Thursday, August 18

Police Use Social Media to Catch Car Jacking Criminal

Could social media help nail a thief? According to Fox40, it worked well enough to catch one crook this week. Police in Placerville, CA, were able to catch a carjacker thanks to the help of Facebook postings.

This past Monday afternoon, Kenneth Krohn, the alleged thief, saw a crime of opportunity and took his chance. A woman leaving her car in a parking garage stepped away from the car, while leaving her keys in the ignition. Before she could come back to it, Krohn jumped into the front seat and started it up. The woman attempted to stop him from leaving in the vehicle, and he knocked her down while driving away.

It was a quick getaway, but not so quick that surveillance in the parking garage wasn’t able to capture a picture of him in the car. Detectives working the case posted the photo to their Facebook page, Twitter, and several other popular websites used by area residents and law enforcement. Within several hours, both the car and the suspect had been located, and Krohn was arrested.

Before the age of social media and video surveillance, Placerville Police Chief Scott Heller explains that it would have taken a lot longer to solve this type of case, and the car would have had a lower likelihood of recovery. “it was the public that made the case,” he says. “A response and a positive identification … moves an investigation from hours or days to sometimes minutes.”

When asked to comment on how often his department uses social media to help solve crime using surveillance photos, Heller explains that, “We seem to use [surveillance images] a lot in connection with social media, it’s such a powerful tool to be able to pull a video of a suspect.”

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