Columbus Police Department's Burglary and Theft division joins Facebook

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comMay 2, 2013 

The Columbus Police Burglary and Theft has taken its first step into the world of social media.

Burglary and Theft's new Facebook page, created Wednesday, contains still photos from security camera footage in addition to information about those wanted for property crimes.

Sgt. Joe Weatherford said the division debuted its Facebook page Wednesday after deciding to utilize the platform to inform citizens about unsolved burglaries or thefts.

"What we decided was that we wanted to enter the social media arena on this thing," Weatherford said. "We wanted to be able to alert the public on crimes that happened recently and people we were looking for, since property crime is a big problem in Columbus. It seemed like the best way to do it."

The Columbus Police Department does have a Facebook page, but the department uses that platform primarily to announce meetings and events, in addition to announcement recruitment opportunities.

Weatherford said Burglary and Theft will be updating the page daily with information about suspects that have not yet been arrested or identified, and will be partnering with institutions like Crimestoppers to encourage citizens to report information they may have about ongoing investigations.

This is going to be strictly for property crimes — burglary and theft, not for anything else," he said. "If we have any scams going on, we'll probably put it on the page too."

So far, feedback for the page has been positive, Weatherford said. As of Thursday afternoon, the page had gained just over 200 "likes."

"We have almost 200 hits in less than a day and all feedback is positive," Weatherford said. " Right now we have two different video pics of two different crimes and then and a wanted announcement for one person we're looking for."

Weatherford said he isn't sure whether the department will also get a Twitter account, but the possibility it being considered.

Those who wish to report property crimes are still encouraged to call 911, but Weatherford said citizens may also contact the division through an e-mail address provided on the page.

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