Thursday, April 24 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:47:30 GMT
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Oregon police have been
closing cases in the city thanks, in part, to the eyes and ears of their
Since they first began
interacting on Facebook, the Oregon Police Department said they've solved at
least 20 crimes with the help of over 3,500 fans.
"Criminals often times
talk," said Chief Mike Navarre of the Oregon Police Department. "They're not
usually the smartest people in the world and they will tell a friend, who will
tell another friend."
Now they need help finding
the person responsible for breaking into the YMCA on Pickle Road. Police said the
suspect broke in and left with cash from the ATM.
"It could be someone with
a key, could be someone that hid out in the building," said Navarre. "Could be
that a door was unlocked either intentionally or unintentionally."
Detective Janet Zale is the
face behind most of the department's status updates. Right now she said
detectives are reviewing video and pictures taken by the YMCA's cameras, and
checking in with their Facebook friends who live in the area.
"People know their
neighborhoods better than we do," Zale said. "And they know what cars are
supposed to be there, what people are supposed to be there. They'll know
something suspicious before we will."
Chief Navarre said he is
still new to the Facebook phenomenon, but now that he's logged on, he sees what
departments could be missing out on.
With this case, he hopes people
"If you can go into an ATM
and get a substantial amount of money, more than likely they are going to
repeat," Navarre said. "Whoever committed this crime is going to repeat this
offense, so it's important that we identify who the person is."
The department also said
their Facebook page has been so successful, other departments in the area are
reaching out to them to learn how to get their own pages launched.