What role does social media play when dealing with crime like Elkhart's hit and run?

NOW: What role does social media play when dealing with crime like Elkhart’s hit and run?


ELKHART, Ind.- Elkhart Police are working around the clock to catch the suspect accused in Saturday night’s hit and run.
Three people are dead and 2 are hurt and still the person behind the wheel is nowhere to be found.

Elkhart Sergeant Chris Snyder says social media is just another tool they use that has actually evolved over time. This police department has received numerous amounts of tips in regards to Saturday night’s hit and run.

So does that help speed up the investigation? “I don’t know that it controls the speed but it certainly can help,” says Snyder. “Obviously if something happens and there’s a big burst of social media that goes out, it gives us people we can go talk to.”

Snyder says any tips they get go straight to the detectives working the case. They, then follow up. “We have to look at every one of those tips. Whether it’s good information or bad information, or sometimes people have the information and they want to be a part of it, we still have to look into that.”

Following up can take few seconds or a few days and they cannot just go by what someone posts online. “Just because someone says this person is involved, we have to be able to show they were involved or why they weren’t involved,” says Snyder. “We look for evidence and documentation and facts to be able to show that.”

In relation to Saturday night’s hit and run, Snyder and his officers knew they needed extra help.

“We knew on this one that we didn’t have a lot to go by. This happened Saturday night in an area that’s not the busiest part of town,” he says. “We were going to have to rely on the community to be able to say, ‘Look this is what I saw.’”

Snyder thanks the city of Elkhart for coming together and providing even duplicate tips to the police department, but the time has come for the suspect to come forward.

“We know that the suspect is out there, this has to be weighing very heavy on his conscience, it’s been a couple of days, it’s time that person responsible comes forward and holds themselves accountable for what they’ve done,” says Snyder.

Although they’ve received a lot of tips Snyder says right now is the perfect time to come into this department and share your side of the story.

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