A keen-eyed NSW Police Force Facebook friend has helped police locate an alleged offender travelling on a train in the state’s Riverina region.
The passenger was browsing the Wagga Wagga Local Area Command “Eyewatch” Facebook page while travelling on the Wagga Wagga to Sydney NSW TrainLink service, about 12.30am on Saturday 11 July 2015.
At that time, the page featured an appeal for public assistance to locate a teenager wanted by virtue of an arrest warrant. The post also included a photo of the teen.
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When the Facebook friend looked across the carriage, he recognised the teen sitting with a female companion nearby.
He quickly took a photograph and uploaded the image with a series of messages to raise the alarm.
Officers from Wagga Wagga Local Area Command intercepted the train at Cootamundra and arrested the 18-year-old man. He was charged with the arrest warrant and refused bail.
Following further inquiries, detectives laid further charges yesterday (Tuesday 21 July 2015).
He was charged with two counts of break and enter and trespass. He has been refused bail and is due to appear at Wagga Wagga Local Court today (Wednesday 22 July 2015).
Wagga Wagga Local Area Commander, Superintendent Bob Noble, praised the passenger/Facebook friend for his clever response.
“This man’s efforts were extraordinary and his quick thinking demonstrates how police and the community are working together on social media sites to interact and solve crimes,” Supt Noble said.
“NSW Police Force has a strong presence on Facebook, with more than 475,000 friends on our main page and thousands more keeping in touch with local policing issues on individual Eyewatch pages.
“The Wagga Wagga LAC has more than 13,500 Facebook friends and it has proven to be a great way for us to connect with the community and for everyone to be involved in keeping Wagga safe.
“Across the state, we are seeing more and more cases solved through information shared on social media and the Force is very proud of its online interaction with the community,” Supt Noble said.