Midwest City police using social media to help catch criminals

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. - Midwest City police have been using social media as a tool to help catch crooks.

With pictures, video, background music and graphics, an officer is getting creative with the videos outlining different crimes. He hopes people scrolling by on sites, like Facebook, recognize the suspects.

The videos often start with dramatic music to draw you in, followed by text telling stories about criminals on the run.

"I kind of think of a tragic event," said Sgt. Rollie Branham.

Sgt. Branham is the officer behind these "Persons of Interest" videos on Midwest City's website.

"It's hard to tell in the video exactly what they're doing, so we like to give an overview to the public," said Branham.

His most recent video shows a man, caught on tape twice in the same month, at the Walmart on N.E. 23rd and Douglas.

The suspect allegedly buys gift cards with fake credit cards, using stolen identities.

"We have this tool, the website and social media, that can help with investigations and so we started reaching out to the community for help with these cases," said Branham.

Sgt. Branham said he is very particular about choosing the right music for each case.

"We don't want to put exciting music on there because we believe that might glamorize what these people are doing," said Branham.

He said he hopes it’ll keep the viewer’s interest, so that the suspects can be quickly identified.

"View it or share it and possibly provide us with tips, but we also want them to be aware of what's going on in the community," said Branham.

Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said the videos are making a difference, helping the department solve more crimes.

"We're getting a lot of good results. People are calling in with tips, people who are identifying these people. It's one of our biggest crime fighting tools we have in this day and age," said Chief Clabes.

If you have any information regarding the man in the video, you’re asked to call the Midwest City Police Department at (405) 739-1388.

To see more 'Persons of Interest' videos, visit the department's website.

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