Cops in Australia are now crowd-sourcing crims on Facebook -- and it's leading to more arrests

The original post, now updated, following the arrest. The man’s image has been removed now he has been charged.

Police in New South Wales are using Facebook to help track down suspects. And it’s working, with a teenage offender arrested over the weekend after someone recognised him on a train from a Facebook post.

A train passenger in the Riverina region, 450km west of Sydney, was looking at the Wagga Wagga police’s “Eyewatch” Facebook page just after midnight on Saturday, July 11, when he spotted the man on the Sydney-bound train.

Police wanted to arrest the 18-year-old and were appealing for assistance to locate him.

The alert passenger took a photograph and uploaded the image with a series of messages to raise the alarm. Officers from Wagga Wagga intercepted the train at Cootamundra and arrested the man.

Yesterday he was charged with two counts of break and enter and trespass and was refused bail. He’s set to appear at Wagga Wagga Local Court today.

Wagga Wagga superintendent Bob Noble praised the passenger/Facebook friend for his clever response. The local police have 13,500 Facebook followers and 475,000 friends across the NSW police force.

“This man’s efforts were extraordinary and his quick thinking demonstrates how police and the community are working together on social media sites to interact and solve crimes,” Noble said.

“Across the state, we are seeing more and more cases solved through information shared on social media and the Force is very proud of its online interaction with the community.”

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