Social Media App Helps Track Down Armed Robbers In OKC

Friday, January 10th 2014, 7:34 pm
By: News 9

Police are able to track down two accused thieves all with the help of the victim, a cell phone app, and Facebook.

As it turns out, social media and advancing technology are helping police solve more and more crimes.

The holdup happened at the Foxcroft Apartments near N.W. 16th St. and Rockwell early last month. Police tell News 9 the victim had just moved in, when two men held a gun to his head and demanded his wallet, and took his cell phone in the process.

"Ultimately it was the cell phone that helped track the suspect down and help us make the arrest, get both of them in custody," said Msgt. Gary Knight.

Court papers state that phone had the Tango App on it, a free social networking app which the victim said he used to talk to his co-workers and family. And one of the robbers used the app to post pictures of himself.

"Often times it's the person who committed the crime doing something foolish, such as posting a photo or a video of them committing the crime," said Knight. "Somebody sees it and simply calls police and let them know about it."

In this case, a friend of the victim saw those pictures. And they then tracked down the pictures and suspect's user name to a Facebook page. Police then recognized the picture, Errick Witt, who's been arrested for armed robbery before.

Police arrested Witt, along with 24-year-old Jackie Duncan for the Foxcroft robbery, after court papers state Witt admitted to the crime. But just how often does new technology and social media help police catch wanted criminals?

"As far as social media and internet and stuff like that, really, it's a small percentage of cases that get solved," said Knight. "But it's more than it used to be, so it's a growing segment, a growing trend."

Erick Witt is being held on $40,000 bond. His accused accomplice Jackie Duncan is being held on $100,000 bond. Both are accused of armed robbery, and have been in jail before for the same crime.