Catching Criminals With MySpace - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

03.06.07

Catching Criminals With MySpace

Putting fugitives in the spotlight.
   That's what police are now doing.     They're plastering suspects mugs on MySpace.com hoping someone will recognize them, and turn them in.
   And if it proves to be a success Amarillo police may follow suit.
    Newschannel 10's Marissa Bagg joins us live in the studio with more on the popular posting.
    A man robbed four banks without leaving Arkansas police a clue as to who he is.
   So police are making him a celebrity on MySpace.
    And if he's caught Amarillo Crime Stoppers might try out this new trend.
"Everybody has a myspace page, it's the wave of the future," says Corporal Brian Thomas with the Amarillo police department.
   And now so does this man.
   Complete with music.
   He may not know it but thousands of people are now looking for him, all over the country, thanks to this page police set up about him.
   Local police think it's a great idea to use MySpace to their advantage.
"I think more law enforcement agencies should do this, people on MySpace pass stuff around all the time, it's time we pass something around that will make a difference, hope we catch the guy," says Cpl. Thomas.
"I think it's something we need to use the technology is there, it's negligent on our part not to take advantage of this type of technology," says Sgt. Jarrard Copeland, with the Fort Smith police department in Arkansas.
   The page comes complete with all the information about the robberies, several photos of the robber in action and a suspect description.
   Corporal Thomas is worried about one drawback - anonymity.
"Say I have a tip and I know who this is, and I go on MySpace and email it to them, that could be traced back to me," says Cpl. Thomas.
   And as far as the music and extensive graphics...
"They're not making fun with song or anything, it's a gimmick to get people to look at the page and call in," says Thomas.

   When we left Thomas's office he was looking more into MySpace, and may add a link to the Amarillo Crime Stoppers page to help find local criminals.
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