Alleged Bank Robber Facing More Charges - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Alleged Bank Robber Facing More Charges, Police Crediting Social Media With Arrest

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Ronald Rogers Ronald Rogers
Surveillance photo of the suspect car that Dover police send to WBOC as well as posted to social media. Surveillance photo of the suspect car that Dover police send to WBOC as well as posted to social media.

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The man accused in Wednesday's armed bank robbery in Dover now faces additional charges.

Dover police say Ronald Rogers didn't just rob the First National Bank of Wyoming on Governors Avenue but also the Walgreen's on South State Street on Jan. 25.

Police were able to arrest Rogers Wednesday within about three hours of the bank robbery. And investigators are crediting social media with making that happen.

Dover police started a Facebook page and Twitter account in October.

Cpl. Mark Hoffman said the robbery happened around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Soon dispatchers were radioing out a description of the suspect.

"Within three or four minutes we able to post that to our social media accounts and website," he said. "Once we put that out over 100 people shared it, and 7,000 people saw it within the first hour and a half of it being up."

Then police got a surveillance photo of the suspect car and posted that to social media, too. Within two hours someone who saw that post called 911.

"They said that they saw the vehicle on Carpenter Bridge Road headed toward Harrington," said Cpl. Hoffman. "Once Harrington police were alerted to that, they were able to located the suspect on NB US 13 and stop it."

Coincidentally enough, Harrington Police had also seen the social media posts.

"We were able to see that and all the departments work together. I'm sure not just Harrington but other agencies were looking for the vehicle as well. It just so happened he came through Harrington as he was located," Lt. Earl Brode said. "When [social media] is used appropriately, it's a great tool."

"It shows that it's a great way for the public to get the information right away, in real time, as it's happening," Cpl. Hoffman said. "It's exactly what we imagined when we launched this program. Get it out the public right away, have them share it, have them on alert for it. Prior this it would take 24 to 48 hours for it to reach the public. "

Cpl. Hoffman says Dover police have gotten tips and information from the public via the department's Facebook page, but this was by far the biggest and most important case cracked in this way so far.

Rogers is facing a whole host of serious and similar charges for both crimes. He is being held on $238,000 cash bond.

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