Vigilante Justice Goes Viral On Peru's Streets (SEE GRAPHIC PICTURES)
The 'Catch Your Thief' movement started as a Facebook campaign to dish out vigilante justice but it has now gone viral with hundreds of people posting pictures and videos of themselves catching and punishing criminals.
The trend began last month when Cecilia Rodrigues helped her neighbor apprehend a thief. The women held the thief for two hours until the police arrived and took him away but she later discovered that officers had let him go after just 30 minutes.
She said: "From that day onwards, we decided to spread a message in the community - the next time we catch a criminal, we won't call the police but we will punish them ourselves."
The vigilantes claim the public acts of retribution are the best way of deterring would-be muggers or burglars, alleging that people have lost faith in the police to reduce crime.
But few weeks ago, the dangers of ordinary people meting out on-the-spot justice were apparent when a mob almost lynched an innocent man who they mistakenly accused of robbing a truck.
He was in fact a curious neighbor who had gone out to see what had happened with the truck when locals grabbed him. There are now over 100 similar Facebook pages, with names such as 'Catch your thief and leave him paralyzed', 'Catch your thief and castrate him'.