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#abq4ward: Victims using social media to fight crime

Kai Porter
August 25, 2017 08:05 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – When it comes to fighting crime, there certainly seems to be a new trend in our city: We are seeing more and more people relying on social media to help track down stolen goods or help catch a thief.

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JT Daniels owns Desert Reef and Exotics pet store on Eubank and turned to social media when he was fed up with thieves who kept targeting his business.

He's been hit at least five times.

Just last week KOB showed you how a thief was caught on surveillance video reaching into a water tank and stealing a $300 turtle.

And as in prior cases, Daniels posted the video on his Facebook page.

"No one likes a thief and no one wants to be a thief,” he said. “So you get called out pretty bad if you get recognized."

The video racked up more than 7,000 views in less than 24 hours.

"Albuquerque – it's a small town in general,” Daniels said. “Everyone knows everyone. So (with) social media, where everyone's connected to everyone in some way, most people are going to see someone they recognize."

Daniels said social media is his way of fighting back when his store is robbed, and it’s perhaps his only chance at getting his turtle, and other stolen pets, back.

"The police are busy doing a lot of other stuff,” he said. “You just throw it up on Facebook and the internet and it gets out to everyone right away."

Daniels isn't the only crime victim who's turned to social media to catch thieves. There are entire Facebook pages dedicated to crime posts, and neighborhood networking apps like NextDoor are filled with posts from crime victims hoping to catch crooks.

But law enforcement officials warn not to rely solely on social media to fight crime.

"I'd encourage them to share that information with law enforcement and let us take that information and share it on our Facebook,” said Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales.

Gonzales said victims and witnesses should always report crimes to police.

BCSO has also embraced the power of social media, posting important community alerts and information on Facebook and Twitter.

"At this point if feel like it's been a powerful tool for us in terms of perception, and I believe that it's connected us with the community a lot better,” Gonzalez said. “We just continue to explore the opportunities with it.”

Visit the abq4ward section of KOB.com to view previous reports in this series, and join the discussion on what Albuquerque can do to curb crime using the hashtag #abq4ward on social media. 

Credits

Kai Porter

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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