Hood River Police search for suspect

Law enforcement uses Facebook to aid search for Safeway wallet thief

Hood River Police are using social media to identify a suspect in a recent theft case.

On Thursday the department posted a photo and message on Facebook asking for help in identifying a man who was viewed on store videotape taking a wallet. The wallet, belonging to a Hood River woman, was inside a purse that was left in a shopping cart Feb. 11 at Safeway in Hood River, according to Hood River Police Det. Mike Martin.

The suspect appears be 45-50 years old, with dark hair that is close-cropped and receding.

“The victim is local, but we don’t know about the suspect,” Martin said.

Currently, the case is listed as third degree theft, but it has the potential “to be way more than that,” Martin said.

In the stolen wallet were the victim’s credit cards and other personal identity information.

“We’re trying to stop this from turning into a case of felony ID theft,” Martin said.

The victim noticed the wallet was missing a short time after it was taken. She alerted store authorities, who contacted the police.

Martin said that in viewing the store videotapes, “We located where the victim’s cart was, and from there we were able to run the tapes and we watched the man take the wallet.

“Even though it’s a minor case right now, we are trying to head it off at the pass before it turns into an identity theft case, which are rampant these days,” Martin said.

Anyone with information about the suspect should call Martin at 541-387-5257.

Martin noted that the Facebook posting had yielded some responses, but not all are serious. One names the suspect as actor Harvey Keitel, and others include joking references to local individuals.

“The only thing we ask is this be taken seriously, as it is a crime we are investigating,” Martin said.

If the Facebook search appeal works in this case, the department will consider using the method in future investigations.

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Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



Comments

imdeanna says...

While I believe the use of social media is a great outlet for police to solicit the public’s help, they need to ask the public to send their thoughts and leads privately. I saw that facebook post, and was horrified that people were finger pointing, or suggesting that the perp looked like specific local (innocent) citizens.

Posted 21 February 2013, 9:48 a.m. Suggest removal

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