Social media helps Sarasota Police catch criminals

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Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013 6:51 am | Updated: 7:02 am, Fri Jul 5, 2013.

(Sarasota, FL)- Thanks to modern day technology, the help from our media partners, public and social media, the Sarasota Police Department has solved three cases in the last month resulting in three arrests. Two cases were in regards to a wanted suspect and another was surveillance video.

A first case was on June 13, 2013. Detectives sent a release asking for the public to help identify a burglary suspect who was caught on camera stealing wicker chairs and foot stools between June 7, 2013 and June 8, 2013. An arrest was made in the case on Friday, June 28, 2013. Andrew Harris, 40, was charged with Felony Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure Unarmed.

A second case was Joshua Furr. The Sarasota Police Department sent out a release on June 18 asking for help from the public to find Furr. He was wanted for dealing in stolen property, defrauding a pawnbroker and grand theft.

Someone at the Palm Beach, Florida Jail spotted Furr on the Sarasota Police Department Facebook page. Furr had been arrested in Palm Beach, Florida on May 27, 2013. Furr was transported to Sarasota County and served with the warrants by the Sarasota Police Department on June 21, 2013.

A third case was Chelsea M. Taylor. On June 25, 2013, the Sarasota Police Department sent out a release asking for help from the public to find Taylor. She was wanted for charges of grand theft of more than $300 but less than $5,000. Taylor was arrested in Manatee County on Friday, June 28, 2013. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle bearing an expired registration and an NCIC check revealed Taylor had an active felony warrant from the Sarasota Police Department.

Detective Darrell Nixon added “I can’t say enough how this tool (social media) has changed my thinking and investigatory skills. I have been very impressed with how Facebook can be used as an additional tool to aid in fighting crime.”

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