Shoplifting suspect identified through Facebook

OKEECHOBEE — An unidentified white male reportedly walked out of Walmart on Sept. 1 with a Vortex Hunter compound hunting bow and a box of carbon express arrows and failed to pay for either item. Walmart’s asset protection associate Joyce Teich contacted Okeechobee Police Officer Savanna Smith, and she provided the police department with a video and a still photo of the suspect.

The still photo was uploaded to Facebook, and soon, an individual came forward to identify him. On Sept. 12, he was positively identified by two individuals, arrested and charged with shoplifting. His bond was set at $3,500.

More and more often, Facebook is becoming a useful tool to find and identify suspects. Michele Bell of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office estimates they use Facebook in an attempt to identify anywhere from three to six times a month in cases for the sheriff’s office and the city police department.

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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