SAPD sees more illegal activity through social media

Social media reports can lead to arrests but are not effective option

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police say they're seeing a growing trend of people using social media to report illegal activity.

Recently they were notified of a video showing a graphic case of child abuse that's been circulating on Facebook.

The video shows a man slapping, hitting and kicking a small boy. 

"Our investigators tracked those Facebook posts backwards and they found (the video) came from Malaysia," said San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus.

It turns out it was an old video that had been recirculating.

The man in the video, said to be the boy's step-father, was arrested in Malaysia and an investigation is underway.

However, SAPD has reportedly been receiving similar tips from social media users, which has helped to crack down on criminals.

"If it's within our jurisdiction then we'll follow up on the investigation and if we get an arrest warrant we'll do that," said McManus.

That was the case in February, when video of a reckless biker in San Antonio, blew up on social media.

The suspected driver, Alberto Rodriguez, 27 was tracked down and arrested on three outstanding warrants.

In this case, social media worked, but police say it's not the most effective option.

Police said they do want people to continue reporting activity from social media sites that show illegal activity, but they say it's not the best idea to report it via social media.

They said the best thing to do is pick up the phone and call the police.