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More victims using social media to solve crimes

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EVERETT — As owner of Budget Appliances and Service Rich Groshong says washers and dryers are his life and his livelihood.

So when he saw, on his surveillance system, two thieves helping themselves to his merchandise he wanted them caught.

“They cut a hole in the fence and then unbolted the gate and came through with a hand truck and targeted that particular stack set for some reason,” Burglary victim Rich Groshong said.

Groshong called police and gave them the video.

He says it has happened before.

The bad guys were never arrested, so he decided to do his own investigation using social media.

“I figured I’d put these cameras to use and get the word out there and maybe get a little justice for once after many incidents over the years,” Groshong said.

Groshong is not alone.

A lot of victims are turning to social media sites to spread the word.

Sites like ‘The Snohomish County Crime and Community’ Facebook page.

It has more than seven thousand members who report crime as it happens.

Three weeks ago the Marysville church of the Nazarene had its trailer stolen.

“It’s absolutely essential. It’s what we use to haul all of the materials to put on the homeless ministry. It gets all of our tables down there all of our down there, all the pop-ups and a lot of the supplies down there as well,” Marysville Church of the Nazarene Pastor Craig Laughlin said.

The theft put the church in a real bind so they turned to the police and then to social media.

“We have a very active Facebook page and so it was out on that and people were kind of talking about that and connecting with that,” Pastor Laughlin said.

Even police are beginning to see the value of social media as a crime fighting tool.

“In this day and age anybody who has a camera, a cell phone they have video access and they’re posting these things even before they call the cops and they’re putting it out there and often times we follow that ourselves,” Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound Executive Director Myrle Carner said.

If you have any information on these crimes call Crime Stopper at 800.222.TIPS

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