Pinterest is pretty much just a home decor and craft site anymore, but just because its demographic has pigeonholed its services doesn’t mean that the social site can’t be used for other things … like catching criminals.
The Mercury, a Pottstown, Pennsylvania newspaper, uses Pinterest for that very thing. Thus far, they have posted more than 74 pictures of individuals wanted by police for a variety of charges including theft, fraud, and assault. Though a board filled with greasy mugshots might not sound like it fits with Pinterest du jour, it’s actually working really well.
NPR reports that as soon as the mugshots went up, the police received public tips almost immediately.
“We’ve actually seen a 57% increase in our warrant services, and we actually got more people based on our tips and our calls,” Pottstown Police Capt. F. Richard Drumheller said. “For us it’s like, ‘Yes,’ because it’s very enjoyable in police work when the public helps you.”
Additionally, a handful of individuals found their own mugshots on the Pinterest board, and called the police to turn themselves in (and get their picture removed from the social sharing site).
Using Pinterest to post mugshots just proves what we’ve been saying all along: The Internet is the new Wild West.