Hubbard PD turns to social media to identify accused groper

HUBBARD, Ohio (WYTV) – The Hubbard Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who they believe groped a woman at a local Walgreen’s store on Thursday.

Police posted pictures of the man on their Facebook page Wednesday morning. They were taken by a surveillance camera inside the store last Thursday morning.

An employee told police that the man asked her to show him where he could find a 24-pack of Budweiser beer. While she was looking up the location on the store’s computer, she said the man came up behind her, put his head on her shoulder and grabbed her buttocks.

“Hubbard is a small community after all. When our officers were not able to identify him as someone they had known, we decided to put it on our Facebook page and see if our Facebook followers would help us out and share the picture and see if we can come up with an identity,” Hubbard Police Chief James Taafe said.

Like many departments, the Hubbard Police Department is turning more and more to social media to identify people who are accused of committing crimes. Taafe said they have tried various things with Facebook over the last couple of years.

“We started out not quite knowing what to put up, but whenever you run into an investigative logjam, posting the photo of the person you suspect of committing a crime is always very helpful to us in finding an identity of the person,” Taafe said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hubbard Police Department at 330-534-8153.

Niles police also use social media when they have run out of options.

“We get tips right away when things are posted and just in July alone, we solved three crimes and were able to prosecute people as a result of Facebook,” Niles Police Capt. Ken Criswell said.

On Wednesday, Capt. Jay Holland was posting Travis Cross’ mug shot on Facebook in the hopes that someone will help police locate him. Cross was just released from prison in July.

“It didn’t take him long to get back into his old ways. He has been going into Target for the past two weeks, walking over and picking up large screen TVs, two or three at a time, and running out the fire exit with them near the pharmacy,” Criswell said.

Cross turned himself in to police Wednesday night.

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