Running a Facebook page can be a delicate balance for many organizations. There's a certain desire to create some editorial distance. It's a tactic to protect the image of whatever brand is being represented. Many pages end up going too far, turning it robotic and clinical - police departments being a notable example of this.
That doesn't seem to be the case for the Laguna Beach Police Department. Instead, they have a different take on how their department is releasing information about wanted criminals or crimes.
Instead of a dry description of the crime (suspects involved, location, generic call for anyone with any more information to contact police), the author of the LBPD Facebook posts treats us to a surreal description of the events, usually involving something from the poster's own life.
For example, there's this recent description about vandalism to a light pole at a lumberyard (of all things).
Every morning when I get to work, I browse over the events from the night before. The crime log is my morning paper if you will. Usually, the incidents are a smattering (I love that word) of drunk in public arrests and petty thefts, with the occasional vehicle burglary or preserve the peace call. Sometimes the calls are worse, but we do our best to keep our city safe.
This morning, I read about a vandalism that occurred at the Lumberyard Restaurant the other night. For those of you who aren't familiar with our city, The Lumberyard is directly across from our police station (a stones throw as my mom would say). Around 3:24 a.m., two suspects (a male adult and his female adult companion) destroyed the lights in front of the restaurant, causing about $2,000.00 in damages. Makes sense right? I mean beating up a light pole isn't how I would impress my significant other, but I digress.
Turns out, the criminals who caused the damage were dumber than your usual suspects. According to the LBPD, the pair recently bailed out another buddy who had been arrested for DUI. The adult male and female were clearly seen on video when they came into the police station, and again when they allegedly vandalized the pole.
Not only that, their friend in jail used his phone calls to contact the suspects involved in the vandalism - making it even easier for detectives to track them down.
Not only did the suspects make it easy for detectives to track them down, the LBPD FB Page says, they have the added bonus of going to their favorite deli which is located in the suspect's neighborhood.
With that in mind, an invitation was offered to make the LBPD's job even easier:
Anyway, here's an open invitation to the suspects in the case:
Hi guys. Remember the other night when you came to the police station to bail out your buddy? You know, the one we arrested for DUI? You obviously didn't see the cameras on Forest Avenue pointed at The Lumberyard did you? They're there and they caught you leaving our station and going across the street. Yep, all on video. Oops.
And just when you think that it can't get any worse, I've got some more bad news for you...like every inmate, your buddy was allowed to make three phone calls...and he did. He called you guys. So when you showed up to our station to pick him up and we compared our video in our lobby area to the video from the Lumberyard incident guess what we got? A match. Bad news squared.
Well...I've got more bad news. We identified you and from that, figured out where you live.
So the way I see it is you have two options:
1. Come on in, admit to your mistake, and put this behind you so you can focus on a new beginning...or,2. We'll come out to your parents house in Tustin where you live (see, we aren't bluffing) and talk to you there.
Either way, it's up to you. I like Tustin. There's an excellent Deli on the corner of Newport and Irvine (1.4 miles from your house). So we hope to see you soon. It's really your choice. Knock on our door or we'll knock on yours (your parents).
You can call us at 949-497-0701 or send me a message on Facebook.
And the LBPD Facebook page followed up with good news! Not only did they catch the vandalism suspects, our favorite Facebook poster got his turkey sandwich!
Keep the hits coming LBPD.