If you live in Sioux Falls and subscribe to the Nixle system through your cell phone or email, you already know about this case. What you may not know is that it involves a new way Sioux Falls Police hope to track down suspects.
Sioux Falls Police are taking advantage of a well-connected world.
"We've used it for missing persons, community advisory messages, if there was any traffic problems or anything like that," Sioux Falls Police Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said.
The program is Nixle, a voluntary alert service that goes through your cell phone or email. It's now being used to help solve a string of related crimes.
It started on September 2nd with the theft of a Honda CRV on the 2200 block of South Pendar Lane. The suspect then moved to Andy's Affiliated Foods on East Cleveland Ave. where Police say he broke through the windows and stole four cartons of cigarettes, causing over $2,000 in damage. He then moved out to a farm in Lincoln County where he parked the stolen SUV in a field and set it on fire. A farmer found the car the next day.
In the neighborhood where the car was stolen, it is all that the neighbors could talk about, and Police see this as a good thing. Using sites and alerts from Nixle also is getting the word out to as many people as possible.
Lincoln County Sheriff Dennis Johnson, however, didn't know that Nixle was used in this case, and he has some concerns about it being used on a regular basis.
"There are certainly times that people that send out or receive information and then send it out and send it out actually sometimes can hurt the integrity of the case," Lincoln County Sheriff Dennis Johnson said.
Yet Johnson also concedes the system will likely help law enforcement solve more crimes.
"The more information you can get out and the more people you can get to, the better chance you have of someone calling in," Johnson said.
Sioux Falls Police say that if you have any information regarding this case, please contact CrimeStoppers at 367-7007 or the Sioux Falls Police Department immediately.