CLEVELAND — Growing Facebook groups, administrated by police and Northeast Ohio neighborhood associations are playing a bigger and bigger role in solving crimes, according to some local community groups.
Cleveland Slavic Village community activist Ed McDonald told News 5 his new Facebook group, Greater Cleveland Crime Watch and Discussion, has picked up nearly 200 members in a few months.
McDonald believes his East Side Facebook group and other police/community groups, like the Cleveland Second District Community Relations Committee page, are having an impact.
The Second District Community Relations Committee page has posted surveillance pictures on hundreds of crimes over the past several years and has been instrumental in solving dozens and dozens of local cases.
The page posted pictures of four robberies at west side Cleveland businesses over the past three weeks.
McDonald said the sharing of pictures and information among all of Cleveland's neighborhoods and police districts is crucial and also acts as a crime deterrent.
“It’s not just a West Side problem or an East Side problem, it’s an entire Cleveland problem,” McDonald said.
“Because a lot of times people are on our side of town that are committing crimes on west side and vice-a-versa.”
“We’re not going to accept this anymore, we have to say something and the criminal element is depending on us not saying anything.”
The manager of the Convenient Food Mart at 4701 Storer Avenue said his location was robbed on Feb. 9 and pictures of the incident were profiled on the second district Facebook page.
The manager, who didn't want to be identified, credited second district Cleveland police and the community Facebook page for great work in making an arrest in the case.
“What they were able to do with the Facebook page, they were able to catch this guy, I'm really very happy,” the manager said.
“Get them off the streets and put them in jail, that’s how I feel. I’m also glad the cameras caught their faces.”
“Go forward and give out the information, if you know anything about it."
"Give it out, give it to the police, and let the police handle the situation.”
If you have any information on crimes posted on the second district community page, you're being asked to contact Detective Murphy at 216-623-5217, or Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463.