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Digital Detectives: Social Media Helping Police Put Criminals Behind Bars

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County Police say social media is helping them put criminals behind bars.

Rochelle Ritchie explains how.

At the stroke of a keyboard, residents in Anne Arundel County are becoming digital detectives in helping Anne Arundel County Police solve crime.

“We’ve been able to solve crime based on social media tips,” said Lt. T.J. Smith, Anne Arundel County Police.

After one man’s photo was placed on their Facebook page, the comments began to pour in. It didn’t take long for the alleged ATM robber to be put behind bars.

“We have the opportunity to get the message out to tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people at the click of a button,” Smith said.

Anne Arundel County Police say social media is not only helping them to solve crime, but also helping to find those that are the most vulnerable.

Mike Jenkins and a friend say after seeing a photo of a mentally disabled man who was reported missing on Anne Arundel County Police’s Twitter page, they eased the worries of an anxious family.

“I asked him what his name was and he told me it was the same name that I seen. And I said, ‘You know your family and the police are looking for you?’ He said, ‘No, I didn’t,'” said Jenkins.

Now police are hoping social media comes through again in nabbing a man who robbed a local hotel at gunpoint–not once, but twice.

If you have any information on the hotel robbery suspect, you are asked to call police.

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