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Social media helping EKY sheriff's department solve crime

By: Michelle Heron Email
By: Michelle Heron Email

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT)- Thirty five year old Walter Yocum was wanted on felony warrants in two states.

He is now behind bars facing a number of charges and deputies at the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office say it’s all because of a Good Samaritan’s quick thinking.

It all started Saturday afternoon when deputies say a man saw Yocum hit a car in the parking lot of a Laurel County vender mall before taking off.

The man was able to get the license plate number of Yocum’s vehicle and reported it to the sheriff’s office, helping deputies find and arrest him.

Without the help from the public, deputies say this case, likely would have gone unsolved.

Officials at the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office say social media, particularly Facebook are helping them be more transparent in the community. In fact, it’s helping them get criminals off the street.

“We're constantly striving to come up with programs that don't cost us anything where we can the public's help. In Laurel County, we're blessed because the public wants to help us,” Laurel County Deputy Gilbert Acciardo said.

Sheriff John Root says the department gets at least 50 tips a week just on Facebook. That helps them solve a wide range of cases like drugs, thefts, even impersonating a peace officer.

“I think the tribe has spoken, so to say, and the people in Laurel County want rid of the drugs. We get tips on drugs in the office daily, that we follow up on, and it's all credited to the public,” Rood said.

For those who don't like the department posting their arrests on Facebook, Sheriff Root has one simple message: “Don't do the crime, and we won't publish it on Facebook.”

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