Convenience store owner says Facebook helped catch criminal

Gulf Coast CW

A business owner is sending a big thank you to his Facebook friends after they helped him solve a crime.

Emmons Grocery Store is a family business, frequented by many people in the neighborhood.  The owner, Mike Emmons, knows many of the customers by name, and greets them accordingly.  It’s a busy place, where there is almost always a line.

At 3 A.M., on July 4th, the store was closed, when a few guys hooked a chain from their truck to the front door, and pulled it off.  They took about $1,200 dollars worth of cigarettes from the store.  Emmons got a call that night every business owner dreads.  Police told him the alarm at the store was going off.

“My dad beat me up here,” Emmons said.  “He came up here and the cops were already here.”

As they worked well into the early morning hours to repair the place, and find out what was missing, Mike Emmons had the idea to snap a picture and take to social media.

“When you really see he picture of that vehicle… like wow,” he said.  “So, that’s when I went to Facebook and said well I’m gonna put that picture of that vehicle.. Someone’s gotta see that vehicle somewhere.”

The post took off.  It featured the image of the door being fixed, as well as a few screen grabs from the business’ surveillance footage.  It was shared over 100 times, and got dozens of likes and comments of support.  One friend in particular, who works for the city, reached out to Emmons about the post.

“He sent a couple text messages as soon as he saw it, and he said hey, we got this, we’re gonna jump on this,” Emmons began.  “Then, the next day, he sends me a text message that says hey, we got him!”

Mr. Emmons says in the 13 years the store has been at this location, there’s never been any kind of theft, but cameras like the ones in his store are totally worth it, even if you just need it that one time.

One man visiting the store said he prefers social media to stay away from crime related things.

“Whatever it takes in the long run, I mean, if you got him off the street who cares if it was a newspaper ad, Facebook, or if he had to chase him down, he’s off the street none the less,” Steven Ellis, who visits the store on a daily basis, said.  “But personally, I think that Facebook should be what it’s for… social media.”

Since the theft, Emmons has fixed the front door.  He says the incident did not cause any lag in his business.

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