Police are appealing to residents not to take the law into their own hands.
Officers in Peterlee issued the warning following a suspected burglary in a town street.
They said several images had been circulating on social media with people claiming the person was responsible for the crime.
However, officers are advising people not to take action like this.
Officers said they are investigating a suspected burglary which happened in the early hours of this morning in Peterlee’s Basingstoke Road.
Inspector Lee Gosling of Peterlee CID, said: “This is a reactive enquiry and we are looking into what exactly has occurred here.
“We are aware of a number of images circulating of a potential suspect on social media and would encourage members of the public not to take matters into their own hands as this could jeopardise any future prosecution.”
Anyone with information about crimes should contact the police on the 101 non-emergency number.