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Busting The Bad Guys - With Facebook - KOAM TV 7

Busting The Bad Guys - With Facebook

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     It seems more and more, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are playing pivotal roles in helping law enforcement agencies fight crime.
     Case in point a case this week in Jasper County.
Here's the most recent example of social media and the long arm of the law.
The Jasper County Sheriff's office posted some surveillance photos of a couple who allegedly stole a persons ATM card -- and began using it at ATM's in the Joplin area.
56,000 -- that's the number of views the post got within just a few hours -- and in 24 hours, with the help of the public through Facebook, the couple was positively identified, taken into custody, and are awaiting formal charges.
Kaiser: "Now with the power of Facebook and the power of social media, we can track people down in a very short period of time because of that, just sheer force multiplier by having the public helping us out by looking for people, so it's a great tool for us."
And that tool -- is one that many in the community are getting behind.
Babcock: "The only people that aren't going to like it are the bad guys, the rest of us think it's a great idea because, you can catch 'em faster, because word of mouth is the fastest thing...on social media."
Johnson: "Everybody from, what?...10 to 80 uses Facebook, so I think it's a real good instrument for them to use."
Patty Johnson says she's not on Facebook for hours at a time, but...
Johnson: "I would highly recommend anybody does have a theft, contact your police first and then by all means use Facebook."
     Sheriff Kaiser says there are some instances when they may not post information to Facebook primarily if they're concerned the person they're looking for may flee or destroy evidence.
 

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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