A quick-information conduit on Facebook by the name of Stanislaus Rural Crime Alert has taken social media by storm with its mission to combat theft, vandalism and rural crimes in the San Joaquin Valley.
The success of this Facebook page, which has already led to multiple arrests, convictions and recoveries of stolen items since its launch two years ago, has not gone unnoticed as it was recently selected for display at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention and IDEAg next month in Florida.
The administrator of the site said that they receive information from multiple law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch and farm watch groups from San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties. Within minutes of receiving a tip, the page administrator is able to post pertinent information online.
“Working together with our partners in the community gives the Sheriff’s office the opportunity to share valuable crime information with the agricultural community,” said Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson. “Social media is an excellent way to share information, which not only helps us identify those responsible for rural crime, but allows us to assist the agricultural community with crime prevention tips and reporting.”
With a strict focus on rural crimes, the website has recently generated traffic highlighting offenses such as walnut burl thefts throughout Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, suspicious persons and home intruders in Hilmar, stolen packages in Turlock and vehicle theft in West Modesto.
In some cases, the Facebook page has aided in the recovery of stolen equipment in less than 24 hours. One case in particular included a stolen item from Hilmar that was recovered by the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force roughly 30 miles away in Oakdale.
“With law enforcement going through budget cuts and having less people, they need more help getting information out there and more eyes looking for certain things,” said the site administrator, who asked to remain anonymous. “Social media is a very effective tool if it is used correctly.”
To view the Stanislaus Rural Crime Alert Facebook page, visit facebook.com/stanislausfarmwatch.