The Southern Pines Police Department is crediting Facebook users with providing information that led to the arrest of a Rockingham man accused of stealing merchandise from a local retailer.
On Wednesday, the agency made a post asking for the community’s help identifying a suspect based on a pair of photographs captured Oct. 5 by security cameras at Pinecrest Plaza. Writing in an update on Friday, police Chief Bob Temme said the department’s “engaged social media community” had identified the man in less than 90 minutes.
Brandon Burris Brown, 29, was charged Friday morning with larceny from a merchant. He was placed in the Moore County Detention Center under a $1,500 secured bond.
“As always, it is a pleasure working with a community rather than for a community,” Temme wrote in the statement announcing Brown's arrest.
The police department has developed an active presence on Facebook, where it regularly shares information about criminal suspects, photographs of events and law enforcement-related memes. More than 7,000 users like the department’s page, making it the most popular social media account for a public safety agency in Moore County.
In September, the police department won Best Social Media Page in The Pilot’s annual Best of the Pines competition. Winners are selected by residents, who vote online for their favorite nominees.