ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Two men are facing charges after a high-profile break-in at the St. Louis City Museum that went viral this week.
"There's no doubt social media helped capture these guys. Otherwise they probably would have gotten away with it,” said executive director Rick Erwin.
Tyler Billingsley, 20, and Matthew Pekarek, 20, are each charged with felony burglary and theft. St. Louis police said the duo from Jefferson County broke a window to get into the museum early Tuesday.
Erwin said, "It really just made you feel violated. You just couldn't believe it. It just angered you."
According to court documents, the men stole items from the museum gift shop that staff members found suspicious.
"The gift shop staff thought certain things were missing because they skipped some of the higher items for certain things,” Erwin said.
Graffiti was also discovered on the walls inside, including in a restroom.
Hours after the crimes were discovered, Erwin took to social media with a bold post that reached hundreds of people.
He said, “Oh, I think I was soft in my postings. I have much stronger feelings for them."
But whether or not you agree with the language that was used, it appears to have worked. Erwin said tips poured in all week to the museum and police identifying both suspects.
"Either they are not liked and we are liked. But either way it feels good,” he said.
Now the popular downtown attraction is ready to move on knowing how well it is supported in the community.
Erwin said, “I feel we are lucky with our fans."
Police said the investigation is ongoing.
Related photos: The City Museum
Photos: 2016 STL area mug shots