Metro police departments using social media to catch crooks

by: Carl Willis Updated:

Investigators hope someone will log on and identify a man in an orange shirt who is accused of soliciting a minor in a K-Mart on Bankhead Highway.

CARROLLTON, Ga. - One metro Atlanta police department is closing more cases thanks to social media.

More people are logging on these days and investigators with the Carrollton Police Department said they're converting "likes" and "comments" into arrests and charges.

"It just melded us into a natural coexistence there," said Crime Prevention Officer Glenn Lyle.

Lyle praised the relatively new link between crime fighting and social media Friday.

"It's not the magic potion by any means," he told Channel 2's Carl Willis.

Still, he said the Carrollton Police Department has seen an encouraging trend, and a few more arrests thanks to posts on sites including Facebook and YouTube.

He said his department has cleared 12 cases thanks to social media and could close six more this week alone after a member of the community identified several suspects in the posts.

"(He) wound up being able to give us names on at least five cases and a nickname of a suspect in a sixth case," said Lyle.

Friday morning, Willis checked Carrollton P.D.'s Facebook page and saw the latest video posted.

Investigators hope someone will log on and identify a man in an orange shirt who is accused of soliciting a minor in a K-Mart on Bankhead Highway.

"We really want to get this person off the street because he approached a child," said Lyle.

Police are hopeful their latest tool will bring a lead in this and future cases, especially those where they've exhausted all of their leads.

"It's amazing. Sometimes a video we put up will get 400, 500, 600 shares or likes or views," said Lyle. "We can know that it's at least reaching people."

Investigators said sites like Facebook gives them a chance to make positive strides in inactive cases at little to no cost to the department.

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