Mac's Using Social Media to Solve Crimes

Posting images on 'Crime Busters' Facebook page, Twitter

THUNDER BAY, Ontario -- Mac's Convenience Stores recently adds social media to its crime prevention tactics in Thunder Bay, Ontario, reported the Net News Ledger. Mac's stores in Central Canada have developed an innovative approach to augment its formidable crime prevention measures by using social media to help identify criminals through Facebook and Twitter.

Mac's will use these social media outlets to disseminate their crime fighting messages in the community.

Each Mac's store is equipped with surveillance cameras and a digital video recording (DVR) unit; and when an incident occurs, the store turns suspect images from the DVR over to the police. To assist the police in identifying these suspects, Mac's will now proactively post these images of recent unsolved crimes on their Mac's Crime Busters Facebook page and on Twitter @MacsCrimeBuster.

The images will have a description of the suspect and alleged crime, followed by an appeal to the public to contact Crime Stoppers if they have any information that will assist the police in apprehending the suspect.

"We hope this forward-thinking approach to crime prevention will assist in the resolution of unsolved crimes" Sean Sportun, manager of security and loss prevention for Mac's in Central Canada, told the news outlet. "Exposing criminals on our social media pages will certainly make them think twice before victimizing our retail business".

Mac's stores will post notices at all store entrances and on its in-store media screens advising customers of their intention to use images of individuals who commit criminal acts on their property. Once a suspect is arrested their image will be taken down and replaced with a title "apprehended," said the report.

"We have the technology, and we are going to use it" Tom Moher, Mac's vice president of operations in Central Canada, told the news outlet. "By using social media, we will reach a more diverse demographic in our effort to combat crime and enhance public safety"

On its website, Mac's said:

Working together with the community, crime stoppers and law enforcement to stop, solve and prevent crime against retailers.

Retail theft translates into billions of dollars in losses to Canadian retailers every year. These losses not only affect retailers, but consumers as well.

With your help, we can reduce these losses while enhancing community safety by identifying individuals suspected of crimes against our stores and other retailers; ultimately bringing them to justice

Our vision is to maintain a Safe & Secure environment for our customers and employees, while protecting company assets and reducing controllable losses through proactive measures.

To accomplish this vision, Mac's Convenience Stores has made crime prevention an integral part of our corporate responsibility; demonstrating our continued commitment to the overall safety of the community.

Working in partnership with Crime Stoppers and law enforcement, our goal is to:

  • Create awareness on retail crime.
  • Expose individuals who commit criminal acts against Mac's by posting their images on Facebook and Twitter, with a description of their alleged criminal act.
  • Provide the public with a conduit to report criminals anonymously through Crime Stoppers.
  • Assist law enforcement in identifying offenders, especially those repeat offenders.
  • Enhance the safety & security of our customers and employees.

Mac's will reimburse Crime Stoppers programs up to $200 for any tips that lead to the apprehension of individuals who commit criminal acts against our business.

Crime Stoppers is a partnership between the public, police and media that provides the community with a proactive program for people to assist the police anonymously in solving crimes, thereby contributing to an improved quality of life. Individuals who have any information that will assist investigators are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip online or by text message. Crime Stoppers takes information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls are not recorded and Crime Stoppers does not have call display, guaranteeing that your identity remains anonymous. If your tip leads to an arrest, you are eligible to a cash reward. You will never be asked to identify yourself or testify in court.

Mac's emphasizes that "all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law."