Southlake PD Uses Sassy Social Media Posts to Solve Crimes

A North Texas police department known for its tweets is at it again. The Southlake Police Department tweeted about a trio of alleged shoplifters Thursday morning.

Department spokesman Brad Uptmore defended Southlake PD's use of social media.

Uptmore told NBC 5 since the department started to take a different approach to social media, it has gained followers and received more tips to help solve crimes.

Southlake police arrested three 18-year-old women Tuesday after officers caught them shoplifting from several stores, according to the post.

In the first post, the tweet states "We may never truly know what conversations" the suspects "had before they tore through Town Square Tuesday night, allegedly shoplifting at eight of our different retailers."

A second tweet stated "But, if you'll indulge us for a moment (and we hope you will), we think it might have gone a little something like this…"

Uptmore said he used Photoshop to superimpose the suspects' mugshots to appear as if they were on social media having a conversation.

The graphic stated things like "I'm SO bored! Do you girls want to go and totally take advantage of small businesses and innocent victims in Southlake?!"

Another pretend comment stated "OMG yes! My ethics and morals are lacking! Let's just steal and take from as many businesses as we can! We’re too smart to be caught!”

In another pretend comment, Uptmore wrote "They’ll never suspect we've stolen from eight stores in Town Square, racking up over $850 merchandise.."

The department's third tweet stated: "DISCLAIMER: Not actual Facebook profile pictures, but mugshots instead. Also this is satire, and not an actual Facebook screengrab, so calm down)."

Uptmore told NBC 5 the strategy is to grab people’s attention and hopefully deter other crimes.

"If I talked to you [saying] that 'the complainant entered the building at 3 o'clock,' you're going to gloss over that. You're not going to pay attention to it," he said.

Asked if, in retrospect, he believed any part of the tweet thread crossed a line Uptmore replied: "No. We're police officers and we deal with right and wrong and personally to me, petty theft really bothers me. We've got a lot of really nice boutiques. These people work so hard to put together their own shop… And to have somebody just come and blatantly and disrespectfully just take stuff. What's one of the first rules you learn as a kid? It’s right from wrong. You don't take what's not yours."

In April the same department tweeted several times at a suspected serial criminal -- it almost became a love letter to try and find her.

The woman was later caught and the department received attention on the case from residents and other law enforcement departments also looking for her.

Since then, Uptmore said the department's social media following has grown tremendously and the department has received 100 tips on previous crimes.

One Twitter user pushed back on the tweet Thursday afternoon, saying the department went "a bit too far" and that the latest tweets were 'beneath" the department.

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