LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Investigators have been turning to technology to help solve crimes. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department used Snapchat to help find three people they believe were involved in a homicide.
Lt. Ray Spencer with LVMPD says social media has helped bring justice to the valley.
“We use social media a lot just in our investigation for the reach, where we can reach out to the public and ask for assistance,” said Spencer.
Social media platforms are normally where family and friends spend hours chatting and sharing.
The department recently used conversations found in Snapchat to find three people who they believe were involved in the murder of a man.
“Everyone has an absolute right to privacy, and we recognize that. And before we are looking into anyone’s personal accounts, we are utilizing a search warrant,” explained Spencer.
Rob Enderle, a tech analyst, says with permission, police can now use the platforms where critical information is stored.
“It provides real-time feedback for people that are considering a crime or talking about a crime letting them know what the repercussions can be and maybe prevent that crime from occurring,” Enderle said.
He says while social media is benefiting our law enforcement, it can also benefit the defendant.
People can capture audio and video of conversations that can be used against someone.
“It gives them far greater access and ability to solve crimes that might otherwise have been unsolved,” Enderle says.
A spokesperson for Snapchat says they have a dedicated team working around the clock to respond to law enforcement requests and help bring justice.