Facebook Helping Police Solve Crimes

Posted at: 06/19/2013 5:36 PM
Updated at: 06/20/2013 12:55 AM

(ABC 6 News) - Facebook is getting some of the credit for the identification and arrest of a man whose facing burglary charges in Dodge County as well as five other counties. But, that's not the only local criminal case where social media has played a part.

Dodge and Olmsted County Officials have been on the lookout for suspects since the rash of burglaries earlier this month. Police Officials tell me social media has been a huge help in putting three potential thieves behind bars.

"Law enforcement can't do this all alone, we don't have enough eyes out there," said Sheriff Jim Jensen, Dodge County Sheriff’s Department.

But the Dodge County Sheriff's Department is working to change that in an instant. Investigators recently posted to Facebook surveillance video of the suspect they were looking for.

"We got over 20,000 hits on that video of people looking at it which triggered a lot of people to call in and say I know who that is," said Jensen.

Those tips lead to the I.D. and arrest of Cody Lindquist, who is now looking at felony charges.

Meanwhile, Rochester Police say spreading the word on social media helped them find two people, they say are connected to two recent gas station robberies. The picture of the man in the red bandanna has been shared all over the web. It eventually lead police to the arrest of Kevon Johnson and Alycia Courson.

"It would take seconds to share it with a hundred other people, so it can be really powerful for just spreading it outwards," said Jonny Yucuis of Corporate Web Services in Rochester.

Social media expert Jonny Yucuis, who works for Corporate Web Services in Rochester, says social media sites are kind of like the new neighborhood watch.

"You may share this picture or this video with your friends knowing that they maybe somebody who knows something about it," said Yucius.

Many police departments are taking advantage of the wide range of people that will see their posts on the Facebook and other sites.

"It’s very helpful when the public can assist us that way with the social media it speeds up the whole process," said Jensen.

Dodge County Officials are still looking for suspects tied to other burglaries in the area. They say when they need public input, Facebook will be the place they turn to.