Metro-East police turn to Facebook for leads

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by Maggie Crane / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on June 6, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 7 at 11:35 AM

GRANITE CITY, Il (KMOV) -- Granite City police are alerting residents to an unusual encounter after they say a man in his 70s approached a six-year-old girl near the corner of Victory and Nameoki Road.  For the first time, police are turning to social media to help crack cases.

Granite City police tell me their Facebook page does two things:  alerts residents to what’s going on and drums up leads on cases for police.

Witnesses say the man is about 70-years-old and drove up in a newer model, black Suburban with loud exhaust and tinted windows.  Police don’t think anything criminal happened,  but were concerned that the older man would have any reason to approach the child.  Police are still looking for the truck and its driver, and that’s where they hope Facebook can help.

“This is really the first one where we’ve utilized [Facebook] and we’ve received several tips from that,” Granite City Police Major Jeff Connor said.  “We look forward to the future of this to kind of being the technology of the future as a way to help us solve crimes.”

“I never knew they had a [Facebook page] until today,” Mariah Gean, a mother and Facebook user, said.  “My mom told me, but I think it’s a good idea that the cops have it on there so everybody can know what’s going on.”

In addition to drumming up some leads like where people may have spotted the truck, Facebook user Lisa writes, “I really appreciate this.  It’s a good way to keep us informed!”

And Facebook user Sharon agrees.  She writes, “Scary!  Hope they find him soon.... Better to let people know so they are aware...”

Call Granite City police with tips on this case, or leave them on their Facebook page.

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