Social Media playing an increased role in identifying suspects

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Taking a look down your Facebook feed, you might notice posts asking for assistance helping to identify people involved in crimes.

Sometimes these are from law enforcement like the Cape Girardeau Police Department but often times it's from regular citizens.

"I mean this is a good neighborhood," Jake Ruebel, a Cape Girardeau resident said. "You know you wouldn't expect for someone to be cruising around your neighborhood just looking for stuff to pick up."

Ruebel last Sunday went outside to mow his lawn, but when he went to grab his lawn mower he realized it wasn't there.

Luckily for Ruebel he has eight cameras set up around his home where he was able to go back and check the tape. He said he was going back a day at a time to find it until he came across the tape of the day it wasn't there.

Much to his surprise, he saw a man he didn't know drive up in a truck and take off with his mower in the truck's bed.

This is when he called the police and filed a police report. After he filed the report he posted the pictures on social media to help identify the man.

Names came pouring in from people so Ruebel passed it along to the police who are now investigating the incident. This is what the Cape Girardeau PD says is the correct way to handle things.

"We would like everyone that has a video of a crime with suspects or suspects information or description in there to call us and make a police report," Cape PD Public Information Officer Rick Schmidt said . "So we can investigate that and make someone answer for what they've done before they post it on social media."

The police said posting things like this can help solve crimes and identify the correct person. The only thing is they want people to go about it the right way so that they too can investigate in other ways.

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