Facebook helps nab wanted man

By Rebecca Malcolm

The power of the internet as a crime-fighting tool has been highlighted after Rotorua police caught a wanted man less than 90 minutes after posting his photo on Facebook.

Sergeant John Cassidy said the response was one of the quickest they had seen.

He said within an hour of posting the man's photo online they had received calls and messages from people who had spotted him on the Rotorua Police's Facebook page and then had seen him in town.

"We pretty much received information as soon as it went on."

Mr Cassidy said it was less than 90 minutes before they had him in custody. There was a short chase at Rotorua's Central Mall before the man realised he was cornered. He tried to run off but was caught by police and will appear in the Rotorua District Court today.

Mr Cassidy said Facebook was often used after police had tried other ways to track down wanted people.

He said it acted as a good deterrent as a lot of people didn't want their photos put on Facebook, with some even ringing the police to check they didn't have warrants out for their arrest because they were worried about having their photos uploaded.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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