A fugitive in Maryland was featured on a local police Facebook page as a part of the department’s “Wanted Wednesdays,” telling cops they’d never catch him and complaining that putting him on social media blast was harassing to his family.
The man, Roger Ray Ireland, was the subject of what is a growing trend in law enforcement — crowdsourcing suspect searches.
Many local police departments operate Facebook pages on which they hunt for suspects using the community, and generally disperse information relevant to locals via the highly effective use of social signal amplification.
Roger Ray Ireland is said to have posted three (now deleted) comments on the Anne Arundel County Police Facebook page, beginning with “y’all will never catch me” under the image above.
Ireland, 28, was apparently disgruntled that his family members were being tagged in the post’s comments — and under his own profile, he commented again:
“Yo all y’all people tagging my hole family bout my [business] stay outta [my business].”
Following Ireland’s now removed comments, another user posted to much amusement:
“Wait what?? Isn’t that him right above my comment?? Cricket lover? Anyone else not get it? Dude, Roger, it seems like you have kids and/or one on the way.. Do the right thing for your kids and take care of this offense… It will only be that much faster to get it over and done with… What if your own kids see this??!?”
Despite the emphatic plea from Ireland, police continued to invade his business — and within 24 hours, the Facebook user was in custody.
In a followup post, Anne Arundel Police Chief Kevin Davis commented on the update, posting to Facebook:
“Social Media is a great tool for law enforcement and we appreciate our Social Media Sleuths. Community involvement is paramount to law enforcement’s success and the amount of tips that we receive daily on social media shows how much ownership citizens are taking in their own communities.”
The update also adds the details of Ireland’s near immediate capture:
“Detectives were able to locate Ireland in South Baltimore near the Anne Arundel County line at approximately 1:00 p.m. They executed a traffic stop on the vehicle that he was in and he was taken into custody without incident. Ireland was taken to the Northern District and served with an outstanding warrant for violation of probation.”
Anne Arundel Police report that in addition to the suspect who’d taunted them on Facebook, two more of five featured fugitives were captured after being posted about on the page’s #WantedWednesday hashtag.
[Image: Anne Arundel Police]