Exposed on Facebook: Clovis Police Posting Photos of Crooks - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Exposed on Facebook: Clovis Police Posting Photos of Crooks

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CLOVIS, Calif. (KMPH) -

Clovis police are taking "caught on camera" to a whole new level.

The department is posting on its Facebook page, and that's got the tips pouring in.

"This year already we've solved about 10 cases," said Ty Wood with the Clovis Police Department.

That's 10 shoplifters or identity thieves - caught -thanks to the Clovis Police Department's Facebook friends.

Many times, investigators say, they'll have surveillance video of someone doing the crime but, "Most of the time they go unrecognized, and we have to suspend the case.  Even if the video is good, we have no information or anything to go on," said Wood.

So the faces with no names get posted on the department's Facebook page, where it asks the public for help solving the case.

Just because someone's photo is on the Facebook page, it doesn't mean they're guilty of the crime. Clovis police still have gather evidence.

Once they have a name, police will pull up a DMV picture, or a mug shot.

"What we will then do is contact the victim or the clerk at the store to see if the photo of the person that the citizen thinks it is, matches up with the suspect," said Wood.

Investigators have closed 20 cold cases since they started posting surveillance pictures last year.

Although those caught are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law...

"The cameras don't lie.  When they get it on camera and it's on there, I mean you can't dispute it," said Jenny Lewis, who lives in Clovis.

People we spoke with think, this type of public shaming could actually prevent some crimes.

"I think if my kid saw somebody that he knew on Facebook that had stolen from somewhere, he's not going to like that. But it makes him well aware that he's not going to get away with it," said Greg Heard, who lives in Clovis.

People in Clovis seem to like the method of identifying thieves a lot.

Police say the Facebook page has more than 5,000 likes so far and has a reach of about 800,000 people.

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