Using Pinterest to Nail Crooks

Though best known as a virtual window-shopping site, Pinterest is actually helping to fight crime in a small Pennsylvania town.

The  Pottstown Mercury, the hometown paper of Pottstown, PA, has been posting mugshots of wanted criminals on Pinterest — resulting in a 58% increase in arrests:

Pottstown Police Capt. F. Richard Drumheller said his department has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people with outstanding warrants they’ve been able to capture thanks to the public.

“We have seen an increase in tips” from Mercury readers, he said. “Last time we checked, from when we first started (publicizing the outstanding warrants with The Mercury,) we have increased (the number of arrests) by about 58 percent. That’s pretty good.”

In addition to calling police with tips, locals used the Pinterest comment function to provide tips and background information about the fugitives.

The Poynter Institute, a journalism think-tank, points out that the  San Jose Mercury News and the Washington Examiner have also turned Pinterest into a local crime-fighting tool.

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