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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

S.F. Cops Use Twitter to Report Crime -- in Real Time

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 2:34 PM

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Last week, we warned readers about a spike in incidents of people getting mugged while texting and tweeting on the go.  But instead of banking on potential victims to get off their gadgets, cops are now using Twitter as a way to get through to them.

Yesterday, police in the Richmond district started reporting crime in real time via Twitter. They are using the microblogging medium to alert residents in the area of car thefts, robberies, and pedestrian sting operations taking place.

As of now the station has 101 followers -- and counting.

"People are just eating it up," said Capt. Richard Corriea. "Every couple of minutes we have a new follower."

Richmond is the first station to use Twitter as a forum to report crimes as they happen. In the last 24 hours, the captain has fired off 10 tweets that read something like this: "2/18 at 645p- 200 blk Parker-from behind perp took cell. No immd report. Please call the 911 Immediately if victimized.


"Officers are really embracing it -- we have four tweeting right now," Corriea said.

Aside from making our old-fashioned cops more tech-savvy, the new twitter feeds will hopefully reduce crime, the captain told SF Weekly today. If someone reads a tweet, advising them of a car break-in or a robbery a few blocks away, it won't necessarily put them at ease but it will certainly put them on alert.

"If I know there is a burglar two blocks away from my house, I will think twice about leaving my GPS in the car," Corriea says.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly  

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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