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Police suspects identified through 'power of social media'

SOCIAL MEDIA: Police have applauded social media users who helped identify two suspects wanted over an alleged credit card theft. Photo: contributed
SOCIAL MEDIA: Police have applauded social media users who helped identify two suspects wanted over an alleged credit card theft. Photo: contributed contributed

A SPECIAL law enforcement agent has helped Bundaberg police lay charges on a 25-year-old woman wanted for alleged credit card theft - Detective Facebook.

Officers released CCTV images of two women on Friday, who were being sought in relation to the alleged credit card theft from a Walker St service station on June 21.

It is alleged the card was used twice without authorisation by one of the women, at a supermarket and liquor outlet, with the bill totalling more than $300.

Not long after the images were uploaded to the NewsMail's Facebook page, members of the public immediately came forward and, by that afternoon, the two women had been publicly identified.

The post attracted 122 "likes", 166 comments and was shared by 463 people.

"It goes to show the power of social media," Bundaberg Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Sergeant Andrew Self said.

"The community rallied quickly behind the NewsMail article and the suspects were identified by a number of persons.

"This placed a significant amount of pressure on the suspects which forced them to come forward."

North Bundaberg woman Chelsea Samuels reportedly visited the Bundaberg Police Station voluntarily on Friday night and was charged with fraud-related offences.

She will appear in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court on September 5.

The second woman also attended the police station but no charges have yet been laid.

Det Sgt Self said social media users needed to be careful what they posted in regards to any sort of crime.

"People engaging in social media should be very mindful that it is an offence under the Commonwealth Criminal Code to use a carriage service to menace, harass or threaten," he said

"Ultimately, it could lead to an unfair trial, particularly in smaller communities."

Topics:  crime facebook police



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