Cops use Facebook to nab suspect

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By Patrick Yost

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Police have always relied on various security surveillance to help capture the image of subjects.

But, says Capt. Chris Bish, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, they have now found a new and apparently fast way to identify suspects in criminal activity.

Just ask Joshua Garrison Shelton, 23, of Monroe.

One day after authorities received security camera images from a gas drive at the River Store on Greensboro Highway, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office shared the image on its NIXLE alert system, Twitter account and Facebook.

“Within 15 minutes we got a phone call,” says Bish. While the initial call did not work, three other leads from social media came in on the same day. The alert was issued on August 31. A warrant was signed and ready for execution against Shelton for two misdemeanor counts of theft by taking (Shelton is wanted for a similar incident that occurred at the Country Store, Bostwick Highway).

On September 5, Bish says, after authorities had attempted to locate Shelton in Monroe, he turned himself in at the Morgan County Detention Center. Shelton was charged and released on a  $1,500 bond.

Bish said authorities have use various social media before in an attempt to further an investigation or identify a suspect or vehicle, but never, he said, has the result been as fast.

“This is the first one that I’m familiar with that panned out and led to the arrest of the individual wanted.”

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