out. The homeowner alertly sent Wig a message with the homeowner's phone number, offering to give Wig back some clothing he'd left behind.

For reasons known best to himself, Wig texted back and arranged to meet the homeowner. And, unlike those who can anticipate the next plot twist, yes: he met South St. Paul police instead.

Next caper: leaving his photo

Lately, Wig has been tied to a car theft that was discovered only after the stolen Kia SUV hit a parked car the same day of the infamous Facebook burglary, June 19. Police found the vehicle abandoned along the 600 block of Concord Street. A fake 21-day permit was taped to the back window of the car, and it didn't have license plates.

While trying to figure out who was driving the Kia, police found women's clothing in the back of the car and a photo of Wig, according to court documents. Investigators later found out that the car had been stolen from Luther Kia in Inver Grove Heights.

In a statement to police, Wig apparently admitted to watching Kia employees moving cars around the dealership a few days prior to the crash. According to the complaint, Wig saw a car with keys still in it, since an employee had just moved it moments before.

Wig told police "he approached the vehicle and heard other employees honking at him and perceived the honking as permission to take the vehicle," the complaint said.

Still at it

Wig continues to have run-ins with local police.

South St. Paul police arrested him again Oct. 21. He was driving a stolen vehicle from White Bear Lake, a 1994 Ford Taurus, with two passengers, who were also apprehended.

According to South St. Paul Police Chief William Messerich, Wig made several turns and appeared to be trying to evade the officer. He didn't have a driver's license at the time, but he did have an arrest warrant against him for another car theft.

Wig was arrested again in South St. Paul Nov. 3 for a theft warrant out of Dakota County. An officer saw him walking northbound on Fifth Avenue North, and recognized him. After a couple of other officers arrived, they arrested Wig.

Messerich said Wig is certainly well-known around the department (Below, a lot more people than you'd expect are familiar with Wig's unhappy mug shot).

"He would be someone that we've had plenty of contact with over the years," Messerich said Thursday.

Some of Wig's known criminal history, gathered from court records, police reports and Dakota County records:

• Convicted of misdemeanor theft Nov. 20, 2013

• Sentenced Aug. 13 with a felony for the burglary where he logged into Facebook

• Arrested Oct. 21 after being pulled over in a stolen vehicle

• Hit with a probation violation Oct. 28

• Arrested Nov. 3 by South St. Paul police on a theft warrant

• Attended a bail hearing Nov. 4

• Scheduled to appear in court Feb. 24, 2015

Wig's Facebook status right now is unknown, but he has been described as "the world's dumbest criminal" in publications ranging from the Daily Mail out of Great Britain to Time.com and Hollywood Gossip, as well as in digital publications around the world. In France, Wig "est un criminel pas comme les autres" (a criminal like no other) and in German publications he's simply "Dummer Dieb" — "Dieb" meaning "thief."

Kaitlyn Roby can be reached at 651-748-7815 and kroby@lillienews.com. Holly Wenzel contributed to this report.

“Defendant said he approached the vehicle and heard other employees honking at him and perceived the honking as permission to take the vehicle.”
— excerpt from criminal complaint against Wig

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