The Honolulu Police Department is thanking the public after tips landed a burglary suspect behind bars. Police say this case is an example of the power of the media.
The combination can be a potent one-two punch and in this case, led to credible tips and a quick arrest.
The video clip of the burglary in progress first aired on KHON2 last Thursday and spread like wildfire on social media.
"In less than a day we had three separate tips identifying the suspect as Corey Faulkner," HPD Maj. Richard Robinson said. "We'd like to thank the public again for their assistance in this case. Without their help, we probably would have not have solved this case."
Homeowner Gina Ornellas was also thankful.
The cops said when they went up to the door to arrest him, they said 'Do you know why we are here?' He said 'Yeah, I saw myself on TV," Ornellas said. "So many people watch KHON2, so it was really great. And it was all because of you guys."
"It is another great example of the community, the social media community, the police, and the media all working together keep Honolulu safer," Maj. Robinson said. "I think social media has been a huge benefit for law enforcement."
Social media has become a game-changer when it comes to fighting crime and law enforcement agencies have reaped the benefits of being active on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.
"Able to better connect to the community and give them more information that they want and kind of break down some of those barriers between them and us," Maj. Robinson said.
And it's not just tipsters who are online.
"The criminal element has a tendency to post a lot of the things they do, so it's a great source of intelligence," Maj. Robinson said. "Honolulu is kind of funny, you know, it's a big city. It's a city of over one million people. But it's also a very small town in many ways and I think that's part of it too, is people don't really like crime happening, so they come forward and tell us."
Improved surveillance systems have led to better pictures and video and more opportunities to solve crimes.
"Historically, video has always been set up above to capture the big picture. With today's technology what we want is faces," Maj. Robinson said. "It's very unusual to have that high-quality video, which is a great thing that the homeowner did. Them taking the initiative to give themselves greater protection and really led to that case being broken very, very rapidly."
Faulkner, 23, remains in custody on burglary charges.
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