Lauderdale deputies credit social media and neighborhood watch in solving crimes

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Criminals beware. Resurgence in community policing, coupled with social media, has closed numerous theft cases in Lauderdale County. Investigators say residents are taking a vested interest in what goes on in their communities.

From behind his computer terminal, Sergeant Brad Bolton with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department is able to get some of the latest tips on criminal activity.

Plugged into a private Facebook page for the Lauderdale County Neighborhood Watch Program, dozens of residents can keep authorities up to speed on what is going on around them.

“If a law enforcement officer passes your house and sees somebody at it, they don’t know for sure if that person is supposed to be there, but the neighbors might,” explained Bolton. “They may know that hey, nobody is supposed to be at that house and call it in.”

But it goes much deeper than that. Seven arrests in seven different theft cases have been made due to vigilant citizens alerting the sheriff’s department in the last couple of weeks.

Bolton said the social media impact of neighborhood watch has solved similar cases in a matter of hours.

“With these types of things where we’ve got good leads and we can run with them, the community has just been behind us 100%. All I want to do is thank the community for helping us,” Bolton stated.

And Bolton said there is nothing which works better than neighbors helping neighbors to curb crime.

If you’re interested in joining a Lauderdale County Neighborhood Watch Program, you can contact the sheriff’s department at (256)760-5757.