The Parker Police nabbed a suspected air rifle thief thanks to the help of the Department’s social media followers.
One of the best aspects of social media nowadays is that it provides a direct link to everyone and everything, including your local police department. The Parker Police Department learned that first-hand when they turned to their Facebook community to catch an air rifle thief.
On February 26, at 4:27 p.m., Parker PD posted a status update requesting the public’s help in identifying the suspect in a theft.
“An unknown white male approximately 6’ tall, 275 lbs, with red facial hair walked into the Murdoch’s on Parker Road at approximately 10:30 this morning. After walking around for about 15 minutes, he grabbed a Sig-Sauer Air Rifle off the shelf and attempted to return it for cash. The return attempt was denied and you can see him walking out of the store without paying in the three photos below.”
The Facebook post has since been edited to remove the photographs, however, this is the original image that the Parker Police shared with the community (shown above).
The post went viral (by Parker standards), ultimately reaching 80,000 people. With their Facebook followers’ help, the Parker Police Department was able to identify and arrest the suspect within six hours of sharing the details on Facebook.
Of course, Parker PD took to social media to express their gratitude for the help from the internet sleuths.
“Thank You Thank You Thank You
Thanks to the great support from Town of Parker, Colorado residents, we were able to identify the suspect from yesterday’s theft at Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply. By 10:00 p.m. he was served a summons, less than six hours after our request for your help.
By sharing yesterday’s post and commenting on it we were able to get his image in front of more than 80,000 people.
Thank You Thank You Thank YouThanks to the great support from Town of Parker, Colorado residents, we were able to…
Interestingly enough, the air rifle thief was served a summons and not taken into custody. While the air rifle — basically a BB gun — was not lethal, many on social media were surprised that the police only opted to serve him with a summons.
The Parker Police Department is still not sharing the suspect’s name, which is also atypical for the Department’s criminal social media posts.
Aside from using social media to catch would-be air rifle thieves, the Parker Police Department has also done an excellent job at making sure they post important information onto social media as soon as possible. While it might not seem as important as catching criminals, sharing road closures and accident information can help motorists navigate through Parker’s busiest roads.
The Department also shares pictures of the animals they get custody of before they take them over to the local shelter. This helps Parker residents identify their pets before they get transferred. Anyone who has gone through the process of regaining custody of a lost pet knows that it can be a real hassle. Parker PD also updates these “found animal” posts if they end up having to bring the pet to the local shelter — the Buddy Center — so that owners know how to track down their animals.
What is the most important police news that you learned through Facebook? Tell us in the comment section below!