Investigators use Facebook to crack down on prostitution - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Investigators use Facebook to crack down on prostitution

(WMC-TV) – For Shelby County Sheriff's deputies, a rise in temperatures often means a rise in crime, particularly when it comes to prostitution.

"I think weather drives a lot of that," said Chief Bill Allen with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.  "If they could get out of the street, you don't normally see them outside when it's snowing."

Social networking has become a handy tool in tracking down violators.

"We got this one girl here, she's got six active prostitution warrants against her," said Allen.

Thursday, the sheriff's office posted 51 photos of prostitution suspects on Facebook.

"Right now, we have on active warrants 262 that deal with prostitution," said Allen.

Facebook is a time and money saver in tracking down elusive fugitives.

"Then we start getting tips back, 'hey, I saw them, they're hanging out over here, over there,'" said Allen.  "So that's really been successful for us.  We get a lot of people."

Allen also credited Facebook for an increase in fugitives with active warrants turning themselves in.

"Our walk ins have picked way up about the last six months," said Allen.

Even in the age of social networking, Allen said illegal networking on the streets is a crime that shows no signs of slowing down.

"However many we lock up today, there will be that many more tomorrow," he said.

Allen said he wants anyone who recognizes the suspects posted on the Shelby County Sheriff's Office Facebook to post tips there or call in anonymously at Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.

To see the suspects, click here.

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